Raw honey and its benefits
Raw honey is unpasteurised so has not had the bacteria and enzymes destroyed and filtered out. It is slightly cloudy in appearance and there are no added sugars. One teaspoon offers approximately 60 calories (one teaspoon is approximately 5 grams.)
Honey has been used by humans for over 8000 years and there are many simple remedies to help alleviate various symptoms. Generations of people have used it as a food source and for healing and medicine.
- Cholesterol - Studies have demonstrated that honey can contribute to lowering cholesterol. One study noted that 70 grams of honey over 30 days could potentially reduce cholesterol by 3%. However, that is a high-calorie load, so it is not necessarily practical.
- Diabetes - Type II diabetics must manage their carbohydrate intake, and honey will affect blood sugars by creating spikes. There are claims that honey does not increase blood sugars and is therefore safe, although it should only be used in small quantities. However, I would recommend that only 2 tsp is used if blood sugars are not stable. It is known to contribute to stabilising insulin through a compound called C-peptide, but its use in blood sugar modulation should be managed by a health professional.
- Gastric discomfort - Honey has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties through components found within it. Some individuals use honey mixed in diluted warm water to help alleviate gastric discomfort. It has been found to discourage germs and bad bacteria in the digestive tract.
- Morning sickness - A little honey in the diet can help reduce morning sickness and general nausea. Again, adding a spoonful to a glass of warm water with some grated ginger can settle the stomach and this remedy has been used for generations.
- Hay fever - has been known to be reduced or even alleviated completely if natural raw honey is consumed throughout the year. It helps regulate the immune system’s responses towards various pollens and particles thus reducing the hay fever symptoms. It is also known to help reduce catarrh and mucus.
Honey has been used in modern medicine to help reduce ulcerated areas and wound healing. It is known to promote the granulation of tissue therefore helping skin reformation, reduction in inflammation, and less likelihood of infection due to its anti-bacterial properties. Frequent application of raw honey to the skin can help reduce in some instances some skin conditions such as acne, eczema, scarring and fine lines.
Raw honey can be difficult to source as it is found in health food shops, local markets, farm shops and private beekeepers. Always double-check where the honey is sourced from to ensure that it is local. If you are unsure about using raw honey for its holistic benefits, check with a nutritionist or other health professional for advice.
Salmon with honey & ginger glaze
This recipe provides Omega-3 fatty acids and is a wonderful source of protein.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 8 – 10 minutes
- 4 tsp honey
- 2 tsp of Dijon mustard or French mustard if you prefer the milder flavour.
- 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger. You can adjust the amount to suit your palette.
- 4 6 oz salmon fillets, with or without the skin.
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- Blend the honey, mustard and grated ginger in a small bowl.
- Use a pastry brush to cover the salmon (if the honey is difficult to spread, place the bowl in a dish of hot water, similar to a Bain Marie, this will loosen the honey.)
- Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
- Grill or bake, until the salmon is cooked.
- Serve with new potatoes sprinkled with mint or mixed salad.
For those of you who can’t eat some of the ingredients, you can swap alternatives in:
- Lemon juice instead of honey
- Cod fillet or monkfish fillet
- Capers add a sharp flavour if you are not keen on ginger.