Honey has been praised as “the food for gods” in the scriptures of yore. So is this delicious liquid gold really good for you? Definitely, but being rich in calories- only in moderation. This natural sweetener is packed with natural goodness. Being predigested by the bees, honey is easily metabolized and is extremely rich in nutrients. So much so- that many consider it to be the perfect food. No wonder then, that pots of golden honey were discovered in the pyramids of the great pharaohs.
Benefits of Natural Honey
- Natural honey is primarily composed of two sugars- laevulose and dextrose. Both of these do not require to be broken down further, and so, are quickly absorbed into the blood stream. This gives the body an instant energy boost.
- Honey is also rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and no cholesterol. Vitamins and minerals in honey include- vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. The exact nutritional profile of honey depends on the floral source of the honey.
- It contains some potassium salts that eliminate germs and bacteria, even more than some antibiotics. This is why natural honey can never get spoilt. Recent studies recommend using it as a topical treatment for burns and ulcers.
- The potassium salts in honey also help in lowering blood pressure.
- Is helpful for fighting obesity and losing weight when taken with lemon or cinnamon on an empty stomach.
- It’s a great beauty aid and is recommended as a mask to attain glowing silk and lustrous hair.
- Cures constipation when taken at night with milk.
- Has some well known antioxidants like chrysin, pinobanksin, catalase, pinocembrin and vitamin C.
Raw Honey v/s Pasteurized Honey
Most of us buy bottled honey from super markets. These bottles are often labeled as ‘natural honey’, however, this is not usually accurate. Most commercially available bottled honey is in fact pasteurized, to prevent it from crystallizing, and increasing its shelf life.
The commercial, pasteurized honey has been heated at 161 °F (71.7 °C) or higher for the pasteurization and filtered for the appealing, golden glass effect of bottled honey. Although, it makes the honey easier to store and use, pasteurization partially destroys honey’s fragile aromas, yeast and enzymes which make honey so healthy, and are responsible for stimulating vitamins and minerals into the body. According to the “Bee Hive Product Bible”, pasteurized honey has 30-50 percent lesser vitamin content than natural honey.
How is Organic, Raw Honey Different?
Raw honey isn’t very appealing to the eyes. Unlike the beautiful golden liquid available at the super-store, natural honey is slightly cloudy at room temperature since its crystallization properties aren’t harmed by the heat. Unlike popular belief, crystallization is not a sign of honey gone bad, it’s just a natural property of it.
Raw honey is filtered but only to rid it of the dirt and minor particles of the bee-hive, safeguarding all the healthy enzymes, minerals and vitamins that give honey its wondrous quality.
So go on, buy yourself a jar of raw, organic honey from the farmer’s market or a trusted organic store to enjoy the benefits of this wondrous gift of Gaia.