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Local honey for health, strength and more!

A farmer was explaining to me the other day about the benefits of eating local honey as opposed to getting honey that wasn’t indigenous to the local population. He said that local (to the user) honey helps with allergies such as asthma and hay fever. He further explained that there is not much point using imported honey as the anti allergenic properties wouldn’t work as well. This peaked my interest so I have had a root around and it appears that his theory is backed up with anecdotal evidence as well as scientific based studies.

Local bees get pollen from local plants. The bees then cut away and make honey adding the slight allergen to the honey from the pollen. This slight allergen acts similar to a vaccination where by the local eaters are exposed to it and can build up an immunity which ultimately helps us overcome any adverse reaction that the local pollen can cause.

Basically, local bees use local plants to make honey. It is the local plants / pollen that cause some people to have allergic reaction (hay fever, asthma). Foreign honeys don’t work as well as it is made from a different area, with different pollen that causes allergic reaction local to that area.

So take home point here is, if you live in Exeter (for example) use honey as close to where you live as possible and don’t bother with mega posh expensive stuff from lets say NZ!

Not only does it appear to help with local allergies as mentioned but honey has many health benefits, as follows:

-Improves immune function, colds, flu etc.
-Antibacterial / antiseptic, helps with wounds when applied directly.
-Improves digestion, poor digestion is a real modern day health issue.
-Improves weird stuff like athlete’s foot, yeast infections, eczema and even bad breath!
-High antioxidant properties, always a bonus!
-Hangovers apparently, even more of a bonus!
-Improves sperm count (rubbed or ingested…you choose!)
-High in micro nutrients, minerals and vitamins levels.
-Improves sleep and restfulness, they say that adding it to warm goat’s milk does the trick.

It should be remembered that although there are many health benefits to local honey as with all foods it should be as close to its original form as possible. Raw, unheated and unfiltered as opposed to something that you can squeeze out of a cute plastic bottle.

If you are not lean and you want to lose fat then of course honey is still a sugar (fructose and glucose) so either don’t use it or use it sparingly. High sugar intake no matter how fancy will still scupper fat loss plans as well as not helping with diabetes, insulin resistance, lean body composition and so on.

If you are a lean, well conditioned and train hard then honey can be a great aid to improved lean body mass, strength, endurance and recovery. By adding honey to your during workout drink along with branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) you will ensure each muscle contraction has optimal fuelling leading to greater and more prolonged force, endurance and growth. What’s not to like, the building blocks of protein i.e. BCAAs being driven into the muscles by a healthy paleo carb source which keeps muscle glycogen high and replenished even as you train. There is far more to this subject but not for this article.

After your post workout recovery drink also have a cup of strong organic green tea sweetened with honey to further improve your glycogen stores as well as improving immune function, reducing cortisol and antioxidant levels. Please remember that if you are trying to get lean then cut the honey.

Other ways to combat allergens are to increase vitamin D, either by nutrition, supplements or get out into the sunlight, get adequate omega 3s from animal based sources and reduce omega 6 from plant, soy, corn safflower oils.

Note: Some unfortunate folks can get severe allergic reactions to honey like anaphylactic shock

Take home points:

Local honey for local people’s allergies

Don’t use if you are trying to lose fat. It is still a sugar!

It is an excellent addition to your workout nutrition…if lean.