What's So Special About Raw Honey?
What is so special about raw honey? And what are the different forms of honey? How different are they -- comb honey, liquid honey & cream honey?
Copyright (c) 2008 Ruth Tan
It's probably not too difficult to remember well what raw honey is when you associate it with uncooked vegetables and meat whereby any form of heating is avoided so as to preserve all the natural vitamins, enzymes and other nutritional elements.
Raw honey is the concentrated nectar of flowers that comes straight from the extractor; it is the only unheated, pure, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey. An alkaline-forming food, this type of honey contains ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn't ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion. When mixed with ginger and lemon juices, it also relieves nausea and supplies energy. Raw honey is the healthiest choice amongst the various forms of honey as it has the most nutritional value and contains amylase, an enzyme concentrated in flower pollen which helps predigest starchy foods like breads.
Most honeys found in the supermarket are not raw honey but "commercial" honey, which has been heated and filtered so that it looks cleaner and smoother, more appealing on the shelf, and easier to handle and package. When honey is heated, its delicate aromas, yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body system are partially destroyed. Hence, such honey is not as nutritious as raw honey.
Characterised by fine textured crystals, raw honey looks milkier and contains particles and flecks made of bee pollen, honeycomb bits, propolis, and broken bee wing fragments. Raw and unfiltered honey is relatively low in moisture content (14% to 18%) and has a high antioxidant level. It will usually granulate and crystallize to a margarine-like consistency after a month or two. Many people prefer to spread it on bread and waffles, dissolve it in hot coffee or tea, or use it for cooking and baking.
Among manufacturers there exists no uniform code of using the term "raw honey". There are no strict legal requirements for claiming and labelling honey as "raw". You may find raw honey that are unprocessed but slightly warmed to retard granulation for a short period of time and allow light straining and packing into containers for sale. In this case, the honey will not be considered 100% "raw" because it has been heated slightly and therefore rightfully should not be labeled as such by the supplier. Using as little heat as possible is a sign of careful handling.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ruth Tan runs the popular website Benefits of Honey which is an immensely rich, quality resource on honey and its benefits, and a plethora of health-related issues. Discover the amazing health benefits and all the positive spin-offs super-food honey can bring to your life and the lives of your loved ones at http://www.benefits-of-honey.com