How to choose the best honey
August is the time when honey lovers start searching for this yummy treat and stock their pantries for a year. According to an old Russian tradition, Honey Spas is the time for collecting honeycombs. There are certain rules for choosing yummy and healthy honey.
Health benefits of honey
Why is it important to buy only natural honey and know what you buy? Because natural and properly chosen honey is a source of beneficial properties and useful qualities. Honey is known as a source of fructose and glucose. These monosaccharides are easily digested, and once in the bloodstream, they become a source of essential elements for the body.
Besides, honey contains a balanced amount of hormone-like substances, amino acids, organic acids, essential oils, enzymes, vitamins and even anti-diabetic agents.
The most beneficial properties of honey are:
- Antiviral and antibacterial;
- Wound healing. Apply some honey to the skin to relieve pain symptoms. Eat some honey to enhance skin regeneration;
- Stomach acid neutralization. Dissolve some honey in a glass of warm water to reduce acidity and drink cold water with honey when you need to increase stomach acid levels;
- Regulates digestive processes;
- Has a beneficial cardiovascular effect; also effective as a preventive measure;
- Honey delivers a significant performance boost, it is a perfect source of energy;
- It has a positive effect on blood composition;
- It is a perfect sugar substitute and is allowed for diabetic patients;
- Regular intake of honey boost the immune system;
- It is effective for cold, helps to get rid of a stuffy nose, coughing and relieves the pain of a sore throat;
- In combination with dairy products, honey may help better calcium absorption;
- Honey has a calming effect and prevents insomnia.
Types of honey
Honey may help our body in several ways. However, you should be aware that each type of honey has its own unique characteristics.
Buckwheat honey may have different colors from yellowish to dark brown. It is rich in protein, vitamins and iron. Due to its properties, buckwheat honey is good for:
- Blood renewal;
- Managing blood deficiency and anemia;
- Strengthening vascular walls and cleansing;
- Managing kidney, liver and gastrointestinal disorders;
- Recovering after a disease or a heart stroke.
Acacia honey stands out of all the other types of honey with its impressive qualities. It is safe even for kids as it does not trigger an allergic reaction.
Sweet clover honey is light amber or even whitish. Its flavor reminds vanilla. Sweet clover honey has many beneficial properties and it is effective for:
- Cardiovascular disorders;
- Better circulation;
- Widening the vessels;
- Controlling blood pressure;
- Regulating sleep etc.
White honey is just as good, it has amazing taste and flavor. This honey is very effective for relieving cold symptoms and infections. For a better effect, let honey melt slowly in your mouth or add some honey in berry infusions.
Chestnut honey is a rare thing to buy but it is the best remedy for kidney and liver disease. However, be cautious as chestnut honey may trigger an allergic reaction.
Blossom honey or polifloral honey is produced by bees from a wide variety of medicinal flowers and plant when the honey farm is located in the fields, woods or valleys. It’s good to fight colds and flu and also:
- Beneficial for the liver as it helps to cleanse and to strengthen it;
- Good for the stomach. Honey is used to treat gastritis, ulcers and duodenum disorders;
- Helps to manage anemia;
- May be used in dietary nutrition;
- Boosts immunity.
What you should know about honey before you buy it
We all have our own food preferences. If you like a certain type of honey, study its properties and qualities first. Supermarkets offer a great variety of honey but there is a risk to buy absolutely useless commercially produced honey. Look for natural and useful honey in seasonal markets and better in August.
Don’t trust the seller who will try to assure of good quality of honey. Learn how to check the quality of honey. You may do some tests right there and some other at home. Natural and useful honey:
- Has sweet and astringent taste, it is a bit bitter and when you eat it, honey makes your throat tickly;
- Has a very bright flavor which enhances when you warm honey;
- Take a small drop of honey and rub it between your fingers, honey should be completely absorbed. If you feel small grains on your skin, don’t buy this honey;
- The color and texture should be uniform, color hues may be different. Hard honey means that it is old. Honey may become candied in a week after collecting but it depends on the type of honey. For example, natural acacia honey never becomes candied;
- When you pour honey, it should form one steady stream;
- A drop of good honey does not spread and keeps its shape;
- Natural honey is almost one third heavier than artificial.
Tricks by dishonest bee-keepers
Many sellers offer fake honey which is a very different product from raw natural honey. They do it because they want to get more profit. There are many ways to make honey without investing too much time and money into the process:
- Some sellers are not even bee-keepers, they don’t wait for the bees to return to the hive with full sacs of nectar which later changes into honey. They give the bees a sugary syrup and get in return something reminding of honey but absolutely useless;
- Some sellers offer old candied honey which contains virtually no beneficial nutrients. When heated, old honey releases a toxic substance hydroxymethylfurfurol.
By the way, for this reason, it is not recommended to add even natural honey to a very hot tea.