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The mere thought of honey brings a huge smile on everyone's face. Yeah, I know you have a cheeky smile on your face right now but let me tell you something more about honey of which you didn't know about. First of all, it is the oldest known sweetener in the world. The Georgians used honey as a natural sweetener some 5,500 years ago. Nowadays, honey is being used in many things apart from just helping your taste buds. But the question is what makes honey so sweet?
Natural honey comes loaded with nutrients and vitamins, using it as a sweetener goes way back to 2000 to 2500 BC. Honey contains oligosaccharides as well as small amounts of proteins, enzymes, polyphenols, etc. There are different types of honey available in the world. But, the most nutritious is raw and organic honey.
Uses of honey
Honey gets its sweetness from monosaccharides, glucose, fructose and water. The process of conversion of nectar to honey is a very complex one. The bees hydrolyze nectar to glucose and fructose via a process called regurgitation.
- Used in food: Honeyis widely used in cooking, desserts, baking, etc. From breakfast to dinner honey marks its importance everywhere. Also added as a sweetener in beverages and teas, not to forget sauces made out of honey.
- Used in fermentation: It is the main ingredient in alcoholic beverage mead, also known as "honey beer".
Different types of honey
- Crystallized honey: Honey in which the glucose content is crystallized to make granulated or candied type honey.
- Raw honey: The honey which has been extracted directly from the beehive without removing any pollen, It contains some wax and is the naturally occurring honey.
- Filtered honey: The honey which has been industrially filtered and components like wax and pollens removes is called filtered orpure honey.
- Other types: There are other types of honey too.
Health benefits of honey as a sweetener and medicine
- Cough: Honey due to its high sucrose content soothes the throat and fights against bacteria and fungi. Some of them are used in cough syrups.
- Wounds and burns: Honey contains hydrogen peroxide which has healing properties. It helps healing of the skin which in turn heals the wound or burn. Raw honey has a high healing power.
Note: People with weakened immune system shouldn't consume honey as it may cause bacterial or fungal infection.So, honey is a miracle food with variety of uses if consumed in right amounts and is obviously the best sweetener there is due to its vast health benefits. Click here for more interesting honey products.