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Over the past several years, I have found that eating processed sugars really aggravates my auto immune issues. Too much white sugar or soda’s sends me into a downward spiral. This has led me to try alternative sweeteners.
A few years ago while in Seattle, one of my Bffs – Steph, introduced me to Honey Crystals. We were walking down the tea isle in Uwajimaya, a Asian store in seattle, and she suggested I try it as a sugar alternative in teas. I loved it. For the longest time, I was unable to get it and she would send it to me from Hawaii. Eventually an Asian Market popped up in my city not far from my house and I was able to buy Honey Crystals whenever I wanted. Honey crystals, according to Google, is pure sugar cane infused with raw honey to form little non-sticky crystals. It’s extremely sweet therefore less is needed.
Then a couple of years ago when I was discussing some of my nutrition changes with my sister, she suggested I try Agave. The nectar is made from the Agave plant. It’s a dark amber color and more closely resembles the consistency of honey. It’s sweeter, a little higher in calories but you use much less then sugar. For diabetics it might not be the ideal sweetener due to it’s high glycemic index. Agave can be purchased at many grocery stores.
Last year, my neighbor introduced me to Manuka honey. I had heard about it before but had never tried it. She raved about it and swears it’s the best overall sweetener with so much more benefits. Here are some of the benefits of Manuka Honey:
- Antibacterial – it attacks the biofilms on an infection, destroys then heals it.
- Antiviral – Bee enzymes help produce hydrogen peroxide, known to kill germs
- It heals cuts and scrapes by sealing the wound to prevent further infection, pulls the germs out of the wound & heals the skin
- Improves digestion and helps with stomach aches
- Provides energy
- Boosts your immune system
- Helps with acne & eczema by applying a thin layer of honey over the infected area for an hour then rinse.
According to this health line article there are different ranges to consider when purchasing Manuka Honey based on the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor)
- 0 to 4: an undetectable amount is present
- 5 to 9: low levels are present
- 10 to 15: useful levels are present
- 16: superior, high-grade levels are present
The higher the UMF the better the benefits. I have been purchasing my Manuka Honey online from amazon but recently I found it at Trader Joes with a UMF of 10. Trader Joes has been the most cost effective place I’ve found h.
I drink a few cups of tea a day and always add Manuka honey to my mug. Research shows, taking 1-2 teaspoons of Manuka honey a day can do wonders for your digestion and immune system. Personally I have been feeling much better overall since incorporating Manuka honey into my nutrition but can’t say definitively that it’s the primary reason for it.
Let me know if you have any sweetener alternatives you’d like to share with me. Leave a comment below or hit me up on Instagram with your suggestions.