Honey - the sweet stuff that bees make as a store of food for the winter - has been a part of the human diet for hundreds of thousands of years. Before the advent of sugar beet refining, it was one of the only places in nature that people could find a delightfully sweet treat. And still today, it is cherished all over the world, offering benefits to those who consume it.
Types of Honey
Not all honey is the same. The flavour, texture and degree of crystallisation of the final product depend on the type of flowers the bees source their nectar.
Here are some examples of popular types of honey:
· Basswood Honey
This variety is famous for its white colour and its spreadability. It has a fresh, wood-like smell and is great for salad dressing.
· Buckwheat Honey
Buckwheat honey is one of the strongest and darkest types of honey around, mainly produced in the US Midwest.
· Heather Honey
Heather honey has one of the most pungent smells and flavours of any variety on the market. It’s not for the faint of heart!
· Manuka Honey
Bees collect the nectar for manuka honey from the flowers of the famous Tea Tree bush. It offers antibacterial action, making it useful for treating sore throats, stomach ulcers, indigestion and even acne.
· Pinetree Honey
Pinetree honey comes from Greece and departs from the other varieties on this list because of its bitter taste. It has a strong aroma and is high in proteins and minerals from pine.
· Acacia Honey
This type of honey is one of the most popular in the world. It is famous for its light flavour and transparency. Bees derive it from the nectar of Robinia pseudo acacia blossoms.
Is Honey Vegan?
The matter of whether honey is vegan is not without controversy.
Honey is a natural by-product of bee activity. Farmers can create the conditions to foster production, but they don’t actively control the insects in, say, the way they do milk cows. Vegans will often describe their diets as free from meat, dairy and eggs. Honey is an insect product and, therefore, doesn’t fall into any of these groups.
Can Vegans Eat Honey?
Whether or not vegans can eat honey is a matter of personal choice. Some vegans who aren’t concerned about the impact of their eating habits on insects will happily consume tubs of honey, especially if it promises health benefits. Others, however, eat exclusively plant matter which, by definition, excludes insects or their products.
So, do vegans eat honey? Sorry, but it depends on your definition of the word “vegan. ”
Is Honey Good for You?
Since honey is almost entirely sugar, you would expect that it would have detrimental effects on human health. Studies, however, don’t appear to show this. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
Here are some of the benefits of honey, according to the latest research:
- It may help reduce LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease
- It increases blood sugar levels less than refined sugar
- Antioxidants in honey may help to lower blood pressure
- Phenols (from the plant nectar that makes honey) may reduce triglycerides
- It may help with wound healing
- It may suppress coughs in children with bacterial throat infections
How Many Calories Are in A Teaspoon of Honey?
Honey contains around 23 calories per teaspoon - the equivalent of 6 g of sugar. That’s approximately seven more calories than a teaspoon of regular granulated cane sugar.
What Is Raw Honey?
Raw honey is a term that some people use to describe how honey exists in the beehive, complete with honeycomb and all of the other impurities that might find their way into it. It is different from regular honey which goes through sieving, pasteurisation or filtration processes to remove any residues before bottling.
What Is Honey Fungus?
Honey fungus is a colloquial name given to species of fungus that attacks the roots of woody, perennial plants. It shows up as a white fungal growth between the wood and bark, often visible at ground level.
Can Dogs Eat Honey?
Honey is safe for dogs to eat, so long as you feed it small quantities. Please note that it may cause tooth decay if consumed frequently. Raw honey may not be a good choice for dogs with compromised immune systems as it may contain harmful bacteria and viruses.
Do Bumblebees Make Honey?
Honey bees make honey. Bumblebees do not make honey because they do not collect nectar to store as food for the winter.