Honey is available in raw or pasteurized forms, as well as a variety of color grades. It contains approximately 80% sugar on average. People take honey directly from the hive and bottle it, so it may contain trace amounts of yeast, wax, and pollen. Consuming raw honey may help with seasonal allergies, and others have concluded that honey can aid in wound healing. In this article, we will look at the many uses and benefits of honey, as well as its nutritional properties.
What is honey?
Honey is a sweet, syrup-like substance produced by bees from flowering plant nectar. The nectar is collected by the bees, who then consume, digest, and regurgitate it within the beehive to produce honey. Honey is stored in wax-like structures known as honeycombs, which are collected by humans through the beekeeping practice.
There are numerous types of honey available, with differences based on the plant source, extraction method, and whether it is raw or pasteurized. The following are examples of some common types of honey:
- Clover honey
- Avocado honey
- Buckwheat honey
- Blueberries honey
- Sage honey
- Eucalyptus honey
- Orange blossoms honey
- Alfalfa honey
Properties of honey
Honey has many uses due to its excellent properties. Some of the properties of honey are listed below:
- High in antioxidants
- Improves heart health
- Promotes wound healing
- Better than refined sugar
- Contributes to weight gain
- High in sugar
Nutrition of honey
One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, 17.2 grams of sugar, and no fiber, fat, or protein. Honey has a slightly acidic average pH level of 3.9 and research suggests that this acidity may aid in the prevention of bacterial growth. It is important to note that the exact physical properties of honey are determined by the flora used to produce it. It also contains a few micronutrients, such as potassium, iron, and zinc, but only in trace amounts, less than 1% of the RDA. Honey has no expiration date when stored in an airtight container.
How honey is made?
Honey begins as bees collect flower nectar, which is then broken down into simple sugars and stored within the honeycomb. The honeycomb’s design and the constant fanning of the bees’ wings cause evaporation, resulting in sweet liquid honey. The color and flavor of honey vary depending on the nectar collected by the bees. Honey made from orange blossom nectar, for example, may be light in color, whereas honey made from avocado or wildflowers may be dark amber in color. A hive can produce approximately 65 pounds of surplus honey per year on average. Beekeepers collect the honeycomb frames and scrape off the wax cap that bees make to seal off honey in each cell.
Benefits of honey
The numerous benefits of honey are due to its various properties. Honey can help in:
- Healing wounds and burns
- Honey contains nutrients
- Prevents acid reflux
- Fights against infections
- Helps to improve cholesterol
- Relieves cold and cough symptoms
- Stops hiccups
- Stress prevention
- Overcome weakness
- Reduces hangover effects
- Ends bad breath
- Fights against burns, cuts, and wounds
- Prevention from coughs and asthma
- Controls sleep disturbances
- Improves vision
- Treats stomach ulcers
- Lowers high blood pressure
Clinical trials have not confirmed many of these uses of honey. However, a study recommended honey as a treatment for various skin ailments, due to antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of honey.
How to eat honey?
Local honey is the best to buy because grocery store honey is sometimes sweetened with additives. Although it varies depending on variety, temperature, and other factors, in general, real honey is thicker, has a scent, does not dissolve in water, does not stain white fabric, and contains pollen or wax. Well, there are numerous ways to take honey in your diet. You can either directly take a spoon of honey or can mix it in water and drink that. Here are some common dishes that contain honey, however, to eat honey, you can vary the recipes too, by increasing or decreasing the amount of honey.
- Ricotta and honey sandwich
- Butter lettuce salad with tahini honey dressing
- Winter salad with warm cranberry honey dressing
- Kale and brussels sprout salad with honey balsamic dressing
- Sesame honey snap pea salad
- Honey garlic salmon
- Honey mustard glazed baked chicken
- Nut and honey coconut granola
- Honey and mustard-roasted cashews
- Sriracha honey popcorn clusters
- Fried goat cheese with honey and black pepper
- Honey roasted pears
- Rice pudding with fresh pears and honey
- Honeyed yogurt and blueberry tart with ginger crust
- Yak kwa (ginger cookies dipped in honey)
- Salty honey pie
- Imploding honey custard cake
- Russian honey cake
- Turmeric and ginger honeycomb ice cream
You can discover more ways to eat honey, too, according to your taste.