Part of the mission of Earth’s Natural Clay is to educate people not only about calcium bentonite clay, but also about other natural health topics. In this post, our guest blogger, Adrienne Hew, CN, shares the important difference between raw and pasteurized honey and why this food should become a staple in your diet.
In a world that relies so heavily on pharmaceuticals and quick fixes, it is often hard for people to believe that such a simple food as honey could provide the many benefits with which it is credited. To those in the know, however, honey is not only regularly consumed as food, it is a helpful addition to their first aid kits as well. Until fairly recently in America, most people were only familiar with pasteurized honey, or worse – a sugary syrup imported from China and other far off lands that is often labeled as honey. Not only do these honey impostors taste terrible, making most people believe that they don’t like honey, they also have none of the therapeutic properties of real, raw honey.
Consider the Differences in Honey
While it is clear why sugar syrup doesn’t have the health benefits of real honey, distinguishing the benefits of raw honey over pasteurized honey takes a little more analysis to understand. Pasteurization is the process of heating up a substance with the theoretical benefit of killing unwanted pathogens and bacteria. In the process, however, beneficial nutrients and enzymes are lost, weakening the natural curative powers of the honey. Add to that the filtration process, which most commercial honey is subjected to and now the product is little better than refined white sugar. Don’t be so quick to think that honey not labeled pasteurized isn’t actually pasteurized though. Some honey is what I call “accidentally pasteurized”.
Many honey producers extract honey solely for profit. The faster they can get the honey out of the hive, the more money they make. This means that the must liquefy the honey by heating it above its normal temperature of 95º. The result is a relatively lifeless honey providing minimal health benefits. Therefore, when purchasing honey, make sure it is labeled “raw”, “unpasteurized” or clearly states that the honey has not been heated above the temperature of the hive for extraction. If you buy raw honey locally, you can simply ask the beekeeper.
How Can Honey Benefit You?
Here are just some of the main ways raw, unprocessed honey benefits those who choose it as an alternative to regular honey:
• Raw honey is a natural curative for sore throats
• It boosts your energy levels – just don’t overdo it, especially if you’re prone to diabetes
• Raw honey improves digestive health
• It also contains vital antibacterial and antioxidant compounds that help fight off free radicals.
• When applied topically, raw honey speeds up wound healing and provides relief for skin conditions such as acne and eczema.
If until now the only honey you’ve known is of the pasteurized, syrup variety, you’re in for a treat because raw honey is absolutely delicious! It bears no resemblance in flavor to the putrid, off-putting syrups, which are thankfully being displaced in the market. Instead, it raw honey has a clean, delicate flavor, which will vary based upon what the bees have been eating. Stop by your local farmer’s market, health food store, specialty shop or favorite online marketplace and get some raw honey to add to your table and first aid kit!
Are you a raw honey convert? Let us know in the comments below why you made the switch!
About Adrienne Hew
Adrienne Hew, the Nutrition Heretic, is a Certified Nutritionist and author of several books on more than just nutrition and cooking. Through her own journey from ill health to vibrant wellness, Adrienne uses of storytelling to combine humor with scientific facts. Her books appeal to people who love to eat without guilt, while being mindful of the critical role that diet plays in overall health and well-being. Read more about Adrienne’s journey on her website.