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The Secret to Looking and Feeling Good

May 4, 2010

Next time you are running from a beehive, consider this: you are witnessing about 60,000 bees that travel thousands of miles and visit millions of flowers to gather enough nectar to produce just one pound of honey.

For most of us, honey sits in our pantry and is a staple in baking and cooking.  For others, however, honey is a critical part of a daily beauty regimen.  As an increasing number of consumers are demanding cosmetics and personal care products made from natural ingredients, more and more manufacturers are incorporating honey into everything from hand lotions and moisturizers to shampoos and conditioners. Honey is the perfect ingredient for such products since it is wholesome, all-natural and is considered a humectant that attracts and retains moisture.

Beauty queens aren’t the only ones using honey for purposes other than satisfying their sweet tooth.  More and more athletes are incorporating honey into their training regimens, taking advantage of honey’s carbohydrate content which has been proven to help athletes maintain glucose levels and prevent premature fatigue. With 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon, honey’s unique carbohydrate composition (approximately equal amounts of fructose and glucose) has often been rendered the perfect pre-exercise food. Arizona Farm Bureau’s Julie Murphree remembers her mom giving her three brothers and Julie a tablespoon of honey just before swim meets. The Murphree quartet were known to take home blue ribbons.

Even an ordinary sore throat can be soothed by honey.  An Oklahoma allergist stated that honey is effective in treating 90% of allergies.  But next time you turn to honey to cure your seasonal woes, make sure you use honey that is completely raw and has not been strained.  The pollen, dust and molds in raw honey are necessary in helping a person build up immunity to those allergens. The good effects of honey are most prominent when the honey is taken a little bit (a couple of teaspoons-full) a day for several months prior to the pollen season.

Lucky for us Arizona residents, the Sonoran Deserts are home to some of the greatest desert floral sources for honey such as Cactus, Mesquites, Catclaw and Palo Verde.  The result is a very mild and delicate honey that is unique to the Southwest region of the country. Scattered throughout our state are several honey producers who are each committed to delivering 100% pure and natural honey. Some of Arizona’s honey producers include Absolutely Delightful Honey (absolutelydelightfulazhoney.com), McClendon’s Select (www.selectorganics.com) and Terra Verde Farms (www.terraverdefarms.foodzie.com).

And, of course, you can’t go wrong including honey in your dinner plans tonight. Recipes calling for honey include a wide variety of foods such as breads, pork chops, ham, barbeque sauces and meats, pancakes, cookies and cakes. For recipe ideas visit www.fillyourplate.org and click on the “Recipes” tab.

Plus, select “honey” in the product list in the main directory and you can discover all the Arizona honey producers on the main Fill Your Plate directory.

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