What is Raw Honey?
You have probably been hearing a lot about the benefits of raw honey: it’s great for your immune system, it can help with allergies, its chock full of vitamins. But I wasn’t sure exactly what raw honey was, or what the difference was between raw honey and the honey you buy at the grocery store. So as usual I decided to find out. I had been buying the milky thick Raw honey and loved it, now it was time to get the scoop.
Generally speaking, the basic difference between raw honey and “regular” honey is the way it’s processed. Raw honey has not been heated to high temperatures in order to achieve the golden, syrupy look we’re used to. Some people think that this heating, also called pasteurization, is necessary to make the honey fit for human consumption, as it kills bacteria and filters out bits of pollen and other debris.
Just like most foods that are processed or pasteurized, liquid honey loses a lot of its beneficial nutrients when it undergoes a heating process. Raw honey is loaded with nutrients like energizing B vitamins and immune-boosting vitamin C. It contains antibacterial and antioxidant properties, helping fight off free radicals in your body and keeping your immune system strong. This however is only true of honey that is local to your location. Big commercial honey’s (the bear and many others) are not local. Therefore it was not pollinated by local bees and you won’t receive the immune system and allergy system boosts that you will get from the local stuff. (Plus it’s basically been cooked)
It’s likely that raw honey isn’t sold at your local grocery store in fact, a 2011 study found that many brands of honey sold in conventional stores don’t even contain any pollen. If you want to go raw, look for honey at your local health foods store, at a farm stand, or at a farmer’s market. It’s worth it.
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