When it comes to honey, is raw better than regular? While some claim that raw honey has more health benefits, others say there is no major difference between raw and regular.
The main difference between raw honey and regular honey is that raw honey retains many of the nutrients that are lost in the processing of regular honey.
Why is raw honey more nutritious than regular honey?
Raw honey is unprocessed
Raw honey is unprocessed, unfiltered, and unpasteurized. It is made from honey extracted from the honeycomb and poured straight into the bottle.
In contrast, regular honey is filtered and goes through pasteurization. During this process, the honey is heated to a high temperature to destroy the yeast, which extends its shelf life. This also tends to remove many of the beneficial nutrients.
Most regular honey does not contain pollen
Although there are no definitive studies to back the claims, bee pollen is believed to have remarkable health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Pasteurization and other processing methods used in regular honey may remove any traces of bee pollen, whereas raw honey retains the pollen.
What are the health benefits of raw honey?
- Helps with digestive problems: Raw honey may relieve digestive problems such as diarrhea and stomach ulcers. Prebiotic components nurture good bacteria in the gut, which promotes overall digestive health.
- Relieves sore throat and cough: Anti-inflammatory and cold-suppressing properties of raw honey can help relieve symptoms such as cough and sore throat. Adding honey, turmeric, ginger, and lemon to green tea or black tea may also help in reducing seasonal allergy symptoms.
- Great for skin and hair: Honey is added as an essential ingredient in many beauty and hair care products. The high antioxidant content of raw honey helps nourish skin and hair and improve skin elasticity by fighting free radical damage.
- Heals cuts and wounds: Manuka, a form of raw honey, has powerful anti-bacterial and germ-killing properties that can help reduce infections.
What to look for when buying raw honey
When shopping for raw honey, look for products that have “raw” on the label. Products named “organic” or “pure” may not necessarily be raw.
You can also look at the color and consistency of the honey to tell the difference between raw vs. regular. Regular honey has a very clear and smooth appearance, whereas raw honey tends to have a mixture of colors and a cloudy or creamy appearance.
Raw honey may crystallize faster than regular honey. Placing a jar of raw honey in a pot of hot water can help melt the crystals and turn it liquid again.
Is raw honey safe to consume?
Both raw honey and regular honey rarely contain a very small amount of bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can lead to potentially fatal botulism poisoning.
Because adults and older children have a more mature digestive system, they can move and pass these spores before they cause any damage to the body. However, honey should be avoided in babies younger than 12 months because their defensive mechanisms have not fully developed yet.
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