Honey is valued all over the world. There is a reason why the after-wedding bliss was called “honey moon,” and why we call those dear to us “honey.”
Fructose and glucose, components of honey, are simple carbohydrates and therefore, are easy to digest. Honey is also rich in vitamins В 2, РР, С, В 6, К and Е, pantothenic and folic acids and biotin that improve condition of skin, hair, and nails. It also contains calcium, sodium, magnesium, ferrum, iodine, and other minerals. Many of the minerals contained in honey correspond with those in human blood, which allows 100% digestion.
Honey is a strong antimicrobial substance, and it has been used as a natural antiseptic to treat wounds, abscesses, skin and respiratory diseases since ancient times. Honey is also good for the cardio-vascular system since glucose is a necessary component for the cardiac muscle. Honey strengthens the nervous and immune systems and raises hemoglobin level.
Honey is especially beneficial for older people. This product does not irritate the mucous coat of the digestive tube and is easily digested, releasing energy and restoring the lost strength. Honey is an excellent natural antidepressant that helps to reduce aggression, irritability, and stress.
Telling high-quality honey from low-quality honey is not easy, but possible. Unripe honey can be of low quality. This happens when honey is taken out of honeycomb before it matures. It contains excessive moisture (over 20%) and turns sour. Unripe honey forms two layers when stored. The lower layer is candied, and the upper one has a syrup-like consistency.
Sometimes honey is diluted with various components – sugar syrup, beet molasses, starch syrup, etc. It is easy to identify starch in honey by adding iodine to it. If honey is diluted with starch, it will turn blue.
Experts do not recommend buying honey from sellers who offer excessively wide selection as they may be offering the types of honey that do not exist in nature.
Healing properties of various types of honey vary insignificantly. It is not easy to check the authenticity of honey. Yet, there are a few distinct features that might help to do it. Natural honey must be homogenous, without sediment. It should have a slightly harsh taste that tickles the throat. Liquid honey usually gets crystallized two weeks to two months after it was collected.
Honey crystallization does not affect its quality or healing properties. If you prefer liquid honey to candied one, it can be warmed up at the temperature of no more than 40°C by double boiling. Heating honey directly on the stove top will cause it to lose its healing properties.
Pythagor, a Greek mathematician, confessed that his longevity was attributed to regular consumption of honey. Arabic doctor and poet Avicenna also recommended honey for people over 45. Greek philosopher Demokrit who lived to be over 100 years old also recommended honey for everyone.
There are no flat contraindications for honey consumption. Even those with diabetes may have it in moderation and under a doctor’s supervision. However, honey is high in calories, and can compete with chocolate and nuts in nutritional value. Adults are recommended to consume no more than 60-100 grams of honey a day.
To be able to enjoy quality honey, stick to the following rules:
- buy honey from authorized sellers only;
- study labels and package;
- store honey at 5 to 10°C in a dry cool place, in a glass or wooden container. Keep it far from fragrant products because honey absorbs smells easily.