How well do you know your honey... and its benefits?

Are you putting your honey to work?

Your jar might be sitting in the pantry ready to rock, as Shape Magazine recently revealed five benefits of honey that might be news to you.

Honey's good stuff goes beyond sweetening tea, subbing for sugar and mixing with marinades.

The next time you're feeling the need for a little boost, look no further than the jar of honey you have at home.

According to Shape Magazine, honey's benefits may surprise you:

1. Radiant skin
It may be time to do away with your favorite cleanser. Honey has antimicrobial qualities that can scrub your skin without taking away your skin's natural oils.

If you struggle with acne, search for honey with manuka and kanuka plants. Research shows it can actually help clear breakouts.

2. Immunity surge
Hanging out in honey you'll find the antioxidant polyphenols, which helps shield your cells from free radical damage.

The old adage is true - a spoonful of honey before bed can suppress those annoying nighttime coughs.

3. Natural Neosporin
Honey can produce small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, enough to help heal minor cuts, scrapes and burns.

"Everything from burns and scrapes to surgical incisions and radiation-associated ulcers have been shown to respond to 'honey dressings,'" Shape reports.

4. Expedite digestion
Let's face it - chalky digestion tablets don't taste good. Honey is your new answer for indigestion and painful acid reflux.

Try to eat honey before or after your meal, and let its digestion magic do its thing.

5. Workout wonders 
Athletes and fitness fans often boost their performance with supplements, sports and energy drinks. The next time you take on intense training, try honey instead.

Shape says studies found honey, when used as a carbohydrate replacement during endurance training, kept participants feeling energized. Since it's natural, honey needs no help to fuel your exercise fire.

Web Editor Holly Pennebaker writes health and fitness content for Follow Holly on Twitter: @HPennebaker


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