Did you know that honey is medicinal? We recently visited with Dr. Ron Fessenden, MD, MPH, an expert on organic honey’s physiological benefits, which include regulating blood sugar, reducing metabolic stress, and promoting recovery sleep.
Dr. Ron Fessenden, a retired physician and chairman of the Committee for Honey and Health in America (a non profit organization), now travels around the country with this message: “Honey is not a sweetener, it is a wonderful food – the golden standard for fueling our brain.”
Recently, Fessenden visited our farm and shared what he has found to be honey’s three most significant health benefits. We felt this information was important enough to share, so please forward it on to your friends and family, or watch Fessenden’s full presentation on our youtube channel.
The fact that honey regulates blood sugar may seem counter-intuitive (how can a sugar regulate blood sugar?). The secret behind its ability to do so lies in its balance of fructose and glucose. When you eat honey, the fructose portion allows the glucose to be taken in by the liver to form glycogen – which becomes available for the brain, heart, kidneys, and red blood cells. This enhances the functioning of those essential organs and tissues, while removing glucose from circulation and thus lowering blood sugar. Studies have shown that honey does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels, and produces more liver glycogene than any other food on a per gram basis! As a result, eating honey can help prevent a host of diseases associated with consistently elevated blood sugar levels, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
All stress — whether emotional, psychological or physiological — is translated in the body as metabolic stress, a function of the adrenal gland producing adrenalin (the ‘fight or flight’ hormone) and cortisol, which stimulates the breakdown of muscle protein into amino acids for the liver to make new sugar. This occurs when the brain thinks it’s in danger of running out of fuel, such as when we exercise and during the night fast. Since honey produces liver glycogen — our brain’s energy reserve, honey consumption in the morning, before bed, and at regular intervals throughout the day (especially before and after exercise) ensures an adequate store of liver glycogen for the brain and prevents or reduces the release of stress hormones.
As described above, eating honey before bed re-stocks the liver’s glycogen supply, helping you get through the night without the brain triggering a ‘crisis’ response to low fuel levels. Additionally, honey contributes to the release of melatonin, the ‘wellness hormone’. Melatonin inhibits the release of insulin, further stabilizing blood sugar levels during the night. In addition to being necessary for restorative sleep, melatonin helps enhance immunity and facilitate the rebuilding of tissues during rest.
So how much honey should you eat? Dr. Fessenden recommends 3 to 5 tablespoons per day — with no side effects, risks, or negative health consequences. What other medicine can say that?! For some great organic honey snack recipes to keep you going throughout the day, visit our website.
To learn more, watch Fessenden’s full presentation on Honey and Health online or check out his website. We hope you find this information as valuable as we did!