What Is Raw Unfiltered Honey? | Benefits & Risks

There are some additional advantages of raw honey, mainly because it is not processed and has a higher concentration of nutrients as compared to honey that has undergone chemical processes. Here is a sneak peek at some of its beneficial qualities of raw, unfiltered honey vs. processed honey.

Honey is a natural sweetening agent that has been in use for more than 8000 years. Made naturally by bees, honey, in today’s age, is mostly found in the supermarket and that too in a processed form. This method of processing honey is called pasteurization, and many of these processed products contain added sugar, consequently increasing its sweetening capacity also lowering its beneficial nature. Consuming raw and natural honey has many health benefits. Ayurveda experts have believed all along that honey is better than white sugar, and now people across the world are accepting this too. Natural honey, in comparison to white sugar, is unprocessed and contains antioxidants that are responsible for most of the health benefits associated with consuming honey. So, what is raw, unfiltered honey? And, how is raw honey different from the one that’s processed? Let’s find answers to all these questions.

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Well, raw honey is directly delivered to your doorstep after being extracted from the honeycomb. Some external elements such as beeswax and the parts of the dead bees are filtered out, but still, it appears cloudier and opaque as compared to the one that’s processed.  This is because raw and unfiltered honey is much thicker.

what is raw honey
Raw honey appears much more cloudy and dark as compared to the one that is processed.

While we are all aware of the many health benefits of honey, it also matters what type of honey you are consuming. A bottle of raw, unfiltered honey is more beneficial than a bottle of processed honey. So what are the specific benefits of raw, unfiltered honey over its processed variant? Let’s find out.

Advantages Of Raw Honey Over Processed Honey

There are some additional advantages of raw honey, mainly because it is not processed and has a higher concentration of nutrients as compared to honey that has undergone chemical processes. Here is a sneak peek at some of its beneficial qualities of raw, unfiltered honey vs. processed honey.

1. Raw Honey Contains More Antioxidants

The process of pasteurization, which involves intense heating and is used to process honey, can significantly reduce the overall antioxidant concentration of the honey. And since raw honey is not at all processed, it contains just the same amount of antioxidants as extracted from the honeycomb. This property of raw honey makes it a great free-radical scavenger, as antioxidants when consumed, react with free-radicals (free oxygen atoms) in the bloodstream and prevent them from attacking the healthy cells in your body.

benefits of raw honey
Raw Honey vs Processed Honey: Due to the non-pasteurized nature of raw honey, it appears to have higher antioxidant concentration.

Also Read: Honey Powder: What is it? | Preparation Of Honey Powder

2. It Contains Bee Pollen

If there is any other substance that the processed honey lacks, it would be bee pollen. Again, the process of pasteurization is responsible for its removal. But, these pollens consist of many nutrients that can help in the overall betterment of your health. Vitamin A and vitamin C are some of the constituents of bee pollen, which are further responsible for adding up to the honey’s antioxidant characteristics. In addition to that, bee pollen also includes minerals such as calcium and magnesium, both of which are extremely useful for strengthening of your bone structure.

3. Raw Honey Contains A Healthy Amount Of Bee Propolis

You need to note that honey is not the only substance that bees produce. Propolis is the thick green-brownish fluid that they use to coat their hives. This compound, evidently found in raw honey, has different types of polyphenols (types of antioxidants), all of which make it extremely beneficial and to some extent even medicinal. This glue-like product has shown anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, and it also contains a significant amount of vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.

benefits of raw honey
What is raw Honey? The presence of propolis in raw honey increases its concentration of polyphenols.

Tips To Buy Raw Honey

Most of the honey that one finds in the supermarket is not raw. Since pasteurized honey is more in demand, and also cheaper, it makes one’s search for raw and unfiltered products more difficult. Raw and unfiltered honey, best sourced directly from a bee farmer, appears to be cloudier, as it could contain bee propolis, hints of pollen, and some might even have the wings of bees. It is also important to note that unpasteurized honey gradually crystallizes and thickens as it gets old, thus its unappealing texture normally drives people to search for clean and pasteurized honey.

Risks Involving Raw Honey

The risks involved in the consumption of raw honey are somewhat similar to those involved in the consumption of the ones that are processed and pasteurized. One of the most common side-effects of honey consumption is botulism, especially in infants. Raw honey contains a nominal quantity of bacteria known as clostridium botulinum, which upon being consumed can cause a rare form of food poisoning. Thus, children below the age of 12 months must be prevented from the consumption of any form of honey, as their immune system is too weak to fight external pathogens that might attack their system.

risks of raw honey
Side Effects of raw honey: Raw honey contains a certain type of bacteria that can cause botulism in infants.

