Organic Honey: Natures health and medicinal wonder

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Organic Honey: Natures health and medicinal wonder

Organic honey dew is an essential ingredient used in nearly all of our breads including our Purebread 1kg Big Daddy and 700gm Big Mamma organic loaves. The honey “feeds” the yeast in the healthiest way, assists with shelf life and supplies a natural source of energy from our breads.

Introducing our producer
We are proud to source all of our honey dew from Lorraine Muldoon who houses 600 busy hives on land nestled between Mount Thomas and the Mount Oxford foothills in North Canterbury. Lorraine is one a number of organic honey producers who also provide Friend and Co: NZ Artisan Honey a company that produces a range of single varietal certified organic honey.

What is honey?
The use of raw honey for medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years and it remains beneficial in both traditional and modern medicine practice.  This remarkable natural substance has already been found to offer multiple health benefits and the research continues for more health benefits.

Known as Honig in German, Miele in Italian, Shahad in Hindi, Miel in French, Miel in Spanish, Mel in Portuguese, мед in Russian, Honing in Dutch, and μελι in Greek, there is hardly any region in the world where honey is not cherished.

What makes honey so popular? It is the ease with which it can be consumed. One can eat honey directly, put it on bread like a jam, mix it with juice or any drink instead of sugar, or mix it with warm water , lime juice, cinnamon and other herbs to make a medicine. It is savoured by all due to its taste as well as health benefits.

Health benefits of honey
The health benefits of honey include the following:

Sweetener: Sugar can be substituted with honey in many food and drinks. Honey contains about 69% glucose and fructose enabling it to be used as a sweetener.

Energy Source: According to USDA , honey contains about 64 calories per tablespoon. Hence honey is also used by many as a source of energy. On the other hand, one tablespoon of sugar will give you about 50 calories. Further the carbohydrates in the honey can be easily converted into glucose by even the most sensitive stomachs. Hence it is very easy to digest honey.

Weight Loss: Though honey has more calories than sugar, honey when consumed with warm water helps in digesting the fat stored in your body. Similarly honey and lemon juice and honey and cinnamon help in reducing weight. Read more about benefits of honey in weight loss .

Improving Athletic Performance: Recent research has shown that honey is an excellent ergogenic aid and helps in boosting the performance of athletes. Honey facilitates in maintaining blood sugar levels, muscle recuperation and glycogen restoration after a workout.

Source of Vitamins and Minerals: Honey contains a variety of vitamins and minerals . The type of vitamins and minerals and their quantity depends on the type of flowers used for apiculture. Commonly, honey contains Vitamin C , Calcium and Iron . Check for the vitamin and mineral content in sugar from any source, you will find it to be either nil or miniscule.

Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties: Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and hence it can be used as a natural antiseptic.

Antioxidants: Honey contains nutraceuticals, which are effective in removing free radicals from our body. As a result, our body immunity is improved.

Skin Care with Milk and Honey: Milk and honey are often served together as both these ingredients help in getting a smooth soothing skin. Hence consuming milk and honey daily in the morning is a common practice in many countries.

Honey in wound management
Significant research is being carried out to study the benefits of honey in treating wounds. Nursing Standard provides some of these benefits in the document – The benefits of honey in wound management. These have been given below:

  • Honey possesses antimicrobial properties.
  • It helps in promoting autolytic debridement.
  • It deodorizes malodorous wounds.
  • It speeds up the healing process by stimulating wound tissues.
  • It helps in initiating the healing process in dormant wounds.
  • Honey also helps in promoting moist wound healing.

The healing powers of honey are not hyped. The Waikato Honey Research Unit provides details about the world-wide research that is being carried out on the benefits of honey in medicine. Further, doctors at the Christie Hospital in Didsbury, Manchester are planning to use honey for faster recovery of cancer patients after surgery. Such research will provide scientific evidence to the so-called beliefs held by honey lovers all over the world and help in propagating benefits of honey to more people.

Organic honey nutrition: Eat it raw or mix it up
The benefits of honey can be obtained by any method of administration.  Often it is mixed with herbs, spices, liquids or other substances.  It can be eaten in its raw form or mixed with other foods and eaten.  It can be applied topically to wounds in its raw state or again, mixed with other ingredients to achieve the health benefits.  Since it tastes sweet most people have no problem substituting it for sugar in their diets, be aware that honey is sweeter than table sugar and you will need to adjust the amount to your own tastes.

