With cold and flu season at is peak, prevention is much easier than cure. Honey – one of our FAVE superfoods is definitely a go-to this period. But did you know that used incorrectly honey can actually be toxic? This was news to us too… so we decided to do investigating!
First, let's take a look at why honey is so good for us?
Honey is a great way to get your sugar fix without the nasties. Here are a few of its natural health benefits:
- Anti-inflammatory properties can soothe coughs and are believed to alleviate allergies.
- Antioxidants can help prevent cellular damage within the brain and boost memory.
- Honey can increase insulin, releasing serotonin (makes you feel good), which is then converted into melatonin (improving sleep quality).
- Antibacterial and antifungal properties can treat eczema, dandruff and other skin conditions caused by dry skin.
- As a natural antibiotic that can work both internally and externally, honey can treat wounds and burns.
But did you know that heating honey can actually be toxic?
According to Ayurveda, when honey is heated, many of these beneficial compounds are destroyed. Heat can cause the enzymes in honey to break down and change the chemical composition of the honey. Additionally, heating honey can cause it to lose some of its antibacterial properties.
Not only that, if honey is heated above a certain temperature and turns into caramelized sugar this can cause damage to your internal system. It can raise the glucose levels and cause weight gain, if consumed in large quantity.
It's also worth noting - that many commercial honeys are pasteurized, which involves heating the honey to high temperatures in order to kill any bacteria and other contaminants. This process also has the effect of destroying many of the beneficial enzymes and nutrients found in raw honey.
So, what's the solution? It's best to consume honey in its raw, unpasteurized form, and avoid heating it whenever possible.
We tried raw honey and we think it actually tastes better than the commercial stuff – find our favourite picks here: