HONEY- A true treasure of health and strength
One of the foods that gathers particular scientific interest mainly because of the nutrients. Honey is a natural sweetener food that has strong antioxidant, antimicrobial and cell-protection action in the human organization.
The value of the honey has been appreciated since ancient times:
In the Egyptian papyri, 3,500 years ago, refers to honey as a healing agent.
In the book of life of the ancient Indians reported to prolong life when honey and milk is part of the daily nutrition
Nectar was the food of the immortal Gods. Zeus was raised with honey by the nymph Melissa.
Hippocrates recommended honey to treat many diseases, so was Aristotle who believed that honey prolong life.
The Egyptians offered to gods honeycombs as a precious gift of loyalty and consoling.
The color of honey
The color is a characteristic of the honey. The dark-colored honey is rich in minerals (magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, etc) and have a higher nutritional value. The light has better aroma and taste.
Comparative advantages of Greek honey
Today, the Greek honey is worldwide renowned for its excellent quality, unique aroma and rich flavor.
The Greek honey is one of the traditional natural products of our country, whose characteristics and properties studied constantly by researchers at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki From 1982 until today, the Laboratory of Apiculture, Faculty of Agriculture collects and analyzes every year a large number of packaging branded honey from the Greek market and by beekeepers producers.
Noted that Greece is the only European country that has legislated physicochemical, microscopic and sensory characteristics of each category of honey produced and therefore can control them.
Work related to the beneficial effects of bee products is highly desirable and can help in the promotion of Greek honey. In this field, scientists, have turned their attention and there are already the first results for the antibacterial and antioxidant activity of Greek honey
(study: University of Thessaloniki, professor Andreas Thrasyvoulos, September 2004).
Comparative advantages of Greek honey, relative to international competition, among others, are:
- The Greek honey is unique culture
- Greeks beekeepers carry their beehives from place to place, depending on what blossoms there and when, which is a result of a unique high quality honey coppering to the other Mediterranean countries.
- Due to the long history tradition in honey production is specialized in processing and standardization
- The excellent organoleptic properties are mainly due to the rich and unique biodiversity of Greek flora.
- The excellent clime comparing to other Mediterranean countries favors flowering
- The large number and wide variety pollen containing
- Often imported honey is more watery, that has a greater amount of moisture than the Greek. The higher moisture content in honey increases the risk of spoiling.
Each category has certain peculiarities which distinguish it from all others.
There are two major types of honey. Flower honey, produced from the nectar of flowers and the honey that is produced from the juice of pine, fir and other forest plants.
- Pine honey: Has special flavor, is richer than the rest in minerals and proteins and has fewer calories. The pine honey is considered a high nutritional value and this is mainly due to the large number of different substances present in the establishment. Since these substances are dominated by metals and minerals (calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, etc.), which are found in high concentrations in Greek pine. 65-70% of Greek production is pine.
- Flower honey: It is light and fragrant. Derived from various wild mountainous regions of Macedonia.
- Thyme: The most aromatic honey, extremely pleasant in taste with light glowing amber appearance among the best quality honey available. Crystallizes in 6 to 18 months of production.
Honey consists of 70-80% of sugars, mainly glucose and fructose and it makes it powerful energy food, since it is absorbed directly by the human body (1 tablespoon honey gives 64Kcal). There have been identified over 180 different substances in honey which make it also a nutritional valuable food. Water containing is 16%, organic acids (eighteen in number), proteins and amino acids, mineral elements in small quantities (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.), enzymes, protein complexes, vitamins (B2, B6, C , D, E, pantothenic acid, folic acid, etc.), natural flavorings, etc.
Honey has high energy and nutritional value not only for the abundance of the nutrients but also for the coexistence of all these, and the way in which they act on the human body.
According to scientific studies honey has plethora of beneficial properties for the human body:
Heart-Circulatory: Prolonged consumption of honey by people suffering from heart disorders has resulted in the improvement of their situation. The sugars of honey, particularly glucose, is necessary for the contractions of the heart muscle and is also a source of energy for the heart. Honey, which contain sugars and acetylcholine, dilates blood vessels and reduces hypertension. The sugars of honey are simply absorbed immediately from the body, which is why honey is a quick source of energy for athletes, children, pregnant women, sick and any feeble body.
Anemia: The percentage of hemoglobin, particularly in children, increases with the consumption of honey mainly because of the iron and copper containing.
Stomach disease: honey is basically alkaline food because of the minerals it contains. This alkalinity reduces the acidity of the stomach. Honey is proved as a valuable mean for protection against stomach ulcers and twelve-finger. Finally, is considered one of the best natural slightly laxatives due to the high amount of choline containing, thus preventing constipation.
Liver: glucose from honey complements the reserves of liver glycogen. The liver is the factory of our body where synthesized useful substances for the body and degrade others such as dangerous toxins. The presence of glycogen enhances this work and increases the body’s resistance to infections.
Kidney: honey contains very little protein and almost no salt, substances not allowed in people who have kidney disease. Besides, honey, as hypertonic glucose solution, strengthens and enhances the body and is diuretic.
It also helps greatly to the rapid metabolism of alcohol, making it absolves faster than intoxicated, especially if combined with lemon juice. Honey has antimicrobial activity, prevents the growth of bacteria and other pathogens and is useful for the healing and the cleansing and disinfecting injure. Minerals of honey participate in various enzyme systems, and play an important role in metabolism.
Last studies focused on the effects of antioxidants and flavonoids contained in honey to fight cancer. Flavonoids have the ability to bind iron, thereby preventing the formation of free radicals, creating a protective shield for our genetic material.
Several of the above, but also more beneficial abilities for the human body of honey combined with cinnamon are referred to the following article: