Great features of honey

  • 2010-02-24
  • By Irina Pantelejeva, Darja Kuznecova

RIGA - Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose it contains, and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar (74 percent of the sweetness of sucrose, a disaccharide). It has attractive chemical properties for baking, and a distinctive flavor which leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners. Most micro-organisms do not grow in honey because of its low water base of 0.6.

Honey’s structure contains more than 300 various substances. The glucose quickly fills one’s shortage of energy. It fuels physical activity in the consumer. Within two minutes after ingesting honey, many important elements get into the bloodstream. Fructose improves the updating of stocks of glycogen in the liver. At the same time, the xyolin contained in honey counteracts the adiposity of the liver. In addition, glucose and fructose provide the heart muscle with energy. Honey can regulate work of the nervous system; it operates on the central nervous system, causing calmness, removing nervous tension and facilitating the heart’s work.

Honey (especially dark) brings to the body iron, magnesium, copper, cobalt and a large group of vitamins. Honey has almost all the chemical elements necessary for the correct functioning of the human body. A daily dose of honey for adults should not exceed 100 grams, and 30-50 grams for children. Bigger portions should be spread throughout the day. If water is mixed with honey, it loses its low water base, and therefore no longer possesses its antimicrobial property.

Honey has also been used for centuries as a treatment for sore throats and coughs, and according to recent research, may in fact be as effective as many common cough medicines. It is important to remember that honey has been used successfully in the comprehensive treatment of diabetic ulcers, when the patient cannot use other topical antibiotics. One must always check with a doctor before deciding upon such treatment.

Honey has a long history of use in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavoring. It also has a role in religion and symbolism. Flavors of honey vary based on the nectar source, and various types and grades of honey are available. It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments. The study of pollens and spores in raw honey (melissopalynology) can determine the floral sources of honey. Because bees create an electrostatic charge and can attract other charged particles, the same techniques of melissopalynology can be used in environmental studies of radioactive particles, dust, or particulate pollution.

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