Nutritional benefits of organic honey
Including organic honey in your daily nutrition can help combat multiple ailments including digestive problems, migraine headaches, morning sickness and muscle fatigue.  There are many ways honey can be used nutritionally to benefit your health. Here are our Top 10 nutritional benefits:

  1. Substitution for Sugar – Since it is sweet and contains 69% glucose and fructose it can be used as a sugar substitute.
  2. Weight Loss – Honey does have more calories per teaspoon than sugar (sugar has about 50 calories and honey about 64 calories) but unlike sugar honey when mixed with warm water or mixed with lemon can help digest the fat already stored in your body resulting in weight loss.
  3. Honey is easily converted to glucose in the body and easily digested.
  4. Good source of Vitamins and Minerals – contents are varied among honey, so check the label of your organic honey for nutritional values.
  5. Antioxidant properties – nutraceuticals contained in honey help to remove free radicals from the body which improves the immune system.
  6. Energy Boost – eating raw honey can result in a boost of energy due to the carbohydrates it contains.
  7. Muscle recuperation and muscle fatigue- Honey have been found to be effective in maintaining blood sugar levels during workouts and in muscle recuperation and glycogen restoration following workouts.
  8. Effective in relieving sore throats and morning sickness.
  9. Mix honey with cinnamon to treat bladder infections, upset stomach and arthritis.
  10. Honey and apple cider vinegar combine to treat digestive ailments and migraines.

Benefits of organic honey
Some people have the opinion that all honey available in the market is natural honey obtained from the wild. Others feel that honey production carried out on chemically sprayed farms cannot get contaminated with the pesticides sprayed on the crops and weeds.

However, the truth is that honey bees may also get affected by the extensive pesticide usage which goes on the chemically treated farms. Moreover, non- organic honey production involves extensive usage of antibiotics for disease control. It should be noted that so far, there is no proof that organic honey is healthier than non-organic honey.

Then why should one eat organic honey? People prefer to be cautious. Most of our decisions are based on our beliefs and conscience. Since organic honey production involves following stringent guidelines, people feel secure when they eat organic honey as compared to when they eat non-organic honey

Given below are some of the ways in which pesticide and antibiotic contamination of honey can take place:

Contamination of pesticides in honey

  • Honey can be contaminated with the pesticides sprayed on crops through one or more of the following ways:
  • In some cases, when the plants and weeds containing flowers have been sprayed with pesticides, the honey bees are poisoned with pesticides.
  • At times, the pesticide gets sprayed on the honey bees directly.
  • In many occasions, honey bees collect nectar and pollen that is contaminated with pesticides.
  • When pesticides are sprayed, part of it gets accumulated in water on or near the plants. When honey bees drink this water, they are also contaminated.
  • In few occasions, the pesticide gets sprayed on the honey bee hives or gets transported to it from the sprayed plants.

Residues of antibiotics in honey
Conventional honey bees are given large doses of antibiotics to help them protect from diseases. Unfortunately, the honey also gets contaminated with these antibiotics. In 2002, samples of Chinese honey were tested for the presence of antibiotics in Europe. Several samples were found to contain traces of antibiotics, which led to a ban on the imports of Chinese honey in Europe. (The ban was later removed in 2004 due to improvements in Chinese veterinary standards and imports of honey from China were resumed.)

What leads to this antibiotics contamination? Unlike organic honey production, conventional honey production does not involve stringent guidelines for the quantity and mode of transmission of antibiotics to the honey bees. As a result, apiculturists have a free hand in using these antibiotics. When farmers use excessive quantities of antibiotics the chance of contamination increases.

What is the problem with residues of antibiotics being found in honey? The antibiotics given to the honey bees are veterinary antibiotics such as chloramphenicol, streptomycin and sulfonamides. Large doses of chloramphenicol administered into the human beings may cause cancer and aplastic anaemia . Similarly, high doses of streptomycin and sulfonamides are harmful to the human body.

Many countries have not banned the usage of these harmful drugs in apiculture. The EU has banned all three while the US has banned chloramphenicol.

Using local products can help you get the freshest product.  Locally produced honey also contains no preservatives or chemicals that can interfere with the health benefits you will receive from consuming it, this also reduces the amount of toxins and harmful chemicals you are putting into your body .

References
http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-animal-products/organic-honey/health-benefits-of-honey.html

2017-09-01T23:07:36+00:00 Ingredient Profiles|0 Comments

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