Honey without added sugar (Natural Honey or Raw Honey), which is produced under harsh conditions in high altitude plateaus where endemic plant diversity is rich and delivered to the consumer in its most natural form without any industrial treatment, is one of the most important foods that both medicine and nutritionists have carefully emphasized in recent years. Raw honey is the most natural honey that can be found in the nature that comes directly from the beehive to the tables and does not go through any industrial processes such as heating. With the awareness of consumers about nutrition and consumption habits have changed recently, the importance of raw honey for health has become the subject of the agenda.
The honey which is obtained only with flower nectars coming from nature without giving bees any added sugar and that contains honey bee enzymes and pollen, is called raw or natural honey. Raw honey is the honey without any added sugar. In short, raw honey is the honey produced without interfering with bees. Raw honey is also not subject to pasteurization or filtration methods. It comes directly from the bees to your table.
In addition, raw honey crystallizes in a few days up to a year, depending on the flower from which it is taken. For example, the fastest crystallizing honey is Canola honey and another is Sunflower honey. The important thing after this stage is whether the honey reaches the consumer as natural honey. Namely; In this first stage, where honey is taken from the hive, it is raw honey. However, filtration and pasteurization process to extend shelf life and prevent it from crystallizing completely eliminates the nutritional values of honey. For this reason, we should prefer raw honey, which some call it “Natural Honey”, which has not undergone any treatment other than filling after it has been removed from the hive.
What Is Raw Honey?
Raw honey is honey that has not been added sugar, filtered or pasteurized. Since it is not heat-treated and filtered, it has not lost anything from vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, antimicrobial agents, and pollen content. Honey is subjected to filtration and pasteurization to prevent crystallization by packaging companies. Most of the bee pollen, which is one of the most important components of honey, is taken during filtration. During pasteurization, phenolic and flavonoid substances, enzymes, and amino acids in honey are highly damaged.
Honey is a natural miracle with antiseptic and antiviral properties, known for thousands of years and used for healing. But today, the processes applied to honey significantly eliminates the benefits of honey. The term “Raw Honey” is used to distinguish active honey that has not been heat-treated, unfiltered and no sugar added. The only disadvantage of raw honey is that it increases the probability of crystallization especially in flower honey during the winter months since its pollen is not filtered and pasteurized. If we want to consume honey in its most natural form, we need to learn to consume crystallized honey. Because as long as we do not consume crystallized honey, companies will have to do honey filtration and pasteurization.
Properties of Raw Honey
Raw honey is a type of honey that contains all nutritional values such as enzymes, vitamins, and pollen and has not undergone any industrial treatment. It is obtained without any intervention to bees and hives and without pasteurization. Pasteurization is a heat treatment applied to food products between 60 and 100 degrees. The pasteurization process applied to honey is to prevent the crystallization of honey. However, processing the honey produced by the bee at a certain temperature at a higher temperature (pasteurization) changes the natural structure of the honey, causing the enzyme and pollen in it to be partially lost. Most of the honey on the market have been pasteurized. Because after this process, honey becomes easy to process and pack.
The image of raw honey is different from the image of honey that has been heat-treated. Its color is darker and fuzzy. Its crystallization is natural and this is reflected in its appearance. Raw honey may contain honeycomb pieces, bee pollen, royal jelly, or bee wing pieces. This should not be a problem because bees are hygienic creatures. Another important point is the idea that raw honey and organic honey are the same. Organic honey is related to the absence of any chemical residue in the flowers that bees collect nectar. But since it is almost impossible to know where the bees are going, experts need to confirm that the flowers in a large area around the hive are organic. Raw honey is stronger in terms of nutrient content compared to heat-treated and filtered honey. For this reason, you can use your preference in this direction in your honey selection. When you get used to its crystalline structure, you will see that it does not bother you.
Raw honey is a truly perfect flavor. To be called raw, it must be 100 percent unprocessed. So it is taken directly into jars without any treatment. Like other honey, it is not heated at 40-50 degrees. Some honey is heated to 70 degrees and pasteurized. With this process, honey is made clearer, making it look more beautiful to the customer. Crystallization of dense honey is extremely normal, which does not mean they are bad or spoiled. It just points out that the glucose rate is higher than fructose. Over time, all real honey crystallizes. Simply drop the jar into slightly warm water to make it fluid again. Honey can remain intact for two years, but on condition that it is stored in a cool, dark place. The answer to the question, which is generally the subject of controversy, is clear: No, honey is never put in the refrigerator.
Benefits and Harms of Raw Honey
Benefits of Raw Honey
Raw honey which contains multiple vitamins such as C, B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6 in addition to the minerals such as iron, phosphate, sodium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium, offers many benefits that do not end with counting like strengthening the immune system, regulating the cholesterol level, healing the wounds, and beautifying the skin. Raw honey has several benefits to the body due to its auxiliary substances in the treatment of different types of infections. Raw honey is very successful in treating stomach ulcers, stomach infections, and constipation. Another benefit is its anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, some people apply honey directly on the skin or wounds, resulting in faster healing.
Raw honey, which strengthens the immune system by increasing the bacterial flora in the intestine, increases the body’s resistance to diseases. Raw honey, which is recommended by the World Health Organization among the foods that protect you from diseases, prevents the formation of infections and germs in the body thanks to its antibacterial properties. According to researches, raw honey acts as a natural medicine for many diseases thanks to its vitamins and minerals. The raw honey, which nourishes the heart muscles with the glucose it contains, regulates the metabolism function of the heart muscles and helps the heart vessels to open and the blood circulation to be accelerated. Increasing the activity of the intestinal muscles with potassium, raw honey contributes to the treatment of stomach and intestinal ailments by regulating the digestive system. It also helps the treatment of diseases occurring in the upper respiratory tract during colds with its antimicrobial feature.
Raw honey, which contains the calories and energy that the body needs, is a natural carbohydrate source that gives strength and energy. Unprocessed raw honey is one of the best food sources for those who want to gain energy with natural foods. Regularly consuming one teaspoon of raw honey every morning and evening contributes to the person’s feeling more energetic in the rush of the day. Raw honey, which has many health benefits, is one of the most important food sources for the skin. Raw honey, which contains B3, B6, and C vitamins necessary for the production of new skin cells, protects the skin while protecting against external factors. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it contributes to the healing of acne and other inflammatory skin problems. At the same time, with the gluconic acid that it contains, it cleanses the skin from dead skin cells and helps the skin to look healthier, smoother, and alive.
Harms of Raw Honey
First of all, raw honey has many substances in it, since no processes applied to it during the production stage. Some of the substances that are present in raw honey may initiate food poisoning. The second thing to mention is that raw honey means the nectar taken directly from flowers. For this reason, various chemicals that may have been infected with flowers are most likely found in raw honey made from them. Chemicals in raw honey can cause allergies in some people, which is another possible side effect of raw honey.
The most important side effect to be considered about raw honey is that it contains “Clostridium Botulinum” spores that can cause botulism. “Botulism” is a disease caused by botulinum toxin. This poison also has an effect on the central nervous system, it can even be fatal if it is not treated promptly and effectively. However, this disease caused by the impact of raw honey is seen only in infants and children. Older children and adults have been rarely found to be affected by this disease. Symptoms of botulism include weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and irritability. In severe cases, respiratory arrest may occur. Although deaths due to this condition are very rare, this risk cannot be excluded. For this reason, avoid giving raw honey to young children.
In the case of adults, there are hardly any side effects of raw honey. On the contrary, many people sometimes prefer raw honey to processed honey, due to the elimination of some of the essential enzymes present in the honey during the process. Raw honey is believed to be more effective than processed honey. However, you should not give raw honey to babies or young children under 1 year old. It is also necessary to be careful about the source of honey. Sometimes bees collect pollen from flowers such as mountain laurel and azalea, which can be toxic to humans. Therefore, all these factors must be taken into account when purchasing raw honey and consuming raw honey. As a result, consuming honey regularly is very beneficial for the body, as honey contains many substances that are beneficial for health. However, it is very important to be aware of the possible side effects of raw honey, not to give it to young children and consult your doctor before consuming raw honey regularly.
Why Is Raw Honey More Special Than Other Honey Types?
Raw honey is the most original type of honey produced by honey bee from the concentrated nectar of flowers and obtained directly from the honeycomb, without processing and pasteurization. This type of honey contains substances similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It does not ferment in the stomach and can be used against acid indigestion. When mixed with ginger and lemon juice, it effectively removes nausea and energizes. The presence of amylase, which is an enzyme concentrated in flower pollen that helps digestion of starchy foods such as bread in raw honey, and its extraordinary nutritional values is sufficient to prefer raw honey.
Usually, unfiltered raw honey can only be obtained from bee farms. Raw honey is characterized by finely textured crystals, looks more cloudy, and contains bee pollen, honeycomb pieces, propolis, and even broken bee wing pieces. Raw and unfiltered honey has a high level of antioxidants, and usually granulates and crystallizes in thick consistency after a few months. However, it gives a great result when applied to hot bread or used to sweeten hot tea and similar drinks.
Best Raw Honey Without Added Sugar That You Can Buy Online
- Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey KFactor 16+, Unpasteurized, Genuine New Zealand Honey, Multi-Functional, Non-GMO Superfood, 17.6 Ounce
- YS Organic Bee Farms Certified Organic Raw Honey 100% Unprocessed, Unpasteurized – Kosher 32oz 2 Lbs