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The Daily Dose: Honey

Winnie the Pooh loves honey. The days of the week seem to blow away into a silly thought as he bravely stumbles into a mess of beehives for a simple dollop of some fresh raw golden goop. I mean, he says every day is “today,” which means Pooh bear is either completely blissed out on honey to bother with such relative concepts like what specific day of the week it is, or his blood sugar levels are starting to cause some severe problems. Either way, honey has some pretty sweet health benefits, and you can enjoy it on whatever day of the week it is for you without having to climb a bee-infested tree to get it.

Honey is bee vomit (yup). Bees consume nectar from flowers, regurgitate it as what we call honey, then store it as food for later use. It’s mostly sugar and contains powerful organic acids and compounds like flavonoids that may be medicinal when consumed moderately. Blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol have been shown to lower with honey consumption. The antioxidants and phenols in honey are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Honey can also be used to treat burns, wounds, and other skin conditions. It’s a natural cough suppressant for kids over the age of one and can replace refined sugar for cereals and toast.

Honey is a good alternative for regular table sugar, which has zero nutrition. But like with anything sweet, overindulgence leads to a Pooh bear belly. Stick to high-quality honey. The darker, the better. As long as you’re not eating an entire jar of honey every day, you’ll be fine. Put a tablespoon in some tea or drizzle it over your oatmeal. If you do decide to go searching for fresh honey in the forest by floating through the air with a red balloon, maybe wear a helmet.