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Honey is the natural sweet substance that bees produce from the nectar of plants, or from secretions of the living parts of the plants that the bees collect, convert by mixing with special substances of their body, deposit, dehydrate, and store in the honeycombs, in order to mature.
It is the only food on the planet that will never spoil or eradicate. It will only crystallize. Honey will actually be honey forever.
Honey as human food is one of the most precious, nutritious and healthier foods. It gives energy to the muscles, clarity in the mind, disinfects and regulates the digestive system. Its regular use gives the body a vigor and contributes to prolonging life. Hippocrates and all doctors of antiquity recommended it as a medicine in many cases. For holy Greeks honey was a type of consumption and offer to the gods in order to ensure their favors. Today, its healing value is recognized in constipation, heart disease, anemia, adenopathy and in cases of failure and weakness of the organism. This view is widespread throughout the world and the most important is also documented by scientists.
Due to the rich flora, Greek honey is a quality and delicious one of the best in the world.
We distinguish honey in two categories. Flowers of honey or nectar from the nectar of plants and flowers are light-colored and honey- Honeycomb (eg pine-tree-eel) originating from the natural juices of the plants and insects fed by these plants and are usually Dark color.
Honey is an aromatic, viscous, sweet material derived from the nectar of the plants, which gathers the bees and alters it to feed them to a denser liquid and eventually stores it in their honeycombs.
In Greece, its main species are thyme, pine, chamomile, cotton, fir, chestnut, citrus and sunflower.
Bees collect nectar from the flowers or natural juices and put it in their hive. There it loses moisture and reaches the usual moisture content of honey, from 14-18%.
Honey contains 77-78% sugars (mainly fructose and glucose) and because of its relatively low moisture, it does not favor the growth of microorganisms.
It is acid reaction, fluid in its original form, but it changes to crystalline when it is too long. It consists mainly of two simple sugars, dextrose and leucolose, with the presence of more complex carbohydrates, predominantly leukulose, and always contains metallic substances, vegetable colorants, some enzymes and pollen grains.
Honey tends to crystallize. At first crystals form on the bottom and the walls of the container. New crystals are added constantly and generally give an unpleasant image to honey. Crystallization also makes it unhelpful. Crystallized honey does not lose its properties. However, crystallization results in an uneven distribution of moisture, resulting in uncrystallised honey having more moisture (over 20-21%) and leading to fermentation.
The crystallization of sweeteners is characteristic of the flower and declares purity. This is a natural process related to the fructose and glucose ratio in its composition. The honey that grows fast (1-3 months) is orange, cotton, heather and sunflower, for longer (8-18 months) they need chestnut and thyme, while fir and pine tree do not crystallize, Because of their low glucose content as well as honey of acacia, which takes years to crystallize.
To melt the honey, it is enough to melt it in Ben Marie at a temperature not exceeding 45-50 ° C. Proper storage requires that it be stored in a glass or metal container, outside the refrigerator, in a cool and dark place.
It is rich in carbohydrates (glucose and fructose) and contains proteins, B vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, trace elements (calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc) and water. With regard to its caloric value, one tablespoon, equivalent to about 21 grams, gives 64 calories, while the corresponding amount of sugar has 84 calories. In any case, experts advise preferring honey instead of sugar.
The health benefits of honey are too numerous to be named, but here are some key ones:
Nature's Energy Booster
The benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. A great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies, honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting the performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue of athletes. Its natural sugars play an important role in preventing fatigue during exercise. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost, while the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy. It is known that honey has also been found to keep levels of blood sugar fairly constant compared to other types of sugar. So, to experience these health benefits of honey, here are a few tips for you:
1. Next time before you go for a workout, take a spoon of honey to enable you to go for the extra mile.
2. If you are feeling low and lethargic in the morning, instead of reaching out for a can of carbonated energy drink, try honey. Spread it on hot toast or replace the sugar in your tea with it for a refreshing surge of energy.
