I’ve been keeping up with the many foods that health and wellness influencers swear by long before it was my job to write about them. And since 2019 is right around the corner, I’ve been scrolling through social media in search of the most buzzed-about treats to stock up on for the new year. But here's the thing: I’m predicting a major shift in pantry staples come January. Instead of protein bars and supplements, you might start seeing gurus promoting more whole foods and ingredients, and providing details on why they’re so amazing, like the health benefits of raw honey, for example. I don’t know about you, but I’m totally down for going back to basics, because as much as I love trying new products, the stuff that's considered "trendy" is usually pretty pricey, if you know what I mean.
Honey is a pretty hot commodity these days, but TBH, I never really thought much of the stuff growing up. Come to think of it, I can’t actually remember if honey was a staple in my mom's pantry or not. The first time I really thought to buy honey at all was when I'd made plans to have a friend sleep over in high school, and she'd mentioned she liked adding a spoonful of the stuff to her tea. Being the Irish tea-drinker that I was (and still am), this was a completely foreign concept to me. I just assumed everyone took milk in their cups of decaf black Lipton. So, I bought a container of honey shaped like a teddy bear, she used exactly a tablespoon, and that was that. The bear stayed in my cupboard, untouched, until the next time she came by.
These days, my pantry is stocked with honey. I literally have at least three jars of the stuff as I write this (my personal favorites are Wedderspoon's Manuka Honey Squeeze Bottles and Bee Harmony's American Raw Blueberry flavor). I regularly add spoonfuls of the stuff into my tea, I often swap refined sugar for servings of honey when I bake, but here's what you have to keep in mind: While honey is definitely better for you than something like refined sugar, sugar is still sugar at the end of the day, which is why Nealy Fischer, founder of The Flexible Chef and author of the upcoming book Food You Want For The Life You Crave, says you should still be a) consuming it in moderation, and b) making sure your jar is free of additives.
"Most honey bottles stocked on the shelves of your local grocery store aren’t real honey. They’ve been processed, pasteurized, and stripped of the benefiting nutrients and pollen," Fischer tells Elite Daily over email. So, to make sure you're reaping all the health benefits raw honey can offer, Fischer suggests buying your stash at a farmer's market, investing in raw Manuka if you can, and always reading the labels.
But what exactly are the benefits of raw honey you're going to want to reap in 2019? So glad you asked. Check out the list below for some of the most recognized health benefits. I guarantee you'll be buzzing for a jar by the end of it.