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.

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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.

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.

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