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The Wonders of Honey

January 25
11:59 2018

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Who doesn’t like the sweet taste of honey. It’s used to sweeten hot tea, hot cereal and many food products. People spread honey on bread, use it in a sandwich (I love a peanut butter and honey sandwich). It’s in many recipes liked glazed carrots, one of my wife’s favorites.

Before the discovery or advent of producing sugar from sugar cane in the 1500s, honey was the primary source of sweetener used for many centuries. Biblically, honey was first mentioned in Genesis 43:11, when Israel (formerly known as Jacob, grandson of Abraham), told his sons to return to Egypt and return everything they acquired on their first trip and to bring back his son Simeon who was held captive in Egypt after their first visit. This took place before the 430 years of captivity in Egypt and the eventual exodus of the Jews to the Promised Land.

Do you have any idea what honey really is or how bees make it? If I tell you, will you still eat it?

According to one source:

“Nectar — a sugary liquid — is extracted from flowers using a bee’s long, tube-shaped tongue and stored in its extra stomach, or ‘crop.’ While sloshing around in the crop, the nectar mixes with enzymes that transform its chemical composition and pH, making it more suitable for long-term storage.”

“When a honeybee returns to the hive, it passes the nectar to another bee by regurgitating the liquid into the other bee’s mouth. This regurgitation process is repeated until the partially digested nectar is finally deposited into a honeycomb.”

“Once in the comb, nectar is still a viscous liquid — nothing like the thick honey you use at the breakfast table. To get all that extra water out of their honey, bees set to work fanning the honeycomb with their wings in an effort to speed up the process of evaporation.”

“When most of the water has evaporated from the honeycomb, the bee seals the comb with a secretion of liquid from its abdomen, which eventually hardens into beeswax. Away from air and water, honey can be stored indefinitely, providing bees with the perfect food source for cold winter months.”

Yes, honey is made from flower nectar mixed with bee’s stomach juices then puked from one bee to the next and so one until it’s deposited. Sounds gross, but before you toss out your jars of honey, consider the health benefits that come from honey.

  1. Honey contains usable nutrients. One teaspoon of honey on average contains 17 grams of sugar (fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose – about 64 calories). It also contains small amounts of some vitamins and minerals.
  2. Honey is rich in antioxidants. The better the quality of honey, the more antioxidants it contains. Honey made from bees frequenting buckwheat actually increases the antioxidant levels in a person’s blood. Antioxidants help reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, and some cancers and helps lower blood pressure.
  3. Honey is better than sugar for diabetics. Honey does increase blood sugar levels but not as much as sugar does. It’s also found to help lower LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and reduces inflammation. It also helps increase HDL cholesterol.
  4. Honey helps the healing of burns and wounds when applied directly to the infected area. It has also been suggested that applying honey to foot ulcers helps them heal.
  5. Honey is a natural cough suppressant, especially for children. Several studies have shown that honey works better a cough suppression than some popular cough medicines, which in turn helps with sleeping.
  6. Honey can help with allergies. If you suffer from allergies to some local plants, try to find a locally produced honey and take a teaspoon a day. The honey is made from the nectar and pollen from the plants you may be allergic to, but the ingestion of the honey helps to build up a tolerance to those plants, thus reducing the seasonal allergic responses to them.

So, don’t toss the honey because of how it’s made, but use it to help improve your health and the health of your family.

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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