Recently, a friend of mine told me that he was in a grocery store and was surprised to see $12 honey that stated it was “raw”. He was so confused as to why his $3 bottle of honey was not raw. Our conversation looked like this.
Friend: “All honey isn’t raw? What makes it not raw?”
Me: “It is pasteurized.”
Friend: “Why would they pasteurize honey?”
Me: “That is a great question!”
Friend: “So this isn’t healthy?”
Me: “Compared to all the benefits of raw honey, absolutely not.”
It is a great question! Why are we pasteurizing one of the healthiest foods on the planet?
The standard American diet is heavily deficient in beneficial bacteria. The food industry has done it’s due diligence to get this beneficial bacteria out of our food in the form of pasteurizing and processing and heavily diluting the nutrients in our food. Our immune systems are compromised because of this. We are unable to fight off more illness because we are exposed to less bacteria. Those of us who consume more raw, unpasteurized superfoods like honey and milk have much stronger immune systems and gut flora.
First, let’s talk about some of the benefits of raw honey and why it should be far more popular than it is.
BENEFITS OF RAW HONEY
Other than the fact that raw honey just tastes better, raw honey has numerous health benefits!
** Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, and extraordinary antioxidants
** Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties
** It promotes digestive health and the beneficial bacteria in wild, raw honey will naturally help boost your immune system
** Consuming raw honey from a local beekeeper will help contain allergies
** Can be used to help relieve sore throats and also help with sleep
** Raw honey helps eliminate damaging bacteria that can cause salmonella, E. coli, and cholera
When honey is heated (pasteurized), the benefits above are greatly diminished and most are eliminated completely.
WHERE SHOULD I BUY RAW HONEY?
Ideally, you should buy honey from a local beekeeper. Many times, you can find raw honey at your farmer’s market, directly from a local farmer, or locally owned grocery stores. Once you have had local, raw honey you will not be able to have anything else because it tastes so good!
If you must buy from the store, be sure that the label says “organic” and “wild”. Many conventional and non-organic bee processors feed their bees high-fructose corn syrup and mistreat their bees. In most cases, raw honey will, by nature, be at organic at minimum and many will be wild.
HOW CAN I CONSUME HONEY?
The easiest way to use honey is to use it as your sweetener of choice. Where you would normally use sugar, use some raw honey! I love to use it in coffee, tea, smoothies, and in baking. Additionally, sometimes I will just eat it by the tablespoon!
Eat more raw honey!
Zach Bohannon is a personal trainer at Life Fitness Academy and also blogs at: www.oncewasfat.com