Honey is a food that bees collect the sap of the plants’ flowers and process them with the help of special substances in their bodies and store them in the honeycombs. The honeycombs can be prepared in advance and placed in the hives, as is done naturally by bees in the hive. Bees fill these honeycombs with honey. The honey in honeycombs made by bees is called “natural honeycomb honey” and the other is called “artificial” or “artificial hive honey”. In artificial hives, more honey can be obtained, but there is no other significant difference. If honey is removed from the honeycomb cells, this is called extracted honey.
The quality of honey is determined by its color, flavor, smell, consistency, and durability. The color of honey comes from substances that give plants a yellow-reddish color. The color of natural honey made by bees only from the sap of plant flowers is golden yellow. The color of artificial hive honey is lighter. The color of honey made by giving sugar to bees is dark brown.
The flavor of honey is related to the way it is produced. The flavor of honey can be slightly different depending on the plant ecology of the region since the flavorings in the plant flowers are transferred to honey. The smell of honey is felt when taken into the mouth. The special odors are not felt because the aromatic substances disappear in the honey extracted by heating. Honey attracts the odor if it is kept near unpleasant smelling substances. As the aromas that give the smell of honey are provided from flowers, the smell of honey may vary according to the vegetation of the region. The consistency of honey varies according to the climatic conditions and vegetation. The honey of the hot regions is thick and the honey of the highland and mountainous regions are more fluent, superior in flavor and aroma.
100 grams of edible honey consists of 17.2 grams of water, 82.3 grams of carbohydrates and 0.5 grams of protein and mineral substances. As you can see, honey is basically a food that provides carbohydrates. Most of the carbohydrates in honey are monosaccharides called glucose and fructose which do not require digestion. The sugar rate is very small in good flower honey. However, the sugar amount increases in honey made by giving sugar to bees. This causes honey to saccharify after a while.
100 grams of honeycomb honey gives an average of 305 calories of energy. 100 grams of extracted honey separated from honeycomb provides 330 calories on average. Vitamins and mineral substances are found in very small amounts in honey. The nutritive feature of honey is that it immediately enters the blood and provides energy to the person without digestion. Therefore, it is good food for easily meeting the increasing energy needs of those who are weak, lacking in appetite and have a lot of physical work.
In addition, honey is not suitable for people who are fat, appetent, low in body movements and especially for diabetics. Honey suddenly raises the already high blood sugar levels of diabetics. However, some people may have a sudden drop in blood sugar. Honey is only suitable for such situations. Honey is not suitable for cases called “dumping syndrome” after gastric surgery. Since honey does not require digestion, it suddenly enters the blood and causes blood sugar to rise and then fall. Therefore, those with such conditions should also avoid honey.
Some additives and some extracted honey are added to produce “artificial honey” from sugar. The words “artificial honey” should be written on the jars containing this type of honey. In addition, grapes and some other fruit juices can be concentrated in the sun to produce honey-like products. They are separated from natural honey in terms of smell and taste. Extracted honey can also be sold by trimming with water, milk, starch, molasses syrup, quince gelatine, gelatin, food dyes, and flavoring agents. Those who are familiar with the taste and smell of natural honey can easily distinguish these tricks.
Poisons collected from poisonous plants by bees can be mixed into honey. The so-called “andromedotoxin” is a known example. It is difficult to distinguish poisonous honey from non-poisonous. Poisoning occurs 20 minutes after eating around 50 -100 grams of honey, with symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, weakness. Symptoms may last 2 to 3 days. In such cases, the patient should be vomited immediately, if there is diarrhea, a purgative should be taken and the poison should be tried to be removed from the digestive system.
Benefits of Honey
Natural Sweetener: If you drink your tea and coffee with sugar, if you cannot give up the pastry desserts and you have weight complaints as well, you can try natural honey as a sweetener.
Although natural honey contains more sugar than refined sugar (white or brown sugar), it is a much healthier source of sugar than refined sugar.
