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Not Just a Sweet Treat

Posted Nov 13 2010 12:00am
I love honey. Love it! There are so many raw, wild, organic varieties – light, dark, different levels of sweetness, thick and creamy or light and syrupy… the list goes on and on. I use it instead of sugar. It’s sweeter and tastes infinitely better. Who knew it could have so many benefits! And honey is only the beginning! Bee products take up quite a bit of real estate on the list of superfoods.
Well, let’s start with honey. For starters, the use of honey dates as far back as the ancient Egyptians, if not farther. They offered honey and pollen to the gods and used bees and their products in rituals. Clearly they must have had a high regard for it! There are countless references to honey throughout literary history as a key to good health and long life. Did you know that honey never spoils? (Many items on fast food menus may not either, but it’s much more impressive from a natural source such as this.) Raw honey is loaded with live enzymes, which help us with our digestion, along with every other chemical reaction that happens in our bodies. It also has been shown to have antibiotic and antiviral properties and it fights against a host of ailments from gastrointestinal/digestive disorders to ulcers. And it tastes delicious!!

And so does royal jelly. Yum. Well, OK, I admit I found it to be an acquired taste. Royal jelly is basically a combination of honey and pollen, but it’s whipped up by a particular type of bees rather than a human chef. It is really the only thing that distinguishes the Queen bee from just any ol’ bee, and she lives about six times as long! Reason enough to try it? It is thought to have serious anti-aging qualities. You may have heard of honey’s benefits for the skin, royal jelly may be even better. Royal jelly is said to be mood-enhancing, energy-lifting… Well I do know that it contains a huge dose of some important vitamins like B (especially B!), calcium, iron, zinc, potassium. The list goes on and on.

Bee pollen is stuffed with antioxidants and is said to help with allergies, energy and strength – even fertility! Propolis (the bees use this as sort of a sealant for their house that is the hive) is known best for its healing properties. I have yet to try either of these so I cannot vouch for their taste, but they are PACKED with nutrients.

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