honey

Raw Honey: Benefits and Uses

Raw Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees and some related insects.

Honey primarily consists of

a) Carbohydrates – Honey contains two principal sugars- fructose (fruit sugar) and glucose (grape sugar). The content of fructose and glucose in honey varies from one type of honey to the other. Generally, the fructose ranges from 30- 44% and glucose from 25- 40%.

b) Proteins and Amino Acids

c) Vitamins, Minerals, Pollen and Antioxidants

 

What are the main skins saving properties of honey?

 

a) Acne: Honey is naturally antibacterial, so it’s great for acne treatment and prevention.
b) Aging: Full of antioxidants, it is great for slowing down aging. Honey is a natural humectant, which means it moisturizes the top layers of the skin. This extra moisture can help improve wrinkles. It also soothes dry, irritated, and sensitive areas
c) Complexion boost: It is extremely moisturizing and soothing, so it helps create a glow.
d) Pores: Honey is clarifying because it opens up pores making them easy to unclog.
e) Softens Chapped Lips: Using just pure honey on the lips can help with this. Just dab some honey on your lips before going to bed and leave it on overnight. The honey is absorbed into the skin and makes your lips smooth and supple with daily application.

 

What is raw honey?

Raw honey is the most original sweet liquid that honeybees produce from the concentrated nectar of flowers. It is totally unheated, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey.

 

Diff between raw honey and commercial honey?

A lot of honey found in the supermarket is not raw honey but “commercial” regular honey, some of which has been pasteurized (heated at 70 degrees Celsius or more, followed by rapid cooling) for easy filtering and bottling so that it looks cleaner and smoother, more appealing on the shelf, and easier to handle and package.
Pasteurization and extreme processing destroy almost 100% of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and antibiotic properties typically found in abundance in true beehive honey.
Also, some of that honey is filtered so much that even pollen is not present in them anymore.

 

Pros and Cons of raw honey

Pros:

• Promotes Good Digestive Health
• More Nutritional Value
• Anti-viral and anti-fungal properties
• Helps Predigest Starchy Foods
• Delicate Aromas, Yeast and Enzymes Remain Intact (responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body)
• High Anti-oxidant Levels
• Fine Textured Honey is Creamy in Consistency
• Stores Indefinitely (will get darker gradually with age but honey stored at the right temperatures stays good long, long time)

 

Cons:

• Raw Honey Crystallizes (making is slightly more difficult to use since you have to spoon or knife it out instead of just pouring from the bottle or bear)

 

Why does honey crystallize?

 

The crystallization process is natural and spontaneous. Pure, raw and unheated honey has a natural tendency to crystallize over time with no effect on the honey other than colour and texture (especially in the winters). Some honeys crystallize uniformly while some others will form two layers, with the crystallized layer on the bottom of the jar and a liquid on top.

 

How does crystallization impact honey?

 

Crystallization process tends to preserves the flavour and quality characteristics of honey.

Typically crystallized honey tends to have a lighter colour as compared to when it is liquid.

 

What is the science behind crystallization of honey?

 

Honey is an oversaturated sugar solution which contains more than 70% naturally occurring sugar and less than 20% water.

This means that the water in honey contains more sugar than it should naturally hold. Because of this oversaturation of sugar makes honey unstable and leads to its crystallization.

Also the balance of these two major sugars causes the crystallization of honey, and the relative percentage of each of these sugars actually determines the extent and the speed of honey crystallization.

Out of the 2 sugars glucose, due to its lower solubility is the one that crystallizes. Fructose is more soluble in water than glucose and will remain fluid. When glucose crystallizes, it separates from water and takes the form of tiny crystals. As the crystallization progresses and more glucose crystallizes, those crystals spread throughout the honey. The solution changes to a stable saturated form, and ultimately the honey becomes thick or crystallized.

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