Did you know it takes a bee 1000 visits to a flower to make 1 teaspoon of honey?
Bees are so amazing and the honey they produce is equally as amazing to our tastebuds. But what is raw honey? And what are the benefits for health?
Today I’d like to share exactly why we might want to choose raw honey over the regular honey options and explore some of the health benefits too.
Natural Honey From The Hive
Eating pure raw honey goes back centuries, yes even the cavemen would have had it from time to time. Imagine finding a beehive out in nature, what a precious delight that would have been. However, I don’t know if I’d be keen to risk the onslaught of those bees, would you?
Still you can imagine the pure, raw unadulterated honey and all the amazing benefits it would have in its pure form. Though our methods of approaching the bees is now somewhat advanced, raw honey comes straight from the hive so let’s find out more about it.
What Is Raw Honey? Benefits for health
The raw honey is extracted directly from the beehive and kept in its pure form. It is unheated, unpasteurized, and essentially fully unprocessed. It even contains all the bits associated with the bees, that is: bits of bee pollen, propolis, honeycomb, and sometimes a few bits of bee too! Bee pollen itself is an amazing superfood that has 96 known available nutrients.
Raw honey has many health benefits including:
- beneficial enzymes that stay active
- vitamins and minerals
- anti viral properties
- anti bacterial properties
- anti-inflammatory properties
- and the list goes on
Raw honey in its pure form actually contributes to the health of your body in many ways. In fact there are specific raw brands such as Manuka honey that are designed to strengthen the immune system and many people eat this type of honey when they get common colds and flus.
When you eat raw honey you get the honey but you also get some of the bee pollen which is amn amazing superfood!
Bee pollen has 96 known nutrients that supply our body with B complex vitamins, folic acid, amino acids, minerals and enzymes. It’s great for vegetarians and vegans because it contains 40% protein and is a complete food source.
Here’s some of the raw honey benefits for health when it comes to bee pollen.
- helping to boost your immunity as it has natural antibiotic properties
- helping to regulate digestion with it’s active enzymes
- helps developmental problems in children
- excellent free radical scavenger with it’s high antioxidant quality
- cancer prevention
- helps reduce cravings and addictions such as sugar, alcohol, carbohydrates
- helps assist weight loss by helping to reduce cravings and correct imbalances in metabolism
- helps build new blood
- increases longevity
- helps to reduce blood pressure and strengthen the heart
- helps to increase energy, improve stamina, endurance and vitality
- helps to normalise cholesterol levels
- helps reduce inflammation so it may help with arthrits, aches and pains and all other inflammatory problems
- helps balance hormones so may be helpful in reducing menopausal symptoms and PMS along with fertility and ovarian issues. And may also help men with prostate too.
Add to the raw honey mix the wonderful benefits of propolis! Propolis is a resinous substance collected by bees from tree buds and is used to fill crevices and to seal and varnish honeycombs.
Propolis has traditionally been used to kill colds and flu. Health beenfits include:
- Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral
- Hepatoprotective (capability to prevent damage to the liver)
- Antioxidant activity
WOW! There are clearly loads of benefits to getting a few bits of bee pollen and propolis in your honey
So what about regular honey? Let’s compare the two
Raw honey has a habit of crystalizing quickly so processing procedures have evolved to make honey more appealing to consumers.
Regular honey that we find in the grocery store is pastuerised and heated above 70°, then cooled rapidly. It then gets filtered in order to get that wonderful clear and smooth light brown color we have become accustomed to. Raw honey tends to crystalize much faster than regular honey, which is not very productive for the food industry because its shelf life isn’t as long.
The problem there is that when the honey is heated to high temperatures, it loses all the beneficial enzymes, nutrients, vitamins and minerals. And when they filter it, none of those beneficial bits are left in the mix at all. So instead of consuming a beneficial food, we are just consuming another pure form of empty sugar.
Raw honey is clearly the best option of the two.
Have you tried raw honey?
I think it has a much richer and fuller flavour. What do you think?
P.S. This post is part of the natural sugar substitute series I’m running right now.
Here’s what we are going to cover:
- What is raw honey? Benefits & Uses – this post
- Rapadura sugar
- Stevia sweetener pros and cons
- Agave nectar vs honey
- What is molasses & black molasses
- What is erythritol?
- Coconut sugar
- Fructose vs sucrose
- Best natural sweeteners – a comparison and wrap up
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