I love honey! I have one teaspoon every day (mostly I like to drizzle a little bit of honey on my plain yogurt, or apple slices, and also into my afternoon tea). Honey is made by the honey bee after they collect nectar from flowers and take it back to their hive. It’s important to know it should be consumed in moderation since even though it’s healthy, it’s high in calories and sugar. According to and article from the Cleveland Clinic, women should not have more than 100 calories of added sugar and men no more than 150 calories of added sugar per day. Also make sure high-quality raw honey is consumed, as pasteurized honey may be mixed with corn syrup or other sweeteners to improve shelf life. Since ancient times honey has been used as food, but also as medicine. Even though there’s little evidence of honey’s medicinal uses, it does have health benefits.
A few benefits of honey include:-
- contains nutrients (vitamins and minerals)
- rich in antioxidants (high quality honey)
- helps lower blood pressure
- improves cholesterol and lowers triglycerides
- beneficial for heart and brain health
- promotes burn and wound healing
- soothes a sore throat
The color and flavor of honey depends on nectar source it comes from. There are more than 300 types of honey in the USA. Color ranges from nearly clear to dark brown. Acacia and clover will produce a lighter honey, and buckwheat and manuka a darker honey. As a general rule light-color honey milder and dark-color is stronger in taste. If you can buy honey from a local source go for it! Get to know where it came from, who’s the producer, what’s the story behind it. And remember even if it says organic is doesn’t mean it’s healthier or better quality.
One of my favorite local honey is from Keez Beez – certified non-GMO and kosher raw honey fresh from the Florida Keys. Their raw honey is produced from the nectar of natural wild flora, including mangroves, wildflowers, sea grape, palms, avocado tree, mamey tree. Get their honey variety set here. 🙂 Raw honey may contain extra elements such as bee pollen and propolis, which can offer additional antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
The honey bee is found in every continent in the world (except Antartica). Bees live on nectar and pollen. Without bees the process of pollination would not be possible. About 30% of our food supply depends on pollination. Honeybees transfer pollen allowing plants to grow seeds and fruit. Honeybees are social insects. Their colony consists of one queen bee, a few hundred drones, and thousands of working bees. The queen bee is the only female in the colony who can reproduce. She will start laying eggs from early spring to the fall, as long as pollen is available. The male bee, drone, only function is to fertilize the queen bee; then they will die. Worker bees are all female and make about 99% of the colony. They have tasks for every stage of their 45-day lifespan. As the worker bee carries the nectar to the hive its body brakes down the sucrose of the nectar into fructose and glucose. After tucking it into a honeycomb cell, it will beat its wings vigorously to thicken the substance by fanning out moisture. They it will cover the cell with beeswax, sealing the honey for consumption during winter. Since they produce way more honey than they need, we get to enjoy it too. They are very gentle, so be nice to them and they’ll be nice to you!