HONEY AND ITS HEALTH BENEFITS | Conscious Cooking

Honey is a natural sweetener produced by honeybees. Since ancient time, honey has been used as food and medicine for its health benefits. Honey can be used to sweeten almost anything or used to treat certain health conditions. Its color, flavor, and aroma depend on the nectar source of flowers.

There are more than 300 types of honey in the United States. The variety of the honey depends on the type of plants the bees have pollinized. Examples of popular honeys include alfalfa, buckwheat, eucalyptus, and clover honey. Most honey is bought in its liquid form, but it can also be bought in comb, cut comb, creamed or crystallized. In terms of color, the darker the honey is, the stronger the flavor will be.

One of the problems we have with honey today is that most of the honey we find at the grocery store is not real honey but sugar. Commercial honey is highly refined and processed, which removes all of the beneficial bacteria, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals present in honey. Plus, most of the honey we buy doesn’t even have pollen in it, and bee pollen is a considered to be one of the most nutritionally complete foods available; it’s a true superfood.  Try to avoid commercial honey and look for raw or organic, local honey. It’s more expensive, yes, but it’s totally worth it.

Raw honey is honey that has not been processed or pasteurized. It has numerous healing and nutritional properties. It’s a rich source of vitamins and minerals, as well as amino acids and enzymes. It’s also rich in antioxidants, which protect the body against free radical damage, and beneficial bacteria, which improve digestive and immune health. Raw honey is also alkaline and anti-inflammatory – commercial honey isn’t. Cooking with honey at high temperature will destroy some of its nutrients and enzymes so it’s best to consume it raw or not heat it above 118F.

Raw honey also contains anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which explains why it’s used in so many different health, beauty and skincare recipes. Raw honey can help heal an ulcer, cough or sore throat, relieve nausea, improve allergies, digestion, diabetes, sleep and circulation, and heal skin conditions such as eczema, acne as well as wounds, cuts and burns. Raw honey is popular in DIY recipes such as facial mask, hair mask and shampoo, as well as skin cleanser and moisturizer.

As you can see, honey is one of Mother Nature’s most versatile food. Not only it’s a delicious sweetener, but it’s good for your health too. Remember that not all honey are create equal so getting a good quality honey is important. Raw honey is normally organic and can be found in most health food stores, online, or at your farmer’s market. If raw honey is not available, choose organic and/or local honey.

Bees are extremely important; we truly need them. They not only serve to produce honey, but they also pollinate other plants and flowers, which helps to provide some of our fruits and vegetables. Without bees, not only would we not have natural honey, but we would also lose different types of plants and animals, which would dramatically affect our ecosystem. We have to remember and teach our children to protect nature and take care of what’s surround us.