Nutritional Facts of Honey: Calories, Vitamins, and Minerals

Honey, which has been used as food and medicine since ancient times, is very tasty food with many health benefits. When used temperately, it can be a healthy alternative to refined sugar. Quality honey is rich in many important antioxidants. Antioxidants are associated with the reduced risk of heart attack, certain types of cancer, and stroke. However, it is also known to increase blood sugar levels, although not as much as refined sugar.

1 bowl of honey is 339 grams on average and contains an average of 1030 calories. It also contains 1 gram of protein, 279 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of sugar. 0.7 grams of carbohydrate content comes from dietary fibers. Honey can also be a good source of some essential vitamins and minerals. The values of 1 bowl of honey are as follows. Honey meets;

  • 3% of daily vitamin C requirement,
  • 8% of daily riboflavin requirement,
  • 4% of daily vitamin B6 requirement,
  • 8% of daily iron need,
  • 6% of daily copper need,
  • 15% of daily manganese need,
  • 5% of the daily potassium requirements.

In addition, honey contains;

  • 16% fewer calories
  • 100% less protein
  • 241% more carbohydrates
  • 100% less fat

than the average of the nutrients in the food database.

Nutritional Values of Honey

People discovered honey about 8,000 years ago and have been using it ever since. Commonly used in Greece and Egypt, honey has become an essential ingredient for traditional Chinese medicine. This miraculous substance has healing properties that make it a natural source of healing. It is also a secret ingredient for numerous home remedies. Honey is also one of the most researched foods when calculating calories.

Calories represent the energy of the foods we consume. Each individual has a number of calories to be consumed daily according to their age and living standards. When creating a diet list, calorie distribution is made according to the meals. Of course, calories alone is not enough. It is necessary to know the nutritional values ​​of the food consumed. So, how many calories is honey? Here, nutritional values ​​and calories of honey:

Honey is one of the products with the highest nutritional value. Honey, which stands out with its taste as well as its nutritiousness, collects all the nutrients that the human body needs. The fat ratio is zero and honey is an ideal product for any diet.

Nutrition Facts Table (Approx. for 100 gr. of honey)

Energy Rating 304 kcal (1272 kJ)
Carbohydrate 82.4 g
Protein 0.3 g
Fat 0 g
Potassium 52 mg
Calcium 6 mg
Phosphorus 4 mg
Sodium 4 mg
Manganese 0.08 mg
Magnesium 2 mg
Iron 0.42 mg
Zinc 0.22 mg
Copper 0.04 mg
Vitamin-C 2 mg
Vitamin B2 0.04 mg
Vitamin B5 0.07 mg
Vitamin B1 0.004 mg
Vitamin B6 0.02 mg
Niacin 0.12 mg

Content of Honey

The benefits of honey, known as the nutritious sweetener of nature, have been known for centuries. This golden liquid, a natural alternative to white sugar, is a miraculous product of bees. Honey is a simple source of carbohydrates. It contains 17.1% water, 82.4% carbohydrate and 0.5% proteins, amino acids and vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid, minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Honey also has vitamins B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, and C. Honey contains minerals such as calcium phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium chloride, and magnesium as well. In addition, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, and zinc are abundant in honey. 70 percent of honey is directly mixed into the blood. Besides, there are many substances in honey that prevent the growth of all kinds of germs. Thanks to this, honey remains intact for many years.

Honey is a food that prevents premature wear of the body. Honey calms the nerves of people who can not sleep because of nerve disorder. Honey also benefits stomach ulcers. Honey dilates vessels and lowers high blood pressure. Strengthens the heart and removes palpitations. Honey provides plenty of blood to feed all sides of the heart. Honey is one of the liver’s best friends. Honey allows the liver to repair itself.

It cures many diseases such as bronchitis, gastritis, rheumatism, stomach and duodenal ulcer, and anemia. Honey shows the characteristics of the plant whose amount of the pollen of the flower is more in itself (Honey called mad honey lowers blood pressure, however, it is inconvenient to eat more than 1 sugar spoon). Honey is very energetic but not toxic.

In order to talk about the health effects of honey, adults should consume 3-5 tablespoons or 6-10 teaspoons of honey daily. This amount corresponds to approximately 50-80 gr. On the other hand, it is appropriate for children to consume 1 g of honey per kilo. For example, a 20 kg child should consume 20 grams of honey, ie about 1.5 tablespoons or 3 teaspoons of honey per day. In this way, the habit of honey consumption and after a few months the benefits of honey begin to be seen. When making fruit dessert, you can sweeten it with honey instead of adding sugar. You may prefer honey instead of sugar in cakes and cookies. If you have difficulty drinking water, you can sweeten it with some honey, lemon, and mint.

The effect of heat on the nutritional value of honey is directly proportional to time. For example; If you keep the honey at 50 ° C for 24 hours, some nutrients of the honey are lost, but not all nutrients, especially minerals, are lost. If honey is kept at 76 ° C for 10 minutes, little change in structure occurs. Therefore, such changes in tea and dairy products consumed in a short period of time are almost negligible. It is always advantageous to use honey instead of sugar in all beverages consumed hot, warm or cold to take advantage of minerals, vitamins, flavonoids and enzymes contained in honey.

Since it is not possible to analyze each honeycomb individually, it is more accurate to prefer strained honey. Drained honey is the honey obtained after the bee’s removal of the glaze and protection of honey in the honeycomb. In other words, if honey is removed from the honeycomb cells, it is called “strained honey”. The difference in color, sugar balance and taste of honey depends entirely on its source. The light or dark color of the honey does not affect the quality of the honey. Dark honey types such as chestnut, pine, and heather honey contain more minerals.

Honey may crystallize depending on the flowers from which it is obtained and storage conditions. Pure and natural honey can crystallize in a few months, especially if kept in winter and cold. Crystallization is a completely natural phenomenon and is not a problem preventing honey consumption. Honey can be consumed in its crystallized form, as well as by dissolving and consuming the crystals in a double boiler heating process (heating the honey in a hot water-filled vessel).

Nutritional Composition of Honey

Due to the variety of ingredients, honey has a very complex structure. It can also show quite different structures according to various regions and times of acquisition. Therefore, the analysis of the composition of honey contains a very large number of samples. The composition of honey varies according to the plant species in the region where production is made and the time of production. In general, however, 80% of honey consists of different sugars and 17% consists of water. The remaining 3% consists of substances that make honey valuable, especially enzymes.

When the bee absorbs honey extract called nectar from flowers, it collects a liquid consisting of sucrose, glucose, fructose, large amounts of water, enzymes, vitamins, some nitrogenous substances and acids in its crop. However, it is not known which enzymes, vitamins, acids, and some nitrogenous substances come from nectar and which are added by the bee.

Although little is known about the sources of other substances in the composition of honey, such as acids and vitamins, it is believed that honey’s amino acids and some of the vitamins come from pollen. When the bee sets off towards the hive, the honey pouch, that is, the honey extract collected in the crop begins to turn into honey. Saccharose, the most important enzyme found in the bee’s crop, converts sucrose in the honey extract to fructose and glucose. Some other sugars, such as maltose and isomaltose, are formed by the breakdown of sucrose.

This leads to an increase in the amount of sugar in honey. The bee coming to the hive drains the honey extract from the crop to either a honeycomb eye or a friend’s mouth. His companion carries this to the upper eyes of the honeycomb, which is kept at a temperature sufficient to evaporate. The honey in the eye, over time, will darken and mature. Ripe honey is fragrant, delicious and can be stored intact for a long time. Immature honey, however, sour quickly.

Nutritional Substances That Honey Contains

  • Carbohydrates in Honey

Honey is a carbohydrate substance, with 95-99.9% of the solids being sugars. Of the 15 types of sugar in honey, 9 were found to be exact, but 6 were only found in some studies.

Honey contains mostly fructose and glucose. It is known that these two monosaccharides (simple sugars), which give the taste of honey, occur as a result of the exchange of sucrose, which is present in the plant extracts, with the enzyme invertase, or the separation of sucrose into fructose and glucose. The sweetness, moisture absorption, energy value and other physical properties of honey come from these two sugars.

While the amount of sucrose in the honey varies with the degree of ripening of honey and the composition of the nectar, the immature honey harvested very early contain a large amount of sucrose.

  • Proteins in Honey

Nitrogenous substances are approximately 0.3% in flower honey and around 1% in secretory honey. High levels of nitrogenous substances in flower honey show that it is mixed with secretion honey. Determination of proteins in honey is important in terms of whether it is natural or artificial and in terms of nutrition. Although honey is not a protein-rich nutrient, it has a rich source of amino acids. Proteins are made up of molecules that are called amino acids and are composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.

Approximately 17 amino acids were detected in honey. Tyrosine and tryptophan were found in dark honey but not in light honey. The highest amount of proline, lysine and glutamic acid were reported in honey. These are followed by histidine, arginine, threonine, serine, glycine, valine, methionine, leucine, alanine, phenylalanine.

  • Vitamins in Honey

In the past, the idea that there was little or no vitamins in honey was dominant, but as a result of chemical and biological research conducted in recent years, it was found that there were various vitamins in honey. While there is no vitamin A in honey, there are B group vitamins (B1, B4) and vitamins C, E and K. It was determined that honey contains various amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, pyridoxine (B6) pantothenic acid (B5) nicotinic acid (B3) niacin, biotin, and folic acid.

In their research, Watt and Merril reported that trace amounts of vitamin B1, 0.4 mg vitamin B2, and 10 mg vitamin C are found in honey. Honey, during the filtration process, may lose the majority of these vitamins. Therefore, filtration must be performed with extreme caution.

  • Mineral Materials in Honey

The amount of mineral matter in honey varies between 0.02% and 1.0%. Honey contains the most potassium, calcium, phosphorus and lesser amounts of sodium, chlorine, sulfur, magnesium, silica, manganese, copper, iodine, iron and zinc.

The minerals in honey, which is a rich mineral source, are potassium (K), sodium (Na), calcium oxide (CaO), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), chlorine (Cl), phosphorus (P), sulfur (S), silica (SiO2) and crude silica. Trace minerals include chromium (Cr), lithium (Li), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) tin (Sn), zinc (Zn), osmium (Os), beryllium (Be), vanadium (V), zirconium (Zr), silver (Ag), barium (Ba), gallium (Ga), bismuth (Bi), gold (Au), germanium (Ge) and strontium (Sr).

  • Amount of Moisture in Honey

Fermentation does not start if the sugars, which provide the typical sweetness and usefulness of honey, are sufficiently high in concentration. When the water content is 18.5% and higher, fermentation may occur. Acetic acid and carbon dioxide formed as a result of fermentation spoil the taste and color of honey. The maximum water content in the honey was 21%. In general, mountain honey contains less moisture than plain honey. Excess moisture indicates that the honey is not ripe or that water is added from outside. This creates the danger of surface fermentation of honey.

  • Enzymes in Honey

Honey is rich in enzymes. The main known honey enzymes are amylase (diastase), invertase (saccharose), catalase, phosphatase as well as ascorbic acid and glucose oxidizing agent. Some of the enzymes are composed of nectar and the secretion of aphids on the leaves, and the majority of them are the salivary gland secretions of bees.

Invertase (Saccharose) enzyme is responsible for most of the chemical changes in the conversion of nectar to honey. It converts nectar sucrose to fructose and glucose. Glycosoxidase, one of the important honey enzymes, acts on glucose and forms hydrogen peroxide and glycocholate. The antibacterial effect of honey is also due to the hydrogen peroxide formed.

In honey, the lysozyme enzyme also has an antibacterial effect. In addition to these, honey contains Chocin which the body can only produce in small amounts. Therefore, this substance should be given to the body two to three grams per day. Chocin regulates the fat metabolism of the liver and prevents this organ from binding fat.

  • Acids in Honey

The most common acid component in honey is glycolic acid, which is produced by the activity of the enzyme glycosoxidase. The source of other acids is not known. While the acidity of honey increases its stability against microorganisms, bees help form honey by adding formic acid to honey.

It has been reported that the amount of acid responsible for the low pH of honey comes from the formic acid that bees inject from the needle into these eyes before the honey eyes are glazed. Honey generally shows acidic reactions and pH is between 3.5-5.5. Detection of high acid value in honey indicates that it is fermented over time, resulting in the conversion of alcohol to acetic acid with bacterial effects.

Honey contains acetic, butyric, citric, formic, lactic, malic, succinic, glycolic, oxalic, capric, tannic, tartaric and valeric acids. The source of other acids in honey other than glycolic acid is not known.

Physical Properties of Honey and Their Effect on Its Nutritional Value

  • Color of Honey

Honey usually has a scale starting from transparent to dark red, ranging from yellow, amber, brown to greenish and reddish colors. Honey is divided into four groups according to their colors as water white, extra white, extra light amber, and dark color. The substances that give color to honey are chlorophyll, carotene, xanthophyll and plant pigments which produce the yellow and green color of unknown composition.

In 1930, a researcher named Thomson in New Zealand studied the relationship between the color and chemical composition of honey. He reported that the number of amino acids and sugars and mineral substances, especially iron, copper and manganese, were higher in dark honey and that the color of the honey increased as the mineral substances in honey increased.

  • Flavor and Aroma of Honey

Each honey has its own unique taste. If it is tasted carefully, many flavors are felt. Even in a hive made of a thousand flowers, there can be several kinds of honey. The aroma of honey, the property found in the nectar of different flowers, may vary according to esters. The essential ingredients of the aroma in honey are esters, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, and free acids. Among these substances, alcohols take the largest place. Aroma substances come from nectar which is mostly raw material, and it is possible to feel the aroma of that plant in this honey, from which plants the nectar is collected.

  • Scent of Honey

Honey has a special smell depending on the pollen in it. The smell of honey is felt when ingested. Highly heated honey loses a great deal of aroma. If honey is stored next to a strong-smelling substance, it has the ability to attract the foreign smell of that substance. In general, dark honey is more pungent and acidic than light honey.

  • Viscosity of Honey

Viscosity is the ability to resist fluency and is the equivalent of the word construction in beekeeping. The flow of heavy honey is slow, ie the viscosity is high. It has been reported that viscous honey with high viscosity can hardly come out of the honeycomb chamber during filtration and it is difficult to clean the draining and honey containers. Dark, slow-flowing, tight structured honey has a high viscosity and light-colored, loosely structured honey has a low viscosity. The viscosity of honey was reported to be between 2,652-2,914.

  • Consistency of Honey

The consistency of honey is influenced by the type of plant from which the nectar is taken. Whether the honey is clear or cloudy depends on whether the air bubbles, water content and colloid particles are too much or too little. Plants that were grown in warm regions and light sandy soils produce honey with a thick consistency, while honey made from flowers in the highland and mountainous regions are fluent and superior in flavor and aroma.

  • Specific Weight of Honey

The specific gravity of the honey depends on the amount of water and the temperature in it, and when measured at 20 [deg.] C., it ranges from 1, 41 to 1, 45 g / cm3. That is, on average, 1.4225 g / cm 3.

  • Refractive Index of Honey

It is a property measured with a 20 ° C refractometer. Taking advantage of this feature of honey, the amount of moisture in it is determined.

  • Hygroscopic Properties of Honey

Honey is a hygroscopic material and has the property of absorbing the moisture of the air in its environment. The moisture absorption of honey varies depending on its specific structure, sugar content and the amount of water in it.

  • Light Rotation of Honey (Polarization)

The direction and quantity of honey to turn the polarized light vary according to the types of honey. Flower honey turns polarized light to the left and secretion honey turns it to the right. Using this feature, it can be understood whether honey is secretory honey.

  • Crystallization of Honey

Crystallization is the phenomenon of the loss of flow of honey more or less as a result of the glucose being granulated. Most honey types tend to crystallize. This tendency may vary depending on the water, dextrose (glucose) and levulose (fructose) sugar contained in the honey, the proportions and temperature. Crystallization is also effective on plant sources from which honey is obtained. A quick heating method to dissolve crystallization is to heat at 60-65 ° C and to cool at the end of the process.

Although some methods are proposed to prevent the crystallization of honey, most are either illegal or not practical. The simplest method is to store honey at 0 ° C for 5 weeks and then store it at 14 ° C. The practical method for liquidizing the crystallized honey is to keep the container in hot water with a temperature not exceeding 38-45 ° C. Sunflower, clover, melon, dandelion, cotton honey, sugared very quickly, while acacia, mustard, roses, and secretion honey are late sugared. Sage honey can remain unsweetened for years.

Chemical Properties of Honey and Their Effect on Its Nutritional Value

The chemical composition of honey varies depending on many factors. The most important of these factors is the natural composition of nectar and secretion. In addition, climatic conditions and honey making properties of the bee are effective in the chemical composition of honey. In terms of its chemical composition, honey is like a dark, reducing, sugar aqueous solution with an excess of fructose and contains a small amount of sucrose, dextrin, nitrogenous substances, enzymes, inorganic odor and dyes, volatile oils, organic acids, waxes, pollen grains.

The following values show the average chemical composition of nectar and secretory honey, according to the analysis by White et al.

  • Fermentation of Honey

Fructose and glucose in honey are broken down by the effect of sugar yeasts. As a result, alcohol, and CO2 are formed. Alcohol is decomposed in the presence of oxygen in the form of acetic acid and water. As a result of this fermentation, honey deteriorates and tastes sour. Thus, crystallization is not a degradation of honey, but fermentation is a degradation of honey.

The most important factors affecting fermentation are water content, yeast content, and storage conditions and insufficient resting of honey. If the water content of honey is less than 17.1%, it will be determined that honey will not ferment and yeast growth will not occur in honey. The source of yeast causing fermentation is the soil and flowers. Honeycomb honey from the previous year in the hive also contains significant yeast. Therefore, such honey should not be collected during harvest.

  • Antibacterial Properties of Honey

Since honey has an antibacterial property, microorganisms cannot survive and proliferate. In recent years, apitherapy, which is called treatment with rapidly developing bee products all over the world, honey is used in addition to bee venom, propolis, royal jelly, and pollen.

Factors Affecting the Honey Quality

The different processes applied to the honey significantly affect the quality of the honey. Factors such as storage time, humidity, harvesting processes, heating and storage location affect quality. High levels of nitrogen (N), ash, hydrogen ion (low pH), moisture and compound sugars were found in honey stored for one year. Factors that significantly affect quality, which can result in confection and fermentation, are important. The most important of these factors are the processes applied during harvesting, humidity, heating, and storage.

Glucose crystals, powder particles or pollen particles to be present in honey during harvesting constitute the starting nucleus in crystallization. Therefore, the harvested honey should be filtered very well and should be rested in order to collect the different densities that can pass through the strainer under or over the honey. Honey should not be exposed for a long time in terms of fermentation and crystallization. The most appropriate method for the purification of air bubbles in honey is to let the honey rest.

  • Filtering and Resting

The most suitable method for filtering is by placing 4 cloth bags placed in a drum and having holes of different widths. For filtration, heating the honey to 35 ° C is sufficient. When it is necessary to separate the wax particles from the honey, the honey is heated to 40 ° C and the honey is passed through the creamer. This process is used to remove very small wax particles passing through the cloth sieves.

The rest of the honey is made for clarification. When the honey heated to 35-40 ° C is placed in large resting containers, dense particles settle to the bottom. Air bubbles with foreign materials less dense than honey come to the surface and honey is clarified. However, the actual clarification is carried out by filtration or by some additives.

  • Honey Storage

The most important factors related to quality during the storage of honey are the temperature, humidity, property of the packaging containers and storage time. The color darkening can be seen in honey heated or held. When the storage temperature falls below 11 ° C, the activity of the fermenting yeasts ceases. In order to prevent the formation of undesirable properties of honey, it must be stored in cold places and stored in tightly closed containers so that air cannot absorb moisture.

The most suitable packaging container for honey is glass jars with lids. Because honey has acidic structure, it will cause to decrease the quality of honey as it will react with plastic materials. In addition, packaged honey must be kept at room temperature. In honey maintained at room temperature, diastase, and invertase enzymes also decrease. In order to prevent the honey, sugar and enzyme content from decreasing, the temperature of the storage location should be lowered.

Honey Products Having The Best Nutritional Values That You Can Buy Online

  • Natural Solutions Manuka Honey UMF 20 – MGO 850+ Certified East Cape Te Araroa New Zealand (Large) (Price: $125.60)

  • Onuku Certified Manuka Honey UMF 25+/MGO 1200+ Authentic Manuka Honey New Zealand – Non-GMO – 250g Jar /8.8oz. (Price: $197.89)

  • Raw Orange Blossom Honey by the Beekeeper’s Daughter – 2.5 lb Jar (2.5 pounds) (Price: $21.99)

  • Pure New Zealand UMF 20+ Raw Manuka Honey – All Blacks Official Licensed – 8.8 oz / 250g (Price: $62.95)

  • Giannetti Artisans Imported Unpasteurized Acacia Honey from Tuscany, Italy NEW BATCH – 17.63 OZ (500 gr) (Price: $22.00)

Savaş Ateş

I like eating honey a lot. We have a huge interest in bees and how they make honey. I have visited honey farms. I have talked to a lot of honey sellers. I read a lot of books about them. I want to share my knowledge with you.

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