How can you be so sure of the quality of honey you are buying from the stores? How do you know whether they are selling original honey or an artificial counterfeit one? Well, this is a bottleneck question for most of the buyers. There are sure viewpoints you ought to be mindful of while purchasing raw honey from the stores and this article aims to reveal some insight into the same.
Some facts about honey
Honey is a natural bribe which comes with oodles of benefits for our health. When talking about calorie, this natural nectar is fat free and very low in calories. Honey has been used since centuries around the world due to its healing powers and many still depend of honey for various purposes right from beauty aspects to medicinal ones. Honey is made up of 80% natural sugars (glucose, fructose), 18% of water and remaining 2% pollens, enzymes, vitamins (B6, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and amino acids) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron and potassium). This nutrient content is applicable only for pure raw honey and differs for store bought honey.
Where does honey come from?
Hardworking honey bees extract nectar from different flowers with the help of their tongue and store it within their bodies. The nectar thus collected is converted into simple sugars and spread across the honeycomb which eventually dries and becomes honey. The darker the colour of the honey the heavier and fuller taste it will have. The taste of honey also differs from one comb to the other or even due to collecting nectars from different flowers. The honey thus collected directly from the comb is called as raw honey and when it undergoes certain pasteurization methods it becomes store bought honey.
Health benefits of consuming honey
- Helps to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Honey is considered to be an immune boosting tonic as it helps to fight against inflammation and carcinogens.
- A natural alternative for sugar which helps to provide support and stamina for athletes.
- Helps to fight against stomach acidity and digestion problems.
- A healthy medicine which helps to get rid of cough, common cold and throat pain.
- Aids in weight loss by speeding up the metabolic rate. It also helps to get rid of cellulite.
- Honey has profound benefits as it has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
- Helps to have a glowing and radiant skin
- Honey helps to get rid of ulcers in the stomach.
- Helps and controls blood sugar levels.
- An effective moisturizer and exfoliating agent for the skin
What is raw honey and pasteurized honey?
Raw honey does not undergo any refining process as it is directly taken from the honey comb to the end user while pasteurized honey undergoes a heating procedure. The main differences between both are that raw honey is fully packed with all nutrients while pasteurized honey loses its nutrient value while subjected to high temperatures. Sometimes, commercial honey is mixed or diluted with water and fructose corn syrup which makes it flow freely and also gives a fine texture. The commercially available honey does not contain any pollen or enzymes as they are all taken out by forcing the honey through small membrane like filters. The end result is you just get some syrup which looks like honey with totally no benefits.
Raw honey mostly does not stay liquid at room temperature it crystallizes over time while commercial ones stay liquid and pourable forever. Some raw honey products available in the markets are also heated at some point of time so it stays in liquid state for a longer time and would have lost most of its health benefits. They do this for increasing its shelf life. Raw honey is not clear and contains beeswax, pollen grains and dust particles. Mostly we consumers look for honey which looks pure and free flowing but we are making a big mistake by having this idea before buying honey. Honey which looks unclear with bits of bee wings and wax is truly raw honey which you can get. The best option is trying to buy honey locally form the farmers market as it would be pure and unfiltered.
Certain tips for buying pure honey
- Buy from the local farmers market as they would be having better and pure raw honey which has not undergone any filtration process or heating.
- Avoid buying honey online through web stores as you won’t be able to understand the geniality of the product. It is always better to buy the product in person after careful analysis.
- Check for the labels whether it has additives and fillers in it.
- Pure honey does not dissolve in water and does not get absorbed on blotting paper.
- Another common way to test is using ants. People say ants do not roam around pure honey as they contain certain substances which irritate the ants.
- Take a cotton ear bud and dip it in honey and burn it. If it is pure honey then it will burn or if it is adulterated, it will not.
Be careful while using honey
- Raw Honey should not be used by infants below one year as they contain certain bacterial strains which might prove harmful to the infants as their immune system wouldn’t have developed fully. Even pasteurized honey is not free of bacterial spores or other allergens so make sure you don’t make use of honey for your infants.
- Overheating honey and using it in your dishes is also considered as unsafe as they are susceptible to chemical changes. So always use honey either in lukewarm conditions or without any heating.
- Certain honey products are said to have antibiotics mixed in them so make sure you buy only authentic ones and not fake products.
- Honey consumption should be taken in limits even though it has profound health benefits. Basically honey is made up of 80% sugars so whatever type of sugar you are consuming the body considers it as sugar only. So consume in moderate amounts as old folks keep telling “too much of anything is not good for health “. One tablespoon of honey would do just fine for a healthy person and for those who have allergies or other medical issues make sure you talk to your doctor before incorporating any food products into your diet.
- Honey does not expire or get bad with time so you can be free of worries about its quality as far as it is pure honey.
Honey possess many healthy benefits but always remember each person is different and so does his body’s reaction to different foods. Honey is generally considered as safe but always have a word with experts before having it in your diet. As far as pure honey is concerned, it is herculean task to get original ones without any adulteration so always make right choices while buying honey and only after careful analysis.