What is honey?
What is honey and how is it produced?
Honey is a sweet, viscous liquid created by honey bees from the nectar of flowering plants and trees.
It is the food provided by the bees for their own consumption and to feed their young. The honey not eaten in the hive during the season is stored away in cells in the combs for later use and as food for the winter when no nectar is available. The honey taken from the hive by bee-keepers is the excess which is not required by the bees.
Honey is pure, natural food, delicious to eat and extremely nutritious, a beautifier and a healer and completely free of bacteria. It should be included in everyone’s diet.
One pound of honey generates about 1,400 calories after being eaten and converted into energy and carbon dioxide.
Chemists have succeeded in discovering the exact composition but no one has been able to re-create honey chemically, and it is doubtful that anyone ever will. The creation of honey belongs exclusively to the bee.
An average sample of honey contains:
- Moisture 17.0%
- Levulose (d-fructose) 39.0%
- Dextrose (d-glucose) 34.0%
- Sucrose 1.0%
- Dextrin 0.5%
- Proteins 2.0%
- Wax 1.0%
- Plant acids 0.5%
- Mineral salts 1.0%
- Gums, resins, pollen, grains, etc 4.0%
Among the vitamins in honey are: Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), B6, H, K, C and Niacin. The amounts, however, are likely to be small and not of great nutritional value.
The most important sugars in honey are: glucose, fructose and sucrose.
Glucose is the simplest of sugars and is found in fruit and the juices of plants. It helps to restore energy by providing the oxygen that is replaced by lactic acid when fatigue sets in.
Fructose, also called Levulose, is used by nature for building tissue.
Sucrose is a combination of glucose and fructose. Dextrin, also found in honey, is a valuable constituent as it goes straight into the bloodstream and does not need to be digested.
The mineral salts include; potassium, calcium, iron chloride, magnesium, silicon, sodium, silica, manganese, sulphur, copper and phosphorous.
Filtered or over-refined honey may look attractive but it lacks many of the most valuable constituents, including the pollen grains which contain most of the vitamins and the mysterious properties which are reputed to prolong life.