Many people are aware that honey is antibacterial, but when consumed as a *raw* product it packs an awesome nutritional punch.
In general, a raw substance is something that has not been cooked (heated above approximately 115 degrees Farenheit). It is in its natural state. For honey this means not only that it hasn't been pasteurized, but also that it hasn't been filtered. This is important because heating honey destroys the vitamins that are present, and filtering can remove the pollen.
Vitamins in Raw Honey.
Raw honey is rich in vitamins including all of the B vitamins, A, D, E, C, and K. These vitamins can all support immune health as well as act as antioxidants. The B vitamins are known to work together to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. B vitamins are always good for an energy boost, and they can even reduce the symptoms of PMS. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that is used by every cell in the body. It is highly supportive of the immune system, supports good bacteria in the gut, and can help reduce stress. Vitamin D also reduces stress, but it is most importantly involved in bone health. It provides balance in calcium absorption and assists in the absorption of other vitamins. Vitamin A works in conjunction with vitamin D to support bone health, but also suports the immune system. Vitamin E is another immune supporter, so it is not surprising the raw honey has such a powerful effect.
Minerals in Raw Honey.
You will also find many minerals in raw honey, including magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper, and manganese. Magnesium is incredibly useful in the body. It is necessary for proper blood sugar regulation, as well as healthy heart and bones. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant that can help with sleep and even with mild constipation. Iodine and manganese are both important for thyroid health, and manganese works with calcium and phosphorus to support healthy bones.
Health Benefits of Pollen.
Pollen? Yes, pollen. Consuming local honey, particularly raw, is known to support folks that have seasonal allergies. The pollen present in the honey will stimulate your immune system and de-sensitize you to the pollen in the air. Think of it as a tasty version of weekly allergy shots! If you have severe allergies, proceed slowly and with care. Each spoonful contains an unknown amount of pollen, which means your reaction may be unpredictable.
**An important reminder: While honey has many health benefits, it is NOT appropriate for children under the age of 1. There are some spores present in honey that can cause infant botulism. By the age of 1, a child's immune system is developed enough to fight these spores.**
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