|Superfood honey can be used to sweeten up a homemade |
pumpkin or sweet potato pie for the upcoming holidays.
--Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
2. When did you get interested in the healing power of foods? Since a teen back in the 70s I was a “granola girl.” I ate fruits/vegetables/yogurt. It was “in” to be lean and fit. So I was and still am a “health nut.” I was going to be a nutritionist but ended up getting my master’s degree in English (Creative Writing).
3. I understand you have written several other healing power books? The Healing Powers Book Series began back in 1999 when I penned The Healing Powers of Vinegar. The rest is history. Several years later, the book was a success. Olive oil, chocolate, and honey followed.
4. Your book draws on interviews with medical doctors, beekeepers, and researchers about the positive effects of honey? Yes, I did go to the “experts” who know about how honey and honey bees…and they told me how this superfood which has been used since biblical times can heal via health improvements to home cures. Also, I met a beekeeper and his queen Italian bees…and I spoke with beekeepers around the globe. I interviewed the editor of Bee Culture Magazine (The Healing Powers of Honey received a positive review in the October issue) about trends of city hobbyist bee keepers to CCD—the mysterious vanishing and die-off of bees with an unknown cause. And I got to taste straight from the hive… honeycomb. A hexagon structure made from beeswax by honey bees to hold honey.
5. Tell us what makes honey so healthy? It’s got vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants (molecules in superfoods like fruits/vegetables) that can stall Father Time and enhance the immune system and keep our cells healthy.
6. How many honey varieties are there? Hundreds…more than 300 in U.S. from different floral sources. I got up close and intimate with more than 30…we’re talking different flavors from different sources.The darker varieties are the healthiest…a bit of a challenge for the palate: manuka to buckwheat---which are commonly used in health and honey studies. My faves are sage, wildflower, white honey from Hawaii, pumpkin, blackberry--and orange blossom. Once you taste the varietals there's no going back to one honey flavor.
7. Are there major differences between raw honey and the commercial varieties? Yes, raw is healthier but mass market varieties still have benefits, too. The real, raw, unprocessed, unheated, unfiltered kind of honey that you get straight from the hive—honeycomb—is the real deal with the good for you antioxidants. Think pure ACV, quality dark cocoa.
8. What are some short-term health benefits of consuming honey? Home cures: I've turned to honey for sore throat, allergies, cough, cuts, anxiety, stress, fatigue, and it can even boost libido! What's more, manuka honey--found in Australia and New Zealand--is simply amazing for its healing perks. If you have a cut, like I did on my foot, it can heal it in days, thanks to honey's super amazing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
9. You say honey can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, increase longevity and even reduce boy fat and unwanted weight? Indeed… If you stay clear of the big diseases…you’ll up the odds of living longer. And honey can help stave off the major life-threatening diseases because of its different compounds. I show studies with humans (not just lab rats) in my honey book how it works to back up this fact.
10. You say pure, raw, unprocessed honey is a healthier sweetener than table sugar and high fructose corn syrup? You get only empty nutrition with white table sugar…HFCS is controversial but I stay clear from it--found in fruit juice drinks to processed foods. Honey contains dozens of different substances (minerals, vitamins, antioxidants) which makes it more like a fruit than sugar. Sugar and HFCS are simpler compounds containing only glucose and fructose, honey is more of a “functional or superfood”—because of its compounds.
11. How many calories typically per teaspoon? 21--a dieter's dream. And just a spoonful will provide energy to get a move on and boost your metabolism as well as curb that sweet tooth so you're not tempted to overeat sweets that are laden with saturated fat, calories, and added sugar.
12. How much Honey do you recommend people eat daily or weekly? 5 teaspoons/8teaspoons women/men. (None for babies younger than one year old.)
13. How can you use honey in your beauty routine? It’s used in DIY recipes/store bought beauty products/top-notch spa treatments. I use all types to help keep my hair and skin healthy. I was treated to a honey bath at a plush European-style hotel and the story is unforgettable. My skin felt so smooth.
14. What kind of recipes are there in your book? Scrumptious recipes that'll wow you. The book was purchased by The Good Cook Book Club. Spa chefs/honey companies (big and small) provided many recipes including Honey Biscotti, Bee Breakfast Smoothie, Honey Poppy Seed Salad Dressing, Honey Glazed Hen, Honey Berries with Lime Pound Cake, and Sweet Potato Pie. Wholesome, down-to-earth ingredients are used--mostly from the Mediterranean diet--are used. I'm talking whole grains, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, dark chocolate, and olive oil as a primary fat.
15. What easy ways can our listeners use honey in their everyday lives? Use a teaspoon of honey in tea/coffee daily and/or drizzle on fresh fruit or whole grain bread to get a double punch of antioxidants.
The Healing Powers of Honey (Kensington, October 2011) by Cal Orey is available at online bookstores including www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com , local bookstores, OneSpirit bookclubs, and other popular grocery stores including Walmart, Smiths, and Target.