Unlike processed honey, the raw and unfiltered variant of this popular sweetening agent contains a significant amount of bee pollen. Thus, people who are suffering from pollen allergy should refrain from raw honey consumption. Some of the common symptoms for raw honey allergy include swollen throat, difficulty to breath, rashes, and swollen lips.

All that being noted, you must consider the benefits as well as the side-effects of raw honey before adding it to your diet. A healthy lifestyle is not the one that includes all the healthy ingredients, but it is the one that also takes into account all the precautions to follow a balanced diet.

FAQs

  1. What is Grade A and Grade B honey?

    As per USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) grading of Honeys is based on characteristics such as moisture content, absence of contaminants and flavour. Honey is graded on a scale of A to C, with A being the highest quality, (usually found in all grocery stores) as lower grades are used in commercial food processing. Honey is also classified according to colour. Pre-packaged honey is classified as white, golden, amber or dark. Colour is usually determined by the type of flowers visited by the bees. In general, light-coloured honey is more mild and sweet, while darker honey has a stronger taste.
    Grade A Honey is the highest quality of extracted honey.  It is judged to have the best flavor and clarity. It is darker in color and bolder in taste.
    Grade B Honey is the second best quality of honey. Amber in color and delicately floral to taste, some people prefer this over the bolder tones of Grade A.
    Grade C Honey the lowest grade of extracted honey. It is lighter in color and may not have a taste that stands out like A & B

  2. What is Wild Forest Honey and why is it considered better than the Regular Honey?

    Wild forest honey is a better variant of the ordinary honey. According to beekeepers, the primary reason is the Wild bee itself which is way stronger than the domesticated bees. Wild bees are know to have a strong immune system which gives them high endurance against diseases and environment. They can survive much harsher conditions of the environment and in result produce one of the finest Honeys in the world. Since these bees live in the wild forests, the Honey that they produce is naturally free of antibiotics, pesticides and pollution, making it more desirable by honey connoisseurs and enthusiasts.

    Domesticated bees on the other hand are constantly exploited by the beekeepers to produce more honey which stresses them and in turn pushes the beekeepers to add sugar to keep the bees alive. Furthermore, the honey could be artificially refined and excessively heated which destroys the natural enzymes, minerals and other healthy nutrients.

    Wild Forest Honey is also derived from the nectar of Wildflower which is naturally stronger and more exotic as compared to the pesticides induced or organically grown flowers in the field on which domesticated bees are fed. The nectar of the wildflower make the Forest Honey a real super food. Wild bees not only make the Honey from the nectar of these wildflowers but they also collect honeydew from the trees. Honeydew is excreted by Aphids which eat tree sap to get rich amino acids. The excess is left over by them and then bees collect it making a super rich Forest Honey which is naturally organic. This blend of Wildflower and Honeydew honey is considered to be much more superior to normal honey as it contains high amino acids, minerals and enzymes which have beneficial effect on immune system and on other parts of the body.

  3. What is the difference between 'Organic Honey' and 'Raw Honey'?

    To produce Organic Honey, beekeepers use natural and traditional processes without the use of harmful pesticides, and they let the hives row in remote areas far from sources of pollution. They also have to get periodic testing of their honey to make sure there is no contamination. Whereas Raw honey is unfiltered honey that has not gone through the process of filtration or pasteurization to kill the good enzymes. Raw honey may not necessarily be Organic, as it depends on the environment in which it is grown.

  4. Is it true that wooden spoons are better than metal spoons to scoop out honey?

    Many people believe that the acids in honey can decompose copper and iron and produce toxic salts and so generally metal spoons should not be used to avoid the change of honey taste or transfer of undesirable metallic substances. However, this is untrue because most beekeeper's equipment is known to be made of stainless steel, thus it very unlikely that the brief contact between the honey and stainless steel spoon would be of too big an issue and so far there is no scientific data to support this concern.

  5. Should honey be refrigerated in summers?

    Keeping honey in the fridge increases the process of crystallization, turning your honey from liquid into a thick, dough-like sludge, which won't be as pleasurable to eat, as the natural smooth texture of honey. The best way to store honey (no matter what the season)is at room temperature, in an airtight container, in your pantry or on a kitchen shelf but away from direct sunlight.

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