Why Raw Honey Is Beneficial To A Healthy Diet
Enjoyed not only as a 'super food' but also medicinally for centuries, raw honey is experiencing a renaissance for its amazing nutritional and dietary benefits.
Widely regarded as a one of nature's most delicious and wholesome natural sweeteners, raw honey is jam-packed full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that get directly assimilated into your bloodstream.
Together with providing you with a more sustained form of energy, raw honey delivers very powerful anti-inflammatory properties to your body.
However, it’s important to know exactly what ‘raw’ honey means.
Like most things that are inherently 'natural' and good for you, honey has been commoditised via mass production methods by big companies to create a product that hardly resembles REAL raw honey.
What Is Raw Honey?
Derived from the concentrated nectar of flowers, raw honey is produced by honeybees and left in a natural, unfiltered and unpasteurised state often still contained within honeycomb.
When left in unrefined state, raw honey contains hefty nutritional properties and health-giving qualities. Also, thanks to it being constituted of similar substances present in plants, it has an alkalising effect on your body.
As a result of it being straight out of the hive and taken directly from the cells of the honeycomb, raw honey often contains bee pollen and propolis, both of which are powerful anti-oxidants with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
What’s the difference between commercial and organic raw honey?
Honey that you get from supermarkets and convenience stores often has some or all of the following characteristics:
- Clear, sparkling goldish colour & appearance
- Heavily processed
- Chemically refined
- Contains chemical additives, preservatives & white sugar
- Has been heated (pasteurised)
- Bees treated with antibiotics
Organic Raw Honey
The purest form of honey available, produced by honeybees who have got nectar from plants that have not been sprayed by chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides.
By only consuming organic raw honey from trusted sources, you'll be assured of a real, natural product that is not only guilt-free and incredibly delicious, but also is loaded with amazing health-promoting qualities.
Important Note: Raw honey is not recommended for babies under 12 months.
Raw Mānuka Honey
Mānuka from New Zealand is a flowering species of plant particularly renowned for its antibacterial, anti fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is sometimes referred to as New Zealand Tea Tree.
Mānuka Pure Essential Oil is produced from this tree and has proven to have particularly potent health-promoting and curative properties.
A ‘monofloral’ honey, this unique variety is made by bees who only get the nectar from the mānuka plant and as such, this honey also possesses the same powerful qualities present in the tree.
This special honey has a level of ‘conductivity’ about four times that of normal raw honey, making it particularly rich in minerals and extra potent in terms of its health and healing benefits, especially in regards to its ability to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Raw Honey Benefits
Thanks to raw honey being derived directly from plants, it possesses the same disease-resisting properties of each species the bee gets pollen from.
Since its naturally derived, your body actually recognises raw honey so that it can absorb and assimilate all of the nutrients and healing qualities directly. Additionally, raw honey won’t ferment in your stomach and functions as an aid to indigestion.
With a natural sugar content (fructose) of around 80%, water 18% and mineral, vitamins, pollen and protein making up the balance, raw honey is a fantastic source of clean natural energy!
This type of energy called ‘Glycogen’ is a form of glucose (carbohydrate) which gets stored in the liver and muscle and is the main source of fuel used for physical activity. As a result, raw honey is great to take to give you a boost in the morning to get your day started as well as before or after exercising!
It will also not only help you to reach and maintain your ideal weight, but also assist to balance your blood sugar levels without the spikes and troughs associated with refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup present in many processed ‘food products’.
This makes raw honey a great natural sweetener which you can easily use as a substitute for the other toxic and health destroying varieties!
Learn more about the dangers of processed and refined sugars and sweeteners in our blog, Overcoming Sugar Addictions & The Best Natural Substitutes
Other Dietary Benefits
Aside from the many nutritional and dietary benefits of raw honey, it can also help to:
- Harmonise & promote optimal functioning of the liver
- Predigest starchy foods such as bread
- Neutralise toxins in the body
- Promote ‘good bacteria’ in the digestive system thanks to its probiotic properties.
Like the plant sources it comes from, raw honey is rich in free-radical fighting antioxidants which not only boosts the immune system but also serve as a preventative aid against many common diseases.
Additional Health Benefits Of Raw Honey
Along with the natural goodness raw honey gives you when added to your diet, it is also beneficial for treating and healing specific health ailments and conditions:
- Acne & Skin Problems
- Colds & Flu
- Gum Disease
- Healing of wounds & burns
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Pain Relief
- Stomach Ulcers
How To Use Raw Honey
Raw honey should never be cooked or heated as this will destroy many of its beneficial properties.
You can take it by itself in spoonfuls or it also goes great with:
- Organic Yogurt
- Juices & smoothies
- Nuts or cereal
- Whole grain bread or toast
If using it as a natural sweetener for tea or coffee, make sure you let your beverage cool down quite a bit before mixing it in in order to maintain as many of the benefits as possible!
Raw Honey Natural Remedies
In addition the dietary and health benefits, here are some home remedies which you can use to treat and heal a range of common health complaints and ailments.
- Burns & wounds - Bandages soaked in raw honey assist and speeds up healing. Apply to burn or wound and change every 24 to 48 hours
- Coughs - Take a teaspoon or 2 before bed time to serve as a natural cough syrup
- Sleep - Eat a small amount before bed to help promote deep, restful & uninterrupted sleep
Where To Find Organic Raw Honey
If you’re lucky enough to live in honey-producing region, you can get raw honey directly from the beekeepers or local farmer's markets.
Otherwise, raw honey is readily available in most health food stores, many supermarkets and online stores. It won’t go off so there’s no problem in having it shipped to you, especially if you’re after a specific variety such as mānuka.
Tolman Self Care.