In this article, we review the nutritional properties and qualities of honey. Then, we do an in-depth comparison between the nutritional value of honey vs. refined sugar.
At the end, we welcome all of your honey-inspired questions in the comments section. We do our best to respond personally to all of our reader's legitimate concerns.
Honey contains 80 different substances important to human nutrition. The exact composition of these ingredients in honey depends a lot on the influence of plants, climate, environmental conditions, and the skills of the beekeeper.
In general, raw honey will include the following micro-nutrients:
Amino Acids / Proteins such a proline, phenylalanine,tyrosine, lysine, arginine, glutamic acid, histidine and valin.
Antioxidants like polyphenols and phytonutrients like pinocembrin, pinostrobin, and chrysin.
Enzymes called diastase (amylase), invertase (?- glucosidase), and glucose oxidase.
Minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, and zinc.
Organic Acids including acetic, butyric, citric, formic, gluconic, lactic, malic, pyroglutamic, and succinic acid.
Vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin D, and the vitamin B complex - vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin.
Honey also contains hormones, as well as antimicrobial and antibacterial factors. Further, raw honey, due to its natural and unprocessed nature, is likely to include bee pollen and propolis.
Raw honey is rich in vitamin C. As one of the most effective vitamins available, vitamin C has a multitude of nutritional benefits. The top 3 benefits of vitamin C found in honey include:
Honey is basically super brain food in a jar. In fact, honey appears to be the brain's preferred source of energy because contains almost an equal 1:1 ratio of fructose and glucose. This balanced amount is perfect for our liver to turn it immediately into glycogen - our brain's fuel.
Honey also possesses extraordinary nootropic and neuroprotective effects. In addition to directly feeding our brain, honey also helps prevent metabolic stress in the brain and can aid restful sleep, which in turn is critical for our cognitive and memory enhancement.
Why is this important?
Our brain is highly susceptible to oxidative damage due to its high oxygen demand as well as to the high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the neuronal membranes. And, taking good care of your brain by consuming honey can also decrease your chances of cognitive decline in the future.
In fact, studies have concluded that honey nutrition - or to be more precise the polyphenols and flavonoids in honey - can act as natural preventive therapy for cognitive decline and ward against the occurrence of dementia as we approach retirement.
WHAT DO THE DOCTORS SAY?
"Honey is a "functional food" also known as a nutraceutical - a natural food that delivers a health benefit. When honey is consumed, the best of the nutrients obtained from the plant blossom (without the fiber) are available for immediate absorption into the body for food and energy."
- Dr. Ron Fessenden, MD, MPH
Yes, honey has carbs. In fact, honey basically IS carbs...
The predominant constituents of honey are monosacharides fructose and glucose. They make up about 80% of honey. In addition to these two simple sugars, honey also contains disaccharides, trisaccharides, and oligosaccharides, but in much smaller quantities.
But, despite its ability to provide you with an energy boost, honey also provides your body and brain with healthy nutrition (unlike processed sugar), and its energy can immediately be used as fuel.
Not all sugar is bad!
In fact, doctors advise patients to limit the use of processed and refined sugars and stick to sugars that are close to nature...like honey.
The best way to make sure you are harvesting all of honey's nutritional benefits is to choose a natural and raw honey - like Honey Love. Raw honey is pure, unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed, which allows all the natural vitamins, enzymes, phytonutrients and other nutritional elements to be preserved.
Why is Honey Love special? - This honey blend is inspired by the 20+ years' of medical work of our mentor, Dr. Keerthy Sunder. He decided to combine cutting-edge science with ancient Eastern wellness techniques to create a synergistic blend of the highest quality ingredients for ultimate honey nutrition. The result: A combination of some of the world's finest wild-sourced super-foods in a rejuvenating burst of sweetness made of:
The best part?
The nutritious raw honeys, organic turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger work as a team. Each one ingredient delivers an antioxidant boost to your brain and body, and further accentuate the health benefits of the other ingredients. Doubling the benefits! Tripling the nutritional values!
Now, if you are thinking "honey is sugar and all sugar is bad"...you might be surprised to learn that things might not be so black-or-white after all. Let's look at some of the facts comparing honey to refined sugar:
Think of it like this: honey is a natural sweetener. It has excellent nutritional value and serves as an important source of physiologically active natural compounds. For example, honey is the only food that contains pinocembrin - an antioxidant connected to improved brain performance. So, honey doesn't only feed our brain. It can also improve and protect our brain function.
Consuming high amounts of refined sugars, on the other hand, can damage our brain cells. Refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup are one of the worst forms of processed sugars and have been scientifically linked to numerous health conditions. One research study found our brains react to increased amounts of administered sugar in a similar way to the way they react to virus or bacteria. As a consequence, the immune response our brain has may lead to cognitive deficits such as those associated with Alzheimer's disease.
NOTE: While honey may be "less bad" than refined sugar for diabetics, it is still something that people suffering from diabetes should consult their doctor about. And even if your doctor approves, honey should still be consumed in moderation with caution.
We love our curious readers. So, don't be shy to ask us any questions that may be popping into your head. Please use the designated comments section below to get in touch, and we'll do our best to address all legitimate concerns in a personal and timely manner.
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