Next time you reach for the sugar bowl, try reaching for the raw honey jar instead. And, next time you swat at a honey bee crashing your picnic, whisper a thank you instead. That party crasher has a big job to do and is doing your world and maybe even your health a lot of good.
THREE TYPES OF HONEY & WHICH TO BUY
1. Raw honey
- This honey is collected straight from the honeycomb. In fact, some raw honey even includes the honeycomb.
- Raw honey is unheated (or just slightly), unpasteurized, unprocessed, and it has all its live, nutritious enzymes preserved.
- This term can be a little loose though as there are no strict legal requirements for claiming honey as raw. You may find raw honey or unprocessed honey that has only been slightly warmed to retard granulation, but still maintaining the health benefits.
- Many farmers' markets now sell raw honey where you could inquire directly from the bee-keeper the process he or she undergoes when preparing the honey to sell.
2. Commercialized honey
- A lot of honey found on the store shelves is commercial honey that has been pasteurized for easy filtering and bottling.
- It looks cleaner and smoother and more appealing. This cleaning process also slows down the speed of crystallization that can occur in honey. But this beautification process of heating alters honey's yeast and enzymes that are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body.
- Depending on where it has been processed, commercial honey can contain some very undesirable things like antibiotics, heavy metals and other harmful substances.
3. Medicinal honey
- Some honey varieties have more medicinal value than others due to its higher anti-bacterial properties.
- Some examples are Manuka, Tualang, and Kanuka honey.
- They are all very expensive and usually not consumed on a daily basis but kept for treating burns, cuts, coughs, sore-throats, infections, and other ailments.
Of the three types, purchase raw honey to cook with and for other every day uses listed below as it contains the widest variety of health supportive properties. Toss the commercialized honey all together and use the medicinal honey for special purposes.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF RAW HONEY
Here are some other benefits to the sticky substance from a symposium on raw honey that presented research on the topic:
1. Consider some bacteria in honey a friend.
Different varieties of honey possess a large amount of friendly bacteria. In a 2006 study researchers found that substituting honey for sugar in processed foods improved the gut microflora of male mice. Further, the antiseptic properties of honey can relieve acidity in the stomach and help with digestion.
2. A spoonful of honey will help the cough go down.
A study that involved over 100 children with commercialized honey beat out dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant and diphenhydramine, an antihistamine in lessening nighttime cough in children
and improving their sleep.
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3. Slap on some honey for better skin.
According to preliminary research, Manuka and Kanuka types of honey are effective to treat acne. Honey can also be an effective treatment for other skin conditions like eczema, ring worm, and psoriasis. Try this mask with honey for clearer skin with items from your pantry.
4. Honey may aid with blood sugar control.
Consumption of honey may improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity compared to other sweeteners. Individuals with greater glucose intolerance (those with beginning stages of diabetes and Type 1 diabetes) showed significantly better tolerance to honey than sucrose in other sweeteners.
5. Crack open the raw honey jar when treating scrapes.
Honey strongly attracts water. This is beneficial as anything that absorbs water in a wound helps dry it out so that the growth of bacteria and fungi is inhibited. Manuka honey, in particular, can help keep bacteria out of wounds.
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6. Raw honey can improve your cholesterol blood levels.
Several studies have shown with regular raw honey intake decreases in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and C-reactive protein have resulted.
WHICH TYPE OF HONEY TASTES BEST
FOR EVEN MORE ON THE TOPIC . . .
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- Date syrup offers a nutritious alternative to drizzle over those morning oats.
- Don't miss these 13 Science-Backed Healthy Facts on Honey