Raw honey is a natural sweetner which is a processed nectar from flowers. The manufacturers of raw honey are the Bees. There are various types of honey combs that can be found around the world depending on the nectar collected by bees ranging from normal honey bell flowers to wild flowers.
Nutritional Facts of Raw Honey
- Raw honey is easily absorbed and used by the body. One tablespoon of honey has 60 calories and consists of carbohydrates.
- The raw honey also contains trace enzymes, amino acids, B Vitamins (pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and pyridoxine), minerals (potassium, magnesium and calcium), antioxidants and amino acids.
- The amount of micro nutrients highly depends on what kind of nectar is collected from flowers by the bees.
Raw Honey Vs Pure Honey
- Raw honey is pure and natural. When you hit a supermarket, look for the label and identify what type of honey it is. However, a natural honey or pure honey is not raw honey.
- Natural honey means no artificial additives whereas pure honey means no additives. Both types of honey however may get into processing where they filter unwanted bee residue or any other solid particles from honey comb. Sometimes they heat the honey to delay its crystalization. Hence, they are natural but not raw.
- Natural honey does not have any added color or synthetic substance. Pure honey on the other hand is also similar where no additonal ingredients like sugar, corn syrup or any flavoring.
- Raw honey is not heated or filtered. The raw honey has more enzymes and antioxidants than the processed honey.
- Pure honey is also considered healthy as the heating of honey eliminates moisture there by concentrating the minerals.
- However, enzymes in the raw honey are not heat resistant and hence they get killed when honey is heated.
- Pure honey is usually found in super markets in the form of comb, liquid, creamed/whipped or organic.
- Raw honey granulates over time and is not crystal clear.
- Organic honey does not mean that the honey is raw. It means the flowers used to produce nectar are free of any pesticides or chemicals. Always check for the ingredients and compounds used to preserve honey. Organic honey is also processed either by heating or filtering.
- Raw honey can sometimes be harmful if the bee residue is more. Hence, while consuming proper filtering should be done and avoid any bee inside the jar. Always consult doctor if there is any reaction or allergy from raw honey.
Health Benefits of Raw Honey
- Several cultures believe how honey may contribute to healthy skin and tissues.
- When bees prepare the honey it adds an enzyme which creates a small amount of hydrogen peroxide that can cure any skin or bacterial infections.
- It has been used in medicine for 5000 years.
- In India, where Ayurvedic medicine is a natural cure, the honey plays an important role to cure many diseases.
- Ayurveda uses honey as ingredient in many medicine to cure asthma, vision problems, high blood pressure, obesity, eczema, dermatitis, vomitting, burns, arthritis, stress and sleep disturbance.
- Honey is also known to reduce the severity of the diarrhea. It also promotes natural potassium which is helpful during diarrhea.
- Also, honey is known to prevent diarrhea if consumed on a daily basis by blocking pathogens that cause the disease.
- The research says honey can also avoid any upward flow of stomach acid by lining the esophagus and stomach. This inturn helps reduce gastroesophageal reflux disease that may result in inflammation and heartburn.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends honey as natural cough remedy. However, honey should not be given to children below 12 months old.
- In ancient India, it is believed that honey can lighten and brighten the skin. Hence it is also used by many women as skin lightening agent.
- Honey mixed with milk or yogurt is applied onto skin to prevent from any acne and moisturize to protect from harsh sun rays.
Types of Honey
- One of the type that has become more prominent in America is Manuka Honey. Manuka Honey is made in Australia and New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native Manuka bush. It is known that the bacteria infection can be treated with Manuka honey.
- In Manuka honey magnessium comes from the conversion of a compound called dihydroxycetone which is found in manuka flowers.
- The higher the magnessium the stronger the antibiotic effect making it the unique manuka factor.
- Manuka honey is also believed to prevent cancer, reduce high cholestrol, treating diabetes, treating eye and sinus.
- Acacia honey is light and clear whose nectar is collected from Robinia pseudoacacia also known as Black locust in North America and Europe. It is one of the popular in America and Europe because of its mild floral taste. It is very useful in tea as it does not change the aroma of the tea and yet give you perfect sweetnes..
- Alfalfa is chef’s favorite as its subtle spicy profile is suited for baking and can be used in tea. It is also well known to be combined with other ingredients to provide good flavor.
- Avocado honey does not taste like avacado. This honey is produced in Canada using avocado blooms. It is dark in color and has buttery taste. It originated in Southern Mexico and is now a major crop in Central America.
- Clover honey is a widely available across America and Canada. White clover flowers are grown in Canada and New Zealand. It is used for salads dressings, sauces and baking.
- Neem Honey produced in India highly for its medicinal properties. The nectar is from Margosa tree available in tropical countries like India. Neem honey reduces high blood pressure, skin problems, dental diseases and allergies.
- Orange Blossom is a citrus honey produced in Mexico, California and Texas. It is usually light in color and mild in flavor with a citrus scent.
- Fireweed is also a popular honey found in Northwest America. The Fireweed comes from a perennial herb grown in open woods of North West. It is used in gourmet cooking, baking, glazing and BBQ grilling.
- Eucalyptus honey is largely produced in California and originated in Australia. The honey’s nectar is collected from atleast 500 distinct species of plant genera and carries a hint of menthol in its flavor. This honey is largely used to get protection from cold and headaches.
- Dandelion honey is a strong honey blended with a little tangy flavor. Dandelion is a traditional herb in China and has medicinal values.
Choosing the best honey
Honey is a little sweeter than sugar. Per the National Honey Board contracted with American Analytical Chemistry Laboratories if a honey is flavored, it must be mentioned on the label. When choosing for honey to cure disease or wounds or for any indigestion, always go for raw honey. If you want to add it as a sweetner in coffee or tea then go for pure honey. Also Manuka Honey is very famous for its nutrients and how the nectar is collected from very special flowers. In honey industry, the color of the liquid explains the aroma and the flavor.
Tips and Recipes with Honey
- The famous and simple recipe to slim down and cut fat is lemon honey with luke warm water. Make sure you have honey with luke warm as more heat will destroy the important nutrients.
- Honey can be used for baking however it will cause browning and add more moisture.
- Honey with yogurt is believed to digest the food faster. So it can be added to your dinner with a fruit of your choice.
- When stored in an air tight container, honey does not have expiry date.
- There are multiple flavors of honey that can substitute sugar such as Alfalfa, Avocado, Blueberry, Clover, Fireweed, Sage, Tupelo, Wildflower, Sage and Buckwheat etc.
- Antioxidants help the body from cell damage due to free radicals. Raw honey is proven to induce many antioxidants.
- It naturally contains hydrogen peroxide and used to heal wounds and fight fungus bacteria in ancient days.
- Phytonutrient are found in plants that protect themselves from UV radiation or certain insects. The phytonutrients in raw honey boost immune system and fights any bacterial function. Remember if the honey is heated, the phytonutrients get destroyed.
- Raw honey can also carry some harmful bacteria leading to paralysis, weak cry, slow breathing and constipation. It is strictly recommended not to give raw honey to a children below 1 year of age.
- In adults it can cause vomiting followed by constipation, muscle weakness or blurred vision.
- Honey can be used on pancakes, tea, baking, fruit salad, smoothies and various desserts.
I hope the above information about raw honey and its comparision with pure and natural honey will help you understand the health benefits. Also, always refer the best consumption method for a healthy life style.