This article was published in Chomp & Chew, a blog on The Independent Alligator Online
Valentine’s Day has come and gone, leaving you with a heart full of love and enough chocolate to last until Halloween. However, there is a better way to embrace sweetness if a passionate regret for not going to the gym on Tuesday is overwhelming the allure of those heart-shaped brownies still staring at you every time you crack open the refrigerator. Honey offers a whole range of health benefits including boosting energy, building the immune system and easing ailments.
Your sweet tooth (or teeth!) will be pleased to know that honey is actually sweeter than its processed sugar and chemical-infused artificial sweetener counterparts. While both are without any nutritional value, honey is a golden, anti-oxidant rich syrup that may help curb weight gain and increase athletic performance if consumed before a workout. Michelle Obama even keeps a beehive in the White House garden!
Honey made locally will actually cure seasonal allergies. According to benefits-of-honey.com, honey bees incorporate small bits of pollen into their honey-making process. When you consume local honey, immunity builds against the pollen, and when allergy season rolls through in a dusty, green wave, you do not feel any of the effects! To easily avoid sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose, head over to Citizen’s Co-Op where they carry Cross Creek, High Springs Orchard and Ziebko honey, all locally made! Just remember: the closer the label is to Gainesville, the stronger the immunity.
At UF, students can enroll in ENY4573 a three-credit online course called Beekeeping. The course aims to examine the biology of honey bees by exploring their natural history, biogeography and ecology. Over the course of a semester, students will also discuss honey bee anatomy, physiology, colony social structure, pests/diseases, pollination ecology and hive management.
So take that post-Valentine’s Day stomachache, grab some honey and mix it in your tea, bake it into a cake, glaze some meat,or simply take a spoonful a day. As Winnie the Pooh once said “The only reason for being a bee that I know of is to make honey … And the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.”