7 Health benefits of RAW honey.
By Tonie Benally
Honey provides you with a number of health benefits and the best way to get them is by eating raw honey.
Unlike regular honey, raw honey has not been pasteurized. This is a process where manufacturers will heat the honey to kill yeast cells that can affect its taste, increase its shelf life and make it more transparent so it looks more attractive. However, this process can negatively affect the number of nutrients in honey.
In addition, honey is also filtered during pasteurization. This removes bee pollen and propolis from the honey. Studies show that bee pollen and propolis can actually help you treat inflammation, kill bacteria and even fight cancer.
Raw honey is the best type of honey.
If you’re considering picking up some raw honey, here are seven, evidence-based, benefits that it can give you.
1. Antioxidant effects
Researchers believe that one of the main reasons raw honey is good for you is its high antioxidant content. Raw honey contains a lot of antioxidant compounds, including phytochemicals, flavonoids and ascorbic acid.
These antioxidant compounds in raw honey reduce oxidative stress by cleaning up free radicals. According to scientists, oxidative stress is linked to a range of conditions, including cancer. By consuming a lot of antioxidants, you reduce your risk of chronic disease.
Studies on other foods have shown that heating them does reduce their antioxidant content. While no specific research has been done on whether this is true for honey, it’s better to be on the safe side and eat raw honey.
Honey provides you with a lot of nutrients, which makes it a healthy addition to your diet.
What nutrients raw honey contains can vary depending on where the honeybees lived and what flowers they gather nectar from. That said, honey usually contains good amounts of amino acids and vitamins.
Raw honey can provide you with the following vitamins and minerals:
- Pantothenic acid
Honey is also a better sweetener for you to use than table sugar. Research suggests that it can even help protect you from diabetes while some can also improve your cholesterol levels.
3. Antibacterial action
Raw contains compounds such as hydrogen peroxide and glucose oxidase, while also having a low pH level. This means that it can protect you from harmful bacteria and fungi.
You can actually use raw honey to cleanse wounds, thanks to its antibacterial properties.
4. Wound healing
You can also use raw honey as a dressing for wounds and burns.
On top of its antibacterial properties, honey is also acidic. When applied to a wound, this helps release oxygen from the wound which promotes healing.
To treat minor wounds or burns, you can apply raw honey directly onto the affected area. You can then place a gauze or bandage over the wound to cover it.
5. Relieving cough
Studies have shown that raw honey may be better way for you to treat a cough than some over the counter medicines. Also, many of these medicines may not be safe for younger children, so honey may be a better alternative for when your kids have cough.
To relieve your cough, or that of your child, take a teaspoon of raw honey and the avoid any food and drink to allow the honey to coat your throat.
6. Treating diarrhea
Raw honey may be able to soothe your digestion and even help with diarrhea symptoms.
To relieve mild diarrhea, you can take a teaspoon of raw honey or mix it with a drink. However, make sure you don’t take too much honey as excess sugar can make your diarrhea worse.
7. Protecting the brain
Evidence suggests that raw honey’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can benefit your brain.
Animal studies have shown that rats that consumed honey were protected from brain damage caused by lead.
In addition, raw honey may be able to boost your memory. A review found that raw honey may contain ingredients that fight inflammation in the hippocampus, which is a part of your brain involved in memory.
Choosing the right kind of raw honey
When shopping for raw honey, look for a label that clearly identifies it as such. If the label doesn’t include the word “raw” then it has probably been pasteurized by the farmer or manufacturer.
Beware of honey that is labeled as “pure honey,” “clover honey” or even “organic honey.” If the label doesn’t say “raw,” then the manufacturer most likely pasteurized it.
The label can also tell you the type of flowers that the bees who made the honey pollinated. This will determine the taste, color, as well as the antioxidant and vitamin content of the honey.
Finally, check the label if the honey contains high fructose corn syrup or any other additives. You need to make sure that the raw honey you get is pure.
Raw honey is a versatile superfood that not only gives you a healthy way to indulge your sweet tooth, but gives you a lot of benefits as well. You can use it to sweeten food and drinks such as teas and pancakes, or you can also keep it as a treatment for coughs and upset stomachs.