5 Health Benefits of Raw Local Honey

By Chelsea Becker

Honey deserves a lot more credit than it gets—well, raw local honey does at least. A lot of the honey you see in large supermarket chains (in those cute little bear bottles) won't give you the same benefits that raw honey will. Unlike super processed honey, raw local honey is packed with good-for-you antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It's officially time to step up your honey game! Here are 5 health benefits of raw local honey:

Honey
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Reduces allergies:

Want a substitute for an allergy shot? Raw local honey can provide relief from seasonal allergies—key word here being local. When you eat honey made from bees in your area, you're actually building up immunity to the pollen from the plants and flowers around you causing those allergies. It only takes a teaspoon per day to see relief from allergies, too. Try mixing a dab of raw local honey into your tea, or drizzling it over yogurt. You can usually find raw local honey at your nearby health food store, but if not, you can definitely snag it at a local farmer's market.

Boosts immunity system:

Raw local honey contains a ton of disease-fighting antioxidants and vitamins, along with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, all of which help to boost your immune system and keep you healthy year-round. The antioxidants in raw local honey may even kill off certain types of cancer cells and help fight heart disease. To reap the immunity-building benefits of raw local honey, make sure not to heat it up before consuming it, since that damages the natural enzymes and antioxidants.

Promotes sleep:

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, eating this sweet stuff before bedtime can actually help you fall (and stay) asleep. Typically, your body produces extra stress hormones to make its nightly repairs; the natural sugar in raw local honey assists your liver, so it doesn't need to produce as many stress hormones. And less stress hormones equals a deeper sleep! The most notable benefit when it comes to honey and sleep though? Melatonin, a super important hormone that raw local honey actually helps us release naturally.

Weight loss:

While eating copious amounts of honey probably won't help you lose weight, eating small amounts of it might help. The healthy bacteria in raw local honey is amazing for your digestive system, and a healthy gut can help speed weight loss. To get a metabolism boost first thing in the morning, try mixing a teaspoon of raw local honey with some warm lemon water. Bonus: It'll help you wake up, too!

Healthy skin:

OK, this might seem a little crazy, but did you know you can actually wash your face with honey? Most of us only think to eat it, but since raw local honey is chockfull of antioxidants and good bacteria, it works great as a facial cleanser, too. The trick is to get your face wet before you apply the honey, then rub it around in circular motions. They honey will rinse off easily with warm water, and your skin will feel SO soft afterwards.

What's your go-to use for this magical ingredient?!