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What is Raw Honey?

April 18, 2015

Eating Healthy, Eating Healthy, Honey, Raw Honey

Information You Should Know About Raw Honey

When we think of honey, we often imagine those bear shaped bottles with amber colored liquid inside. While this type of honey is great for adding sweetness to our tea, it can often contain added sugar and not have the many, many nutrients that honey that is unprocessed has. If you are looking for honey that is closer to its natural form, in both taste and vitamin content, than raw honey is what you are looking for – this minimally process form of honey is much different than the honey we are used to seeing.

Definition of Raw Honey

The National Honey Bee Board has defined raw honey as honey that is “as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction.” Additionally, raw honey does not undergo any heat processing or straining. Although this is true, commercially produced raw honey will go through minimal process that can include gentle pasteurization and/or high pressure filtration. Since there is no current regular for the label of “raw honey,” different producers will manufacture it in varying levels of processing.

Basic Filtration of Honey

Honey that comes directly from the hive will contain some impurities, including particles from the surrounding environment, the bee hive itself, air bubbles, and pollen grains from the bees themselves. Filtration helps to remove these impurities and is done to all batches of honey by the beekeeper right after the honey is removed from the hive. Taking out these particles and other contaminants help honey to keep its liquid form longer as well as giving it a more appealing, transparent appearance.

Pollen in Raw Honey

True raw honey has little to no more processing aside from what is done by the beekeeper. Because of this, there are traces of bee pollen in raw honey. Pollen is often what carries most of the antioxidant and nutritional properties in honey, so when it is over processed and the pollen is removed, honey essentially loses all its health benefits. Processing honey and adding additional sugar greatly changes the nutritional makeup of honey, making raw honey with bee pollen in tack the best choice.

Health Benefits of Raw Honey

Raw honey has a number of health benefits for those of us that love to use it. Honey in its raw form has an anti-microbial agent which can help to reduce infection as well as help to control the symptoms of an infection. Additionally, raw honey contains the many vitamins and nutrients found in bee pollen as well as carbohydrates which are easily absorbable into the body. This makes honey a great energy booster for athletes and active individuals as a natural alternative to other products.

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