Honey

The Not So Sweet Side of Sugar 0

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 MmmmmmSUGAR! It seems to make life so sweet… or does it? We all know that though sugar may taste delicious, it can have a negative impact on our health. Sugar can increase cholesterol, contribute to diabetes, weaken eyesight, cause cardiovascular disease, contribute to osteoporosis, interfere with protein absorption, and fuel the growth of cancer, but did you know that it can also wreak havoc on your skin? When simple sugar molecules such as glucose, or fructose attach to fats and proteins rogue molecules begin to form. This process is known as glycation. Glycation causes the onset of wrinkles, can make your skin brittle and inflamed, and destroys both collagen and elastin.

How can you have your cake and eat it too? There is no need to cut out sugar completely. Sugar naturally occurs in many healthy foods such as fruit. There are also healthy and natural substitutes such as stevia. Honey and agave are other great substitutes as they have a lower glycemic index than sugar. Just remember to steer clear of those nasty chemical substitutes. They don’t come without a price and are accompanied by a whole new slew of health problems.

Another way to fight the glycation process is by upping your intake of antioxidants. Filling up on green tea, berries, and spinach are good ways to keep the nasty side effects of sugar at bay and help protect your skin.

Just remember… 

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Oh Honey… How to Beat Those Allergy Blues 0

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People can be allergic to a number of things including food, medications, certain types of metals, animal dander and so forth, however, it is estimated that 36 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from seasonal allergies… are you one of them?

Allergies are actually nothing more than a misdirected immune response. When an allergen (in this case pollen) enters your body, your immune system is triggered and may go into overdrive. Histamine and other chemicals are then released into the body. This is what causes symptoms such as an itchy nose, watery eyes, sneezing, headaches, and congestion among many others.

So what can be done to win the battle against pesky pollen? Of course there are both over the counter and prescription medications that have proven very effective, though many may opt for a different route. If you are looking for a natural allergy remedy, look no further than your local health food store or farmers market.

Local honey is becoming an extremely popular alternative treatment for allergy sufferers everywhere. The school of though behind this is that the honey itself introduces small doses of these allergens in a weakened form (much like a vaccine). Honey contains pollen spores from a variety of plants in the area where the honey is cultivated. These small doses allow your body to get accostumed to these spores without triggering an immune response. This is called immunotherapy.  When eaten regularly, you may be able to gradually “vaccinate” yourself against these allergy offenders.

The key is that the honey must be local (think within the same county that you reside). This way your body will be introduced to the appropriate pollen spores. If you live in San Diego and are using a honey from the central coast, it will not have the same therapeutic effect.

Next time you or a loved one is suffering from allergies reach for the local honey. You (and your immune system) may be in for a sweet surprise.