Each New Year, we all make resolutions to start eating healthier. A great way to improve your diet is to start subbing in honey in place of white sugar, but did you know that raw honey is an even healthier alternative? Besides being a natural and healthier form of sugar easier for your body to process, raw honey has many other qualities that will make it a New Year's resolution that you are happy to keep!
What is Raw Honey?
Raw honey is packed full of vital nutrients often removed from most honey during the manufacturing process. Basically, raw honey is just the way Mother Nature intended honey to be, before we started processing it and removing some of its best properties. Produced in a beehive, raw honey is packaged without filtering, straining, or being heated higher than natural temperatures that occur in the hive, usually about 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Raw honey has a finer crystal than your typical processed honey and it is typically smooth and creamy with no aftertaste.
Why Should I Choose Raw Honey?
In tough economic times, it's sometimes hard to justify buying higher-priced foods and goods, even if they are better for you and your family's health. Medical research shows that most honey found on the shelves of grocery stores has gone through extensive processing, destroying most naturally occurring enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. On top of that, a lot of commercial honey products may also have added chemicals to increase sweetness or produce a more transparent consistency.
Raw honey, on the other hand, is fresh from the honeycomb and has not gone through any pasteurization. Those who have tried raw honey will admit that it tastes better and is easier for your body to digest than any other sweetener. Best of all, raw honey does not require refrigeration or special storage; you can just take a spoonful right from the jar. If you're worried about the higher price, you could switch to raw honey but make a resolution to start using all sweeteners more sparingly. That way you'd be enjoying raw honey's health benefits and also cutting out some unnecessary calories!
What are the Benefits of Raw Honey?
Raw honey provides a variety of health benefits that you will not find in any other sweetener. Here are just a few.
- A natural multivitamin, raw honey includes vitamins C, B1, B2, B6, D, and E, as well as minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Most of these naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals are completely removed from honeys that are not clearly marked as "organic" or "raw."
- Certain properties of raw honey assist in neutralizing harmful free radicals.
- The propolis in raw honey encourages the growth of "good" bacteria in the intestinal tract while simultaneously preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.
- The enzymes in raw honey also assist with digestion and is therefore much easier on your system than white sugar.
- Medical studies have suggested that the bee pollen naturally occurring in raw honey may have anti-allergenic and anti-cancer qualities. Raw honey helps relieve allergies because it contains small amounts of pollen from certain plants and it can act as a vaccine to provide relief to pollen-related reactions.
- Due to its antibacterial properties, raw honey is also great at soothing and healing wounds. If you ever cut or scrape yourself and find that you're out of Vitamin E, smear a little raw honey on your clean wound and enjoy the healing properties of raw honey!
- Raw honey boost energy levels and decrease fatigues, especially when compared to white sugar, which usually decreases energy and promotes a feeling of sluggishness.
- Switching from using white sugar to raw honey will help decrease weight gain and lower your blood sugar levels, decreasing your chances of developing Type II Diabetes.
When can I Use Raw Honey?
Basically, you can add raw honey to anything you currently use white sugar in to sweeten (and we all know that is a lot of things)! As you know, you can use raw honey in a variety of foods, like to sweeten your coffee, drinks or desserts. You may not know that raw honey can also be used for a variety of other everyday purposes. Raw honey binds moisture to the skin and hair, so it's great for treating dry skin and conditioning your hair. Raw honey is also a go-to holistic treatment for a variety of medical conditions, such as chronic bronchitis, diabetes, asthma, allergies, sore throat, and cough. If you have trouble sleeping and are looking for a natural sleep remedy, many people use raw honey to assist in relaxation and falling asleep faster.
Tips for Using Raw Honey
- Never heat raw honey! High temperatures destroy a lot of raw honey's beneficial properties. If you must heat your honey, try to keep it around 100 degrees Fahrenheit so you don't damage its natural compounds.
- No raw honey for babies. Don't feed raw honey to infants under one year old because it may contain Clostridium botulinum spores, which can be quite harmful for babies.
- Buy local organic raw honey.For maximum health benefits, buy organic or local raw honey from Florida.