Wounds: There are modern antiseptic waters, gauzes, and ointments for cuts and burns on the skin, but if you are not in a place where you can reach them, and if you have honey at your fingertips, you can apply honey for protection against germs and help the wound heal faster. Remember to refresh the honey every 12 hours until the wound heals.
Antioxidants: Rich in polyphenols, which are among the most effective antioxidants in plant-derived foods, honey provides protection by neutralizing free radicals that pave the way for various diseases.
If you do not need to keep your blood sugar under control due to diabetes, you can reduce the risk of serious health problems such as cancer and heart disease by consuming honey instead of refined sugar.
Energy: If you feel that you are not energetic during exercises that require effort, 1 tablespoon of honey can provide you with the energy you want.
Honey, which is rich in antioxidants as well as fructose and glucose content, can be consumed as a natural energy source instead of carbohydrate powder or energy drinks.
Cough: You can consume honey by adding 2-3 teaspoons of hot water, which is an effective solution for coughing. However, experts do not recommend honey for babies under 1 year old. The reason for this is that honey rarely causes botulism, which is a serious food poisoning in infants.
Cholesterol: Honey can be consumed as a natural alternative to lower LDL cholesterol known as “bad cholesterol”. According to the studies conducted on this subject, eating honey regularly reduces the total cholesterol by an average of 5%.
Reflux: Honey and vinegar mixture is one of the methods frequently used by people with reflux to balance both stomach acid and relieve pain.
However, there is no scientific research on honey is good for reflux. If you have reflux, it is up to you to try to prevent pain by eating honey.
Skin Benefits: Due to its structure that prevents inflammation and cleanses bacteria, honey comes first among natural products recommended for acne treatment. Honey facial masks help prevent acne formation and prevent the accumulation of bacteria and help to improve the acne in a shorter time. In addition, it captures moisture to make the skin softer.
Although the benefits of honey are numerous, it is important to use quality honey. Just because there is no sugar additive does not mean that honey is good. Factors such as the region in which bees collect the pollen to produce honey, whether there are residues in the content, whether any chemicals are used to extend shelf life, affect the quality and nutritional values of honey.
The highest nutritional value of honey is pasteurized, unfiltered and untreated organic honey. As a result, it is not possible to understand the quality of honey by tasting or looking. However, choosing the brands we rely on and the organic certification of honey can provide assurance that at least the product you have consumed undergoes several checks. If you are determined to learn the quality of the honey you buy, the only way is to take the honey sample to a food laboratory and have it tested.
Harms of Honey
- 1 tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, this amount is more than white powdered sugar containing 15 calories in the same amount. So it is not a good idea to eat honey regularly if you want to maintain your weight or if you are trying to lose weight.
- Although honey does not raise blood sugar very quickly like white sugar, it is still not among the recommended foods for diabetics. Experts say that diabetics do not mind eating honey from time to time, but this should not become a habit.
- If you are trying to keep your blood sugar under control, replacing white refined sugar with honey will not help.
- Honey should not be given to babies as Clostridium bacteria in honey may cause botulism, which is a serious food poisoning in infants under 2 years of age. Symptoms such as muscle weakness, difficulty in sucking milk, constipation may indicate botulism.
- Baby food containing honey, corn syrup, and similar foods should not be given to babies under 2 years of age.
- Honey is made from pollen, especially those who are allergic to pollen should not consume honey.
- Eating more than 6-7 tablespoons of honey per day can cause stomach cramping, swelling, and diarrhea. In addition, fructose, which is abundant in honey, can prevent foods from being processed in the small intestine, reducing the number of vitamins and minerals you receive from foods.
- If you eat more than 6-7 tablespoons of honey per day for a long time, this may continue even if there is no honey in your system and you may experience deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.
- If you make a habit of eating too much honey, you may experience insulin resistance due to the sugar content.
Things to Consider if You Want Honey to Be Good for You
- Honey sold outdoors is uncontrolled honey
One of the best-known mistakes about honey is the belief that honey sold outdoors is healthier and unadulterated. Honey sold outdoors is uncontrolled honey. Since they have not been tested in the laboratory, you cannot know whether there are residues such as antibiotics or commercial glucose in that kind of honey.
For branded honey, honey-producing companies are required to carry out all checks in accordance with the communiqués and regulations. In fact, branded honey offers natural honey in the most accurate way thanks to quality and control analysis in the laboratory.
Whether the honey you bought from outdoors is presented to you as natural, the pure natural honey cannot be understood without this quality and control analysis. However, the branded honey is released to the market after passing the control. Honey bought from outdoors may contain residues of antibiotics, pesticides or naphthalene. These are all factors that will negatively affect human health when consumed. We recommend branded honey for yourself and your family.
- It is impossible to determine whether the honey is genuine or not without analysis
It is impossible to understand whether honey is natural, from its taste, color, smell, flowability. It can be understood that honey is real or fake only in all laboratories where all analyzes can be performed and technical equipment is sufficient. Quality, edible, healthy and natural honey goes through 70 different analyzes until it reaches the tables. The first of these is a commercial glucose analysis made by taking individual samples from each can to check whether or not there is commercial glucose in the honey. Then, the analysis of the type of honey and the water content of the honey is made. Analyzes such as fructose, glucose, and sucrose are used to control the amount of natural sugar in honey. These analyzes reveal whether there is any external intervention to the honey.
In addition, whether the bee has been fed sugar during the flowering period is revealed as a result of the analysis. The pollen analysis determines the flower from which the bee collects pollen. The analysis of honey is not limited to this. To protect the bee against diseases, it is determined whether or not antibiotics are given. The administration of antibiotics is absolutely inconvenient. The analysis of whether the medicines used in the plants are transferred to honey is also made. Honey is checked for harmful metals from the roadside asphalt, exhaust gas or tin. It is also determined whether these heavy metals such as copper, lead, zinc, cadmium are present in honey.
- Crystallization of honey does not indicate that it is fake
The most common sugars naturally found in honey are glucose and fructose. If the rate of glucose in the plant’s nectar is high honey will crystallize over time. If the amount of fructose is high in honey, honey can be stored for longer periods without crystallization. The crystallization of honey is related to the composition of honey (glucose and water), the presence of particles (pollen, etc.) and the storage temperature. The best temperature for crystallization is 14 ° C.
- Honeycomb honey is not healthier than extracted honey
There is no difference in the composition between honeycomb honey and extracted honey. Both have the same nutritional value. Consuming honeycomb honey has no advantage over the extracted honey in terms of human health. I personally do not find it healthy to consume honeycomb honey. Because extracted honey is obtained from all combs and a homogeneous mixture is formed, it is controlled by analyzing. In honeycomb honey, it is technically difficult and laborious to analyze each honeycomb individually, even impossible. For this reason, I recommend that you consume honey that you are sure it is controlled.
- It is better to choose branded products
Since it is impossible to understand whether honey is natural by pouring, burning, tasting or smelling, I recommend you to prefer branded products with all controls. Avoid uncontrolled, publicly sold products which are non-addressable when a problem is encountered.
Why Honey Is Good For You?
Since ancient times, honey has been used as both food and medicine. It is very rich in beneficial plant compounds and offers many health benefits. Honey is particularly healthy when it is used instead of refined sugar which is 100% empty calories. Here are the Top 10 Health Advantages of Honey:
- Honey Contains Useful Nutrients
Honey is a sweet, thick liquid made by bees. Bees collect sugar from their environment (mainly nectar of flowers rich in sugar). When they enter the beehive, they repeatedly consume nectar, digest it and vomit it back. The final product is honey, a liquid that serves as stored food for bees. The smell, color, and taste depend on the types of flowers visited. As a nutrient, 1 tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose. It contains almost no fiber, fat or protein. It also contains trace amounts of some vitamins and minerals – less than 1% of your daily needs. However, you need to consume a lot to fulfill your daily needs. The main areas where honey shines are bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. The darker types tend to be higher in these compounds than the lighter types.
- High-Quality Honey Is Very Rich In Antioxidants
Quality honey contains many important antioxidants. These include phenolic compounds such as organic acids and flavonoids. Scientists believe that the combination of these compounds provides antioxidant power to honey. Interestingly, two studies have shown that buckwheat honey increases the antioxidant value of blood. Antioxidants have been associated with a reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes and certain types of cancer. They can also promote eye health.
- Honey Is Not as Bad as Sugar for Diabetics
The evidence about honey and diabetes is confusing. On the one hand, it can reduce various risk factors for heart disease, which is common in people with type 2 diabetes. For example, honey can raise “good” HDL cholesterol and reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation. However, some studies have found that it can also increase blood sugar levels (not as much as refined sugar). Although honey is slightly better than refined sugar for people with diabetes, it should still be consumed with caution. In fact, people with diabetes can do their best by minimizing high-carbohydrate foods. Also, note that some types of honey can be mixed with plain syrup. Although trafficking in honey is illegal in most countries, it remains a common problem
- Antioxidants Inside Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart disease, and honey can help reduce it. This is because it contains antioxidant compounds that provide low blood pressure. Studies in both rats and humans have shown that consumption of honey leads to a modest decrease in blood pressure. So, eating honey can lead to modest reductions in blood pressure, which is an important risk factor for heart disease.
- Honey Also Helps Cholesterol
High LDL cholesterol levels are a strong risk factor for heart disease. This type of cholesterol plays an important role in causing atherosclerosis (fat buildup in your arteries) heart attack and stroke. Interestingly, some studies show that honey can increase your cholesterol level. Significantly elevates “good” HDL cholesterol, while decreases total and “bad” LDL cholesterol. For example, in a study of one of 55 patients, honey was compared to table sugar, and honey caused an increase of 5.8% in LDL and 3.3% in HDL cholesterol. It has also led to weight loss as low as 1.3%.
- Honey Can Lower Triglycerides
High blood triglycerides are another risk factor for heart disease. They are also associated with insulin resistance, a major factor in type 2 diabetes. Triglyceride levels tend to increase in a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Interestingly, many studies have associated regular honey consumption with low triglyceride levels, especially when used in place of sugar. For example, in a study comparing honey and sugar, 11-19% lower triglyceride levels were detected in the honey group.
- Antioxidants in It Are Linked to Other Beneficial Effects on Heart Health
Again, honey is a rich source of phenol and other antioxidant compounds. Most of these have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. They can help dilate the arteries in your heart and increase blood flow to the heart. They can also help prevent clots in the blood, which can cause heart attacks and strokes. In addition, a study in rats showed that honey protects the heart against oxidative stress. However, there is no long-term human study on honey and heart health.
- Honey Heals Burns and Wounds
The regional honey treatment has been used to heal wounds and burns since ancient Egypt and is still common today. Examination of 26 studies on honey and wound care showed that honey was effective in healing post-operative infected burns and wounds having moderate thicknesses. Honey is also an effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers with serious complications that may lead to amputation. One study reported a 43.3% success rate in honey as a wound treatment. In another study, regional honey improved 97% of diabetic ulcers in patients. Researchers believe that the healing power of honey comes from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as its ability to feed the surrounding tissue. Moreover, it can help in the treatment of other skin diseases including psoriasis and herpes lesions. Manuka honey is considered particularly effective in the treatment of burn wounds.
- Honey Can Help Suppress Cough in Children
Cough is a common problem for children with upper respiratory tract infections. These infections can affect sleep and quality of life for both children and parents. However, major cough medications are not always effective and may have side effects. Interestingly, honey can be a better choice and evidence indicates that it is very effective. One study found that honey works better than two common cough medications. Another study found that it reduces symptoms of cough and improves sleep more than cough medications. However, honey should never be given to children under one year due to the risk of botulism.
- Delicious, but Still Rich in Calories and Sugar
Honey is a delicious, healthy alternative to sugar. Make sure you choose a high-quality brand. Because some low-quality ones can be mixed with syrup. Remember that honey should only be consumed in moderation, as it is high in calories and sugar. The benefits of honey are evident when it replaces another unhealthy sweetener. At the end of the day, honey is just a “less bad” sweetener than sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
Is Eating Honey Every Day Good for You?
Honey is an excellent antioxidant. It helps to remove toxins from your body when you consume regularly. It also beautifies the skin with its antibacterial properties. If you are a person who cares about your weight, you need to avoid sugar and sugary foods. But honey is not included. Honey improves your metabolism and helps you lose weight.
Honey has no cholesterol. On the contrary, honey helps to lower cholesterol. Daily honey consumption has a positive effect on the rate of antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants in honey prevent the narrowing of the vessels. Constriction of the vessels may cause heart attack, memory regression, and headache. You can avoid all this if you add a few spoons of honey to a glass of water every day.
According to research, consuming honey regularly helps fight stress, renews the cellular antioxidant defense system and thus strengthens memory. In addition, since the calcium in the honey is easily absorbed by the brain, it also contributes positively to the functioning of the brain. The sugar in honey increases the level of insulin in the blood. This provides serotonin secretion. Serotonin is converted to melatonin. The melatonin hormone improves sleep quality. Honey is a strong antiseptic is recommended to eat a spoon on an empty stomach every morning. A spoonful of honey a day can prevent many diseases related to the digestive tract. It also kills germs as it passes through your stomach and heals small wounds on the mucous membrane.
Garlic also has antiseptic properties and healing effects. When the power of honey is added, the effect increases up to 10 times. Honey garlic is enough to strengthen your immune system. Put 1 cup of honey in a small jar with 3-4 cloves of garlic. Close the lid of the jar and wait a few days, then eat a spoon a day on an empty stomach. You’ll feel healthier and more energetic than ever.
Is Honey Good For Treatment
Honey has been used in the treatment of many ailments for at least 3000 years. Recent scientific research reveals the miraculous effects of honey. Honey has a wide range of therapeutic effects due to its antiseptic/antimicrobial and osmotic properties as well as hydrogen peroxide content and acidity level. It has a very important place in the treatment of renal diseases (renal failure). Honey is basically a condensed mixture of two monosaccharides. Since the water effect in this mixture is low, that is, most of the water molecules are bound to monosaccharides, they lack moisture and water which will enable the survival of microorganisms. Thus, no microorganism can survive in honey. This is why honey has been used for centuries to treat burns, wounds and skin ulcers.
Since the high sugar content of honey increases the hypertonicity, it draws the water of the surrounding bacteria into the hypertonic area and causes the bacterial cells to shrink. There are studies advocating that honey as an antiseptic may be effective against resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The hydrogen peroxide in honey is superior to the medically used hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide in the honey is activated by dilution. That is, when honey is applied to the wound, hydrogen peroxide is slowly diluted by body fluids and becomes effective. Both slow activity and a lower concentration of medical hydrogen peroxide ensure that honey can kill germs and avoid damaging the body’s cells.
Since the pH of the honey is between 3.5 and 5.5, it prevents the growth of the bacteria responsible for the infection. Honey contains many polyphenols, which act as natural antioxidants and have been reported to prevent cancer as a result of long-term consumption. In addition, the iron in it renders harmful oxygen radicals in the body harmless. According to research honey can also increase the probiotic bacterial flora in the intestines, it strengthens the immune system and lowers cholesterol, facilitates digestion and is effective in preventing colon cancer.
Best Honey Products You Can Buy Online
- Wild Garden 100% Pure Raw Gourmet Honeycomb, All-Natural, No Additives 7.05 Ounce (Pack of 1) (Price: $8.99)
- Kiva Raw Manuka Honey, Certified UMF 20+ (MGO 850+) – New Zealand (8.8 oz) ** Limited Time Sale ** (Price: $67.80)
- Nature Nate’s 100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Organic Honey; 32-oz. Squeeze Bottle, Honey’s Balanced Flavor, and Wholesome Benefits, Just as Nature Intended (Packaging may vary) (Price: $10.38)
- Busy Bee Clover Honey, 80 Ounce (Price: $18.99)
- Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey KFactor 16+, 17.6 Ounce (Price: $29.55)