When you go to a grocery store you find different types of honey such as the liquid honey, raw honey and other flavored honey. Among these honey varieties majority of the people prefer purchasing raw honey due to its enormous benefits. However, most people are not aware of whether what they are purchasing is actually raw honey or the processed honey. On the other hand there are people who just blindly purchase without knowing the benefits of raw honey. If you are one among them then this article revealing the properties, benefits and other essential information about raw honey is for you.
What is raw honey?
As indicated by the term raw means the one which is not subject to any kind of processing. Raw honey is highly concentrated and impure form of nectar extracted from the honey comb. It is neither heated nor purified. As it not subject to any kind of processing it is contains all the nutrients.
Properties of raw honey
Characteristic properties of raw honey include:
- Color varies with the floral source of the honey. However, the actual color changes due to storage and processing. Color may also change after granulation.
- Flavor is also determined by the flowers from which the nectar is collected by the bees. Lighter looking honey contains mild flavor while the dark colored honeys have strong flavor.
- pH : Becomes alkaline after ingestion.
- Looks dense due to presence of fine crystals.
- Very low moisture content of just 14-18%.
- Granulates and crystallizes after a month.
- Contains high level of antioxidants.
- Contains essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
- Possess anti-bacterial and healing action.
Why is raw honey superior to processed honey?
To increase the shelf life and also to prevent fermentation raw honey is subject to purification and pasteurization. Exposure of honey to high temperatures during pasteurization results in loss of mild aroma, yeast and the many valuable enzymes. Loss of these enzymes prevents activation of minerals and vitamins within the body. Hence, raw honey is considered valuable and nutritious compared to processed honey.
Benefits of raw honey
To know why raw honey is considered superior to processed honey it is important to learn about benefits of raw honey. Advantages of consuming raw honey include:
Anti-tumor and Anti-colon Cancer : Researchers have found that raw honey is useful in treating colon cancer found in animals by eliminating the functioning of lipoxygenase along with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C protein.
Immunity booster: Raw honey is a great immunity booster and advisable to all those who suffer from low immunity and fall sick frequently and easily.
Serves as anti-diabetic : Raw honey contains high amounts of oligosaccharides such as fructose which stimulate the body to absorb the ingested sugar at a faster rate. This hypoglycemic effect of raw nectar helps people suffering with diabetes due to insulin resistance in regulating the sugar levels. An added benefit of raw honey is it also helps in preventing accumulation of cholesterol and other abnormalities associated with lipid metabolism.
Helps in eliminating free radicals: The normal metabolic activities such as respiration result in generation of many free radicals. Accumulation of these free radicals is the cause for many diseases and it may even lead to death. Hence, they are eliminated by the body. The antioxidant property of raw honey boosts this process of reduction of free radicals i.e. their elimination.
Prevents indigestion : It is common to suffer with the indigestion after increased intake of starchy foods such as bread. To prevent this spread a spoon of honey over the bread and have it. The enzyme amylase present in raw honey predigests the starch content of the food material and eases the work of digestive system. Apart from the carbohydrate digesting amylase enzyme it also contains other enzymes that digest proteins. It also includes hormones and organic acids.
Helps to overcome the problem of acidity: Honey has the nature of turning alkaline after entering in to the stomach. As a result it helps to overcome the problem of indigestion due to increased acid secretion in the stomach.
One of the best source of instant energy : The high sugar content of raw honey gets absorbed in to the body immediately and generates energy. The best part is the absorbed energy will be utilized slowly for a longer duration. Hence, it is considered as the best energy source for athletes. It gives them endurance and strength essential for long hours of sports. Add few drops of lemon or ginger juice to honey water and have it to obtain relief from nausea and also to boost the energy levels.
Raw honey in cooking : Due to high fructose content and other sugars, raw honey serves as a best sugar supplement. You can add it to tea, baking mix, spread on bread or can also be used during cooking to make tasty recipes.
Used in allergy treatment : Royal jelly and bee pollen cause severe allergic reactions in few people. But, the actual honey does not cause such allergic reaction. In fact it is used along with allergy medications as it promotes absorption and also has healing action to certain extent.
Great remedy for sore throat : The antibacterial action of honey helps to clear throat infections. The healing action also helps to sooth the sensitive throat. Gargling lukewarm water mixed with honey and Apple cider vinegar early in the morning gives effective results. Ailments such as coarse and dry cough can be treated very easily with honey.
Rich source of vitamins and minerals : One of the attractive benefits of raw honey is it being a rich source of all essential minerals and vitamins. Have a spoon of honey every morning to get a daily dose of these essential nutrients. Raw honey contains both water soluble and fat soluble vitamins. It also contains minerals such as phosphorus, sulfur, iron, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese and sodium. These minerals help in maintaining the electrolyte balance within the body.
Used to heal wounds : Due to it antiseptic and antibacterial properties honey is used as a best topical application to heal wounds. An added advantage is that it also prevents the risk of scars. Thus, consider applying raw honey if you have an accidental wound on face or other exposed parts of the body for faster healing and also to prevent scarring that ruins the gorgeous look of the face. It also serves as a beauty product that softens the skin to make you look young and good-looking.
Due to these health benefits of raw honey, safety and also being totally natural food it is being used as an alternative medicine and also to promote general health by many people.If you love to taste raw honey then get it directly from the extractors. Raw honey which is available in the market is subject to mild processing to make it suitable for packing.