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Honey: A Beneficial Food Product

Honey is characterized as a natural and raw foodstuff that is consumed as a healthy alternative to regular sugar. It is also used as a medicine largely due to its numerous health benefits and its antioxidant content. However, while some claim that honey can be delicious and a nutritious way to help satisfy their sweet tooth, there are some who dismiss it as little more than a high-sugar indulgence. This article tells you whether honey is good or bad for you.

Honey is a sweet liquid made by honey bees from the nectars of the flowers. It is highly regarded as a pure and nutritious food. Among the Muslims, it has a special significance as the Quran denotes it as a cure for mankind. It was used by the ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Muslims and Egyptians for wound healing, better digestion, a cure for infections and various ailments. Honey is made up of 80% sugar, thus it has high energising properties. The bees collect the nectar, then consume, digest and regurgitate it inside the beehive to produce honey.

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Honey is stored in wax-like structures known as honeycombs and are gathered through the practice of beekeeping. There are many types of honey available, which are categorized based on the plant source, the extraction method and whether it is raw or pasteurized.

Authenticity Of Honey

The market is filled with honey promising you the finest quality. It is prone to adulterations that manipulate the quality of honey. For instance, if you try opening a new jar of honey and you hear a little pop sound, it could be a sign it is adulterated. This usually happens when fermentation takes place inside the bottle. Even though honey consumption has increased over the last few years all around the world, the safety of honey is not accessed and monitored regularly, which reduces consumers’ trust

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and interest in this valuable product. Honey adulterants are any substances that are added to the pure honey and they are usually sugars such as syrup sugar, corn sugar, maltose syrup, molasses, glucose and dextrose. Adulterated honey increases blood sugar, which can lead to diabetes, abdominal weight gain, obesity and raise the level of blood lipids, causing high blood pressure. The most common organs affected by adulterated honey are the liver, kidney, heart and the brain.

There are four simple do-it-yourself tests to find out the purity of the honey.

1. Dissolving test: Adulterated honey dissolves readily in water while pure honey settles at the bottom of the water. Pure honey is thick and does not dissolve well in water. Those added with sugar will dissolve easily in water.

2. The flame test: Adulterated honey develops no flame while pure honey produces flame when burnt.

3. Blotting test: Adulterated honey leaves wet mark on the serviettes while pure honey leaves none

4. Thumb test: Adulterated honey drips off quickly while pure honey stays intact on the thumb.

The Chemistry Of Honey

The source of nectar collected by the honey bees from flowers determine the colour of honey. The second most important compounds that determine the colour are the sugars in the honey. In fact, sugars are the largest component, making up to 80% of honey, while pigment compounds comprise only about 1%. Honey is a complex sugar solution with 80 to 85% sugars composed of regular sugars such as fructose and glucose while around 15% of sugars in honey are rare sugars. It is these rare sugars that make honey unique as no other natural foods offer a large

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percentage of rare sugars. Rare sugars are a good alternative to regular sugar without the harmful effects.

 

In addition, these rare sugars have a few benefits, separating them from other regular sugars. The benefits include:

  1. fewer calories

  2. lower glucose response

  3. no harmful effect on teeth

  4. improvement of sugar digestion and metabolism

  5. lower adiposity by the body’s ability to oxidise lipids

  6. stimulate gut hormones

  7. beneficial for gut bacteria 

  8. have immune modulatory effects.

Honey, Are You Too Sweet For Diabetic?

Because honey is a natural sugar  and a  carbohydrate, it  is only natural for it to affect your blood sugar. However, when  compared  with table sugar, it appears that honey has a smaller effect. A 2004 study  evaluated  the effects of honey and table sugar on blood sugar levels. This study involved individuals with and without type 1 diabetes. In the diabetic group, honey caused an initial increase in blood sugar after 30 minutes of  consumption. However, their blood  sugar  levels  later  decreased  and  remained at lower levels for two hours. It is believed that honey may

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cause an increase in insulin, which is important for blood sugar control. Even though honey may increase insulin levels and help diabetics control their blood sugar, it is plausible that honey may prevent diabetes even though there is no conclusive research.

Honey And Its Role In Relieving Multiple Health Problems

Honey is recommended as a cough remedy in children above one year old. However, do not give honey to children below one year of age because some honey contains bacteria spores which are resistant to the acidity and hydrogen peroxide of the honey. When it is ingested by children below 1 year old, it can cause toxicity in children. A study that looked at 139 children reported that honey was more effective in reducing night time coughs and improving sleep quality compared to diphenhydramine or dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant with sedative properties). Another study also reported that honey was more effective than placebo in cutting down night time coughing and promoting sleep for children with infections of the respiratory system.

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Since ancient times, honey has been known to have been known to have antibacterial properties. In most floral types, the antibacterial action of honey is due to hydrogen peroxide in the honey (which is produced from the breakdown of glucose by the enzyme glucose oxidase), low water activity and acidity  (low pH). There has been a rise in antibiotic resistance, where bacteria no longer respond to antibiotics. Research performed in New Zealand and the United Kingdom found that honey has a very strong antimicrobial effect and bacteria were unable to develop resistance towards it. Further research revealed that honey could kill bacteria through multiple pathways, so developing bacterial resistance is very unlikely. Honey was also found to improve healing through modulating the repair mechanism and the inflammatory and immune response of the body. Hydrogen peroxide is generally thought to be the main compound that is responsible for the antibacterial action of honey. Hydrogen peroxide in honey is produced during glucose oxidation catalyzed by the bee enzyme, glucose oxidase. Glucose oxidase is introduced to honey during nectar harvesting by bees.

You will be getting plenty of antioxidants from honey. Researchers believe that the antioxidant content of honey is one of the components that give it its health benefits. Antioxidants fight against free radicals, which are introduced through smoking, alcohol consumption, exposure to environmental pollution and unhealthy foods. Free radicals cause oxidative stress in the body and can lead to a wide range of consequences from diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease, to cataracts and premature aging. Antioxidants get rid of these free radicals and keep them in check and a diet rich in antioxidants reduces the risk of many chronic diseases.

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In addition, there are numerous studies that prove that honey is able to improve gut microbial balance such as L. acidophilus, B.bifidum among others. It has the ability to eradicate H. pylori for peptic ulcers, Pseudomonas aeruginosa that causes diabetic foot or wounds, E.coli for urinary tract infection and many more other bad bacterias.

Kordel’s Cold Churned Creamed Honey

Kordel’s Signature Cold Churned Creamed Honey is a 100% natural New Zealand honey. It has been processed to control crystallization using a whipping process to break down the glucose into small particles. Because honey is sensitive to heat, Kordel’s Creamed Honey is processed under cold temperature to retain 100% of its nutrients.  Honey should not be heated rapidly, over direct heat. The higher the temperature, the more potential in reducing its nutritional value. A mere temperature of 37°C causes a loss of nearly 200 components, part of which are antibacterials. Heat will also form a toxic chemical from fructose. Creamed honey has the same nutritional value and biological activities as its liquid counterpart. It  contains a large number of small particles (less than 25 microns) and this prevents it from getting crystallized. This will retain a sumptuous and smooth taste and texture from the top of the jar to the bottom. Since creamed honey will not crystallize, refrigeration is not necessary. It preserves the quality and flavour of the honey over time. Creamed honey is easily absorbed by those who have sensitive digestive systems. It generally has a sweeter taste and a lighter colour and remains soft and spreadable. should have. 

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Kordel’s Cold Churned Creamed Honey is affordable while retaining all the good qualities a natural honey