Healing with Honey

Honey is a natural remedy  and functional food used by ancient civilizations for thousands of years. This sweet liquid is a great addition to meals and drinks as a more natural replacement for energy from sugar but the benefits go even further than that. Honey1

7 A+’s for Liquid Gold-

  • Antimicrobial and AntibacterialResearch shows that honey can help reduce incidence of infectious diseases by killing bad bacteria [1]. Ingesting honey could be an effective natural medicine for food borne illnesses.
  • Antibiotic and Antiseptic – The antibiotic and antiseptic properties in honey make it a great natural remedy to prevent infections for cuts, burns, scrapes and even bug bites. It’s content of concentrated sugars and acidity also aid in the wound healing process by  providing an environment that promotes fast repair and regeneration of tissues with no adverse effects to the skin.
  • Antioxidant – Honey contains antioxidant properties from it’s polyphenol plant components, which have been shown to reduce effects of aging and can be helpful in preventing cancer [2].
  • Anti-inflammatory – Soothing effects from honey are due to it’s ability to reduce inflammation. When applied to the skin, honey can reduce swelling and irritation by reducing the effects of damaging free radicals. When ingested, honey can be a great remedy for a sore throat or irritating cough!
  • Allergy Protection- Honey has also been shown to be a natural fighter against allergies reducing those annoying allergy symptoms [3].

Honey is also a humectant, meaning it easily retains moisture and humidity, making it even more beneficial whenHoney2 applied to skin or hair as a natural moisturizer.

When selecting a honey, research recommends that monofloral honey has the most effective healing properties. This means the honey is sourced from only one type of flower’s pollen. Darker colored honey has also been shown to have more antioxidant properties. Manuka honey is a well known beneficial dark and monofloral honey. Honey basically never goes bad making it a great staple to add to the pantry or medicine cabinet.


  1. Rani et al. Antimicrobial Activity of Honey with Special Reference to Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Methicillin Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). J Clin Diagn Res. 2017 Aug; 11(8): DC05–DC08.
  2. Alvarez-Suarez et al. The Composition and Biological Activity of Honey: A Focus on Manuka Honey. Foods 2014, 3, 420-432; doi:10.3390/foods3030420.
  3. Asha’ari ZA, Ahmad MZ, Wan Din WSJ, Hussin CMC, Leman I. Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Ann Saudi Med 2013; 33(5): 469-475. 
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Trick or Healthy Treats!

It is Halloween Month! Growing up, Halloween is many children’s favorite holiday. What is better than dressing up and getting to eat all the candy and treats they want? As we get older, we are more aware of all the sugar and unhealthy ingredients in some of our childhood favorites. That is why this week we wanted to give you a few quick ideas on healthier versions of one of the classic Halloween candies: Candy Corn.

Candy Corn Ice Pops

These easy treats are made with only 3 ingredients.candycornicepops

  • Low-fat yogurt (bottom layer)
  • Orange juice (middle layer)
  • Pineapple juice (top) layer
  • Make sure each layer has 30 minutes to freeze, before adding the next layer. Freeze final popsicle for 1 hour before enjoying.
  • Popsicle molds are inexpensive investments. You can buy them at any Walmart, Target or online.

 

 

Candy Corn Veggie PlateCandy Corn Veggie Plate

  • Cauliflower
  • Baby Carrots
  • Yellow Bell Peppers
  • Wash all vegetables before cutting and arranging.
  • The size of your “candy corn” will depend on how many people you would like to feed.
  • Adding roasted red hummus with black olive “eyes” and mouth” make a great jack o’ lantern dip.

10 Minutes of Moving for Your Muscles

Physical activity for just 10 minutes can have benefits for the body! Try to incorporate these short duration activities into the day to get moving. There are many fun and new ways to be active for just a few minutes that can make exercising interesting and convenient. Walking

  • Walking is a great go-to exercise for short durations. Walking the dog, pushing a stroller, enjoying the leaves changing color in the fall or walking from school or to the bus stop are all really convenient ways to get moving.
  • Turn chores into exciting exercise. Helping out in the yard or garden, washing the car, cleaning the house, or doing the dishes can be great ways to be more active doing activities that are already a part of your lifestyle.
  • Stretching in your chair will pay off. Most of us sit for the majority of our days, whether we are in school or at work. Taking some time to stretch the muscles and increase blood flow throughout the body is a great method for moving where you already are.

