Honey’s Nutritional Profile and Its Benefits
In addition to being an amazing natural sweetener, raw, unfiltered honey has a variety of benefits due to its underlying complex persona. Containing over 200 complex elements in every spoonful, honey is naturally anti-allergenic, a wholesome sore-throat soother and a quick energy booster. It’s also anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and it’s also great topical for healing cuts and treating wounds.
Honey contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. In addition, flavonoids and phenolic acids, which act as antioxidants, are found in honey. The amount and type of these compounds depends largely on the floral source. The pie chart below reflects the content and make-up of a typical poly-floral honey, such as wildflower.
Raw honey adds a sweet, special touch to almost every recipe. It can be your secret ingredient that opens up culinary doors while revealing new possibilities. Many people think of honey as a drizzle in desserts or a topping for toast. Nowadays, honey is being recognized as a pantry staple. It gives your recipes unbeatable flavor and unexpected health benefits. From balancing flavors to providing moisture to baked goods, honey excels in a slew of tasks—all from one little bottle and only one ingredient.
Because honey is actually slightly sweeter than sugar, you can use less to achieve the same amount of sweetness in a dish. When substituting honey for granulated sugar in recipes, begin by substituting honey for up to half of the sugar called for in the recipe. For baked goods:
- Reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used.
- Add about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used.
- Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent over-browning.
The glucose portion of honey is absorbed by the body quickly, giving an immediate energy boost. Fructose provides longer, sustained energy as it is absorbed more slowly. Compared to other types of sugar, honey keeps blood sugar levels fairly constant. Honey is a natural source of carbohydrates, providing 17 grams per tablespoon. This makes it ideal for working muscles. Since carbohydrates are the primary fuel the body uses, raw honey can help maintain muscle glycogen, also known as stored carbohydrates, which gives athletes an added boost when they need need it most.
Throat Aid and Cough Suppressant
Honey has been used for centuries to help alleviate symptoms of the common cold, and now research confirms this approach for children ages one and older. Honey offers an effective and natural alternative to over-the-counter cough medicine. Though time is the most important healer of a sore throat, a spoonful of honey can help relieve the irritation.
A Cautionary Note
Honey is a versatile and wholesome food for both older children and adults. Honey may be introduced into a child’s diet after the age of one, but not before. The primary risk of introducing honey too early is infant botulism. Babies are susceptible to botulism by eating Clostridium botulinum spores found in honey and honey products. These spores then turn into bacteria in the bowels producing harmful neurotoxins in the body.
The “Honey’s Nutritional Profile” chart was sourced from www.honey.com.
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