Why is Honey Good for you?

honey jar
honey in jar

Honey has a great reputation.  It’s sweet and associated with those cute bees. Honey gets its flavor and its golden hue from the nectar of the different flowers the honeybees visit. It ranges from a pretty pale yellow to dark amber in color. But why is honey good for you?

The darker honey contains more antioxidants. The actual levels are low if compared to fruits and vegetables.  The color is not so important when choosing which one to buy. So just pick the one you prefer.

Honey has a very long history. It has been used as a food and as a medicine. It’s very high in beneficial plant compounds. It also offers several health benefits. It is especially a healthy choice when used instead of refined sugar. Refined sugar is 100% empty calories. So honey is the better choice when choosing a sweetner.  Honey is easily absorbed by the body and quickly converted into energy.

Health Benefits

There are health benefits which are supported by science.  Honey contains some nutrients.  A veritable storehouse of B vitamins, various minerals and antioxidants.   It’s a sweet thick liquid made by honeybees. The bees swarm their environment and collect the sugar-rich nectar of flowers.

Once inside the beehive, they work to process the sugar-rich nectar. Once this is done, honey is the sweet beautiful result. This liquid serves as stored food for the bees. The smell, the color and taste depends on the types of flowers the bees have visited. My favorite and the most used by me is multi-floral and clover.   This one seems to work well in most things and doesn’t change the flavor of my tea or coffee (yes I add it to coffee) But try different ones pick a favorite or just try them all.

Honey has many beneficial bacteria and nutreints.  Raw honey can carry harmful bacteria which is dangerous for babies.  Honey comes with a warning, do not feed honey to infants under 1 year of age.

Nutritional Benefits:

honey lavender
honey bee and lavender

Nutritionally; 1 tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose.

Honey contains almost no fiber, fat or protein. It also contains trace amounts (under 1% of RDA) of several vitamins and minerals.  Raw honey has not been heated or filtered.  A 2012 study by the National Honey Board found that processed honey has the same nutrients as raw honey—and neither type is a significant source of nutrients.

Crystals in Honey:

honey crystalized
crystalized honey

Have you ever been surprised to see your honey develop granules?  It has simply crystallized. It has not gone bad. To return it to liquid form you can gently place the jar in boiling water. Or you can just sit the container in hot water and wait awhile.  It’s  best to store honey at room temperature.  When placed in the refrigerator that’s when it’s more likely to form crystals.

More honey tips:

There is science to support applying honey to treat wounds. But not just any honey will work. Studies have shown that honey made from flowers in certain regions work. These would include honey from the manuka bush in New Zealand and Austraila. And honey from the Adamawa savannah in Cameroon—are effective in speeding healing and preventing infection in burns and some other types of wounds.

And is it true that honey can relieve allergies? Can eating honey really relieve seasonal allergy symptoms? It is believed that eating locally produced or raw honey contains pollen that may help desensitize your allergies. There are minute amounts of pollen in honey and it comes from flowers, not from the grasses and trees that trigger most allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

The FDA has no standard of identity for honey.  It has issued draft guidelines whereby a product can be called “honey” only if honey is the only ingredient; if other ingredients are added, the label must say so (such as a “blend of honey and sugar”).  Products in violation would then be considered misbranded. Read the label, read the ingredients, choose honey.

Real Honey

To make sure you’re buying real honey  Look for the True Source Certified logo, which means the honey (whether domestic or imported) meets certain standards, including traceability, as verified by an independent third party. Though True Source is a self-regulating industry group, its goal is to “support legal, transparent and ethical sourcing” in order to preserve the quality of honey and its “golden reputation.” it is not difficult to find certified honey.  It’s usually sitting in the honey section. 

It is less likely locally sourced honey and honey from small companies are adulterated.

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