Is honey good for us?
The production of honey by bees is one of nature’s great miracles: to produce 500 g of honey, bees have to collect from 8 million flowers.
A good alternative to refined sugar
During its manufacture, sugar undergoes a refining process that destroys all its nutrients. Honey, on the other hand, is a pure substance produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. To make honey, the bees pass on the nectar to each other: it is gradually “digested” and enriched by the enzymes that each bee secretes. Thanks to this process, the bees naturally enrich the honey with minerals (magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron) and vitamins (B and C), even if the quantities remain small.
Honey also contains antioxidants, molecules that help prevent cancer and degenerative diseases. The darker and more liquid the honey, such as chestnut honey, the higher the antioxidant content. However, the antioxidant power of most honeys is still relatively low compared to fruits and vegetables.
Honey is also lower in calories than sugar and has a sweetening power 30% to 40% higher than table sugar, depending on its origin, which means that smaller quantities can be consumed. Finally, it is a powerful antiseptic that slows down the proliferation of bacteria.
Beware, honey is 80% sugar!
In 100 g of honey, there are at least 80 g of sugar. A teaspoon of honey represents about 30% of the maximum daily sugar intake recommended.
How to choose your honey
1) Choose organic honey.
It favours a wild or organic foraging area and a production that respects the fauna and flora.
2) Choose honey produced locally.
Consuming locally produced honey does not guarantee better nutritional quality, but it does reduce its environmental impact and helps to boost and preserve beekeeping in Germany.
The idea that local honey can prevent allergies is based on the concept of immunotherapy. The argument seems logical: since bees gather flowers, honey contains pollen. So, by eating locally produced honey every day, you consume small amounts of the pollen you are allergic to and become naturally desensitised. Some websites recommend starting this “cure” two months before the allergy period and continuing until the end of the critical period. Theoretically, this seems to hold true, but scientifically it has not yet been proven.
3) Be careful about the price.
A honey that is too cheap (less than 10 euros per kilo) is a clue to suspect a honey of being potentially “fake”.