3. If your kids are finding hard to cope with the physical strain from the buzzing activities at school, prepare them a honey drink, some sandwiches with honey, butter and ham to make sure they have enough energy to sustain through the day. And for optimal sleep and recovery cycle at night, give your child a spoonful of honey before sleep on a daily basis. They may not care a bit about the health benefits of honey now, but will be grateful and love what you do for them when they grow up!
Immunity System Builder
Amongst the many health benefits of honey, what is most impressive to me is that honey can be a powerful immune system booster. It's antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can help improve digestive system and help you stay healthy and fight disease. Start every brand-new day with this cleansing tonic if you want
to see this health benefit of honey: before breakfast, mix a spoonful of honey and lemon juice from half a lemon into a cup of warm water and drink it.
Honey is Anti-Cancer!
Can honey help fight cancer? What many people don't think enough of or have overlooked is - honey possesses carcinogen-preventing and anti-tumor properties! There are now more and more studies pointing to the potential role of honey in the prevention and the progression of tumor and cancer.
Honey is Brain-Booster
Studies have shown that honey possesses natural antioxidant and therapeutic properties that were able to prevent cognitive decline and dementia and enhance the brain's cholinergic system and circulation.
Consumption of honey can reduce the risk of developing diabetes and help aid medication used to treat diabetes.
Honey increases insulin and decreases hyperglycemia. Try consuming a little at a time and see how your
blood sugar reacts to it and to your diabetic diet plan.
Healthy Weight Management
Research studies have linked honey consumption with weight loss. A San Diego State University study found that replacing sugar with honey can actually help prevent packing on extra pounds and also lower blood sugar. The results also suggest that in comparison to sugar, honey may lower serum triglycerides.
Another study from the University of Wyoming found that raw honey can activate hormones that suppress the appetite. Overall, researchers concluded that honey consumption offers potential obesity protective effects.
Honey Remedy for Ailments
FOR CUTS AND BURNS:
For thousands of years, honey has been recognized as one of the most natural home remedies to treat a wide range of ailments and complaints including yeast infection, athlete foot, and arthritis pain. Its antiseptic properties inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and helps keep external wounds clean and free from infection. Honey has been used as natural cure in first aid treatment for wounds, burns and cuts as it is able to absorb moisture from the air and promote healing. Its antibacterial properties prevent infection and functions as an anti-inflammatory agent, reducing both swelling and pain, and even scarring.
When you get a hangover from drinking too much alcohol, combat its effects by applying honey remedy. Honey is gentle on the stomach and contains a mix of natural sugars such fructose which is known to speed up the oxidation of alcohol by the liver, acting as a 'sobering' agent. Follow this recipe: 15ml of liquid honey with 80ml of orange juice and 70ml of natural yogurt. Blend them together until smooth.
FOR SORE THROATS:
One of the better-known health benefits of honey is that it is able to help treat sore throats. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, honey not only soothes throats but can also kill certain bacteria that causes the infection. Professional singers commonly use honey to soothe their throats before performances. F.e. Take a spoonful of honey to soothe the inflammation or gargle with a mixture of two tablespoons of honey, four tablespoons of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
Unable to sleep? Use the famous Milk and Honey Remedy. Take a glass of hot milk with a teaspoon of honey to calm the soul and induce sleep. Or, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of honey to a cup of chamomile tea and sip. Honey promotes restorative sleep in two ways. By consuming honey before bedtime, it restocks the liver’s glycogen supply and prevents the brain from triggering a crisis search for fuel, which can wake you up. Secondly, eating raw honey fosters the release of melatonin in the brain by creating a small spike in insulin levels, which stimulates the release of tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan converts to serotonin, which is then converted to melatonin.
Melatonin also boosts immunity and helps rebuild tissue during periods of rest. Poor sleep, by comparison, has been shown to be a risk factor for hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and arthritis. As honey is a proven natural sleep aid, it naturally lowers the risk of all these health problems.