Last updated: August 19, 2021

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The taste of honey is undoubtedly one of the mildest, sweetest and most aromatic there is. This substance, made by bees from the nectar of flowers, is characterised by being delicious and, above all, very beneficial for your health. That is why we tell you about honey in Monederosmart.

Honey has vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids essential for the proper functioning of the body, so it is considered one of the most complete foods there is. Among its many benefits, it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, sedative and moisturising effects.

Do you want to know more about this superfood? At Monederosmart we will tell you about its most important characteristics, including its varieties, uses and properties, which will be of great help to you at the time of purchase!




The most important

  • Honey is a very sweet and aromatic substance that is used for gastronomic, medicinal and even cosmetic purposes, due to its many properties and benefits. Its flavour makes it ideal as a healthy replacement for sugar and for the preparation of various dishes.
  • Among its many varieties, orange blossom honey, rosemary honey, eucalyptus honey and lime blossom honey stand out. These varieties differ from each other mainly in the intensity of their taste, colour and aroma, and in their medicinal properties and uses.
  • It is important that when buying honey you take into account certain factors, such as its different varieties, uses, quality, preservation method and possible contraindications, among other relevant aspects.

The Best Honey: Our Picks

Buying guide: what you need to know about honey

The main purpose of this buying guide is to provide you with information about the product you are interested in buying. Therefore, we will tell you about the most important characteristics of honey, including its advantages and those aspects that are not so beneficial or favourable.

Honey has vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids essential for the correct functioning of the body. (Photo: Moodboard / 123rf.com)

What is honey and what are its benefits?

Honey is a very sweet (and rather sticky) substance made by bees from the nectar of flowers. Although its use is mainly gastronomic, this food is also highly valued in the cosmetic industry and in alternative or holistic medicine.

Among its many benefits, honey is an effective bactericide, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and moisturiser. It also relieves coughs and sore throats, heals wounds and burns, aids digestion and helps people sleep, among many other benefits.

This wonderful natural food has vitamins such as B, C, D and E, minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, calcium and zinc, enzymes and amino acids. In addition, it tastes delicious and is extremely versatile, due to its many varieties and types of uses.

Advantages
  • It is antiseptic
  • It has antioxidants
  • It helps to relieve coughs and sore throats
  • It combats insomnia
  • It is a natural substitute for sugar
  • It contains vitamins and minerals
Disadvantages
  • It can cause allergies
  • It has a large amount of carbohydrates and glucose
  • Its consumption in excess affects the production of insulin

Orange blossom honey, rosemary honey, eucalyptus honey or lime blossom honey - what should you look out for?

Honey is one of the most versatile foods there is, as there are numerous varieties with different flavours, aromas, colours and properties, which make them highly adaptable for different types of uses. Here we will mention some of them so that you can get to know their main peculiarities.

Orange blossom honey. Orange blossom honey, characterised by its mild flavour and perfumed fragrance, is a variety originating from the pollen of lemon, orange and mandarin trees, and has a light amber colour (between yellow and orange). It has sedative, relaxing and antispasmodic properties.

Rosemary honey. Rosemary honey, a very aromatic and sweet variety with a very light amber and white colour (when crystallised), stands out for being a powerful hepatic stimulant that favours liver decongestion. It is indicated for stomach ulcers, but is not recommended for people with hypertension.

Eucalyptus honey. Eucalyptus honey is characterised by its ochre colour and intense, woody flavour. It is an excellent antiