Although we are tired of hearing that it is a healthy alternative to sugar, there are probably many benefits of honey that you do not know yet.
By now you have heard and read a lot of times that honey is a healthy alternative to sugar but what you still don't know are all the benefits of honey that we can take advantage of if we include it in our diet.
Although before opting to take more honey and less sugar to sweeten our desserts, something that is important must be taken into account and that is that when talking about the beneficial nutritional properties of honey, they always refer to raw or artisanal honey, the which is obtained by cold filtering the honey that is extracted directly from the hives, since honey loses all these excellent properties when it is subjected to temperatures above 40ºC, making it simply become a sweetener.
This is what happens with most of the industrially produced honeys that, in order to avoid its crystallization and that it is always liquid, is subjected to heating processes that destroy almost all its properties.
What is honey and what is it made of?
Honey is a dense and sweet liquid that bees produce from the nectar of flowers, they store it in the combs of hives and that is where it matures. It is then collected and filtered to remove impurities.
Although there are several types of honey depending on the type of flowers from which it comes and the chemical composition may vary a little from one to another, in general, honey is made up of:
· Carbohydrates. Honey naturally contains glucose and fructose. Raw honey also contains complex trisaccharides that are part of the pollen that is present in artisanal honeys.
· Proteins and amino acids. Honey, apart from essential amino acids, contains proteins in the form of enzymes such as amylase, invertase, glucosidase and other free amino acids such as proline.
· Minerals. Mainly potassium, although calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium are also present.
· Vitamins. The vitamin C content stands out mainly, but it also provides vitamins of group B and vitamin K.
Types of honey
Depending on the type of nectar from which the bees draw to produce honey, different types of honey are distinguished:
· Flower honey, which are those in which the nectar comes from flowers and can be of two types:
· Monofloral , when at least 70% of the nectar comes from the same type of flower, such as chestnut, heather, orange -orange blossom honey-, eucalyptus, blackberry -silva honey-, acacia, ...
· Multiflorals, or "Thousand Flowers" honeys when the nectar comes from different floral varieties without a clear predominance of any of them.
· Mielatos or honeydew honey, are the honeys in which the nectar is obtained from the sap of some trees such as pines or oaks.
Health benefits of honey
The use of sugar did not begin to spread until the 16th century, but much earlier, honey was already consumed in ancient Egyptian times and it is one of the most amazing foods that nature offers us, its consumption is healthy and delicious.
Some time ago, our Omicrono friends pointed out some beneficial properties of honey.
· It is a predigested food, that is to say that when it enters the body it provides us with energy directly. That makes it an almost indispensable food for athletes.
· It is a powerful antiseptic and antimicrobial since the presence of organic acids and enzymatic substances together with the low activity of water inhibits the growth of pathogenic microorganisms. In topical application directly on the skin, it can be useful for the treatment of infectious processes such as acne or for wounds to heal earlier.
· It is rich in antioxidants, as it contains flavonoids, phenolic acids, some enzymes, organic acids, vitamin C or carotenoids. Heather honey is the one with the most antioxidants.
· Increases the amount of glycogen in the liver and protects this organ.
· Soothing: The components of honey that may have a special relationship with nerve and brain functions are choline and acetylcholine, which are incorporated by bees during the honey production process.
· Moisturizing for the skin, if a few tablespoons of honey are added to the bath water, it softens and hydrates dry skin.
· It has mild laxative effects that promote intestinal transit and helps fight constipation.
· It is diuretic, due to its potassium content.
· It stimulates the immune system and helps alleviate spring allergies.
I don't know about you, but with all these benefits of honey, I want to drink more honey and less sugar.
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