Click here for more tips and tricks for increasing activity throughout the day!

3 Powerful Holistic Ways to Fight Flu and Cold Season

Taking proactive steps for your health now, will benefit you later when the weather gets colder and the common threat of the cold and flu gets hotter. Boosting your immune system means being able to fight off these pesky infections whether you are a student in school or working on the job. 

  • Power up! Regular moderate exercise builds a strong immune and respiratory system in the body. Physical activity can actually help flush toxins out of the body through sweating or through the lungs. Be careful not to overdo it and overwork the body by exercising too much. High levels of stress actually weaken the immune system and make you more likely to catch infection or colds. 
  • Rest up! Overworking the body weakens the immune system. Sleep promotes healing because many restorative processes take place when the body is in sleep modeimmunepic. Listen to your body’s cues and if you are feeling overworked and tired, set aside some time to rest. Resting when you are sick is beneficial, but resting before you even get sick can help stop it from lingering around in the body. 
  • Load up on vitamins and minerals! Proper nutrition boosts the immune system in amazing ways. The nutrients found in healthy foods promote strength, healing and increase your resistance to infection. Vitamin C helps manage the common cold by keeping invaders out of our systems and minimizing the effects of annoying symptoms like a runny nose or sore throat. Find Vitamin C in citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges, in kiwi or in green vegetables like kale, broccoli and Brussel sprouts. Peppers also contain Vitamin C and the hotter the pepper the more it has!

By Healthy Living Program Coordinator, Breanna B.

Preparing our Nation’s Kids to be Active and Healthy – Guest Article by Health.gov

Today, only 21% of children are physically active for 60 minutes per day or more and only 21% of adults meet the recommended physical activity guidelines!  It is possible that the current generation of youth may have a lower life expectancy than their parents for the first time ever!  How can we address this issue? 083017_HHS_50MS-Logo_SHAPE-America

Read this article on Health.gov written by a Physical Education teacher in D.C. to find out more!

Article submitted by 4-H Grant Manager, Karen

Friday Fitness Flow!

As the summer vibes fade away, along with the heat and the fireflies, remember to incorporate strength and flexibility training into your regular fitness routine or just take a few minutes out of your day to move! These three easy postures help to increase joint mobility, muscle strength and raise your energy and confidence levels, giving you that extra boost you need as vacation time comes to its close.

 

Chest Opens

Healthy Living Ambassador Jy’Naiah

 

  • Warrior: Step the feet apart and keeping the back leg straight, angle back foot about 45 degrees away from you. The front toes should be facing forward, with the front leg bent so that the knee is directly over the ankle. Raise arms straight to shoulder height and parallel to the floor with the palms facing down.  Press with the feet into the mat and lengthen through the top of the head towards to sky.

 

Waterfall

Nutrition Assistant Michelle

 

  • Waterfall: Standing up with feet about two fists distance apart. Slowly begin to reach the arms straight above you reaching for the sky as high as you can. Begin to slowly and just slightly reach behind you, pulling the shoulder blades back and down towards the back of your ribcage. Keep the head in line with upper back and be sure not to tilt the neck too far back. Focus on a deep inhale and exhale as you release the arms back down.

 

Tree.png

Healthy Living Ambassador Jenna

 

  • Tree: Begin by standing up tall, and lifting the bottom of one foot to the inside of the other thigh. If more balance is needed, you may rest the foot with the toes on the ground, or place the foot on the inside of the calf. Lift the arms straight above you and keep the belly button tucked in towards the spine. Hold for 30 seconds, focusing on the breath and repeat with the other leg. 

These poses will take you just a few minutes to complete and the benefits will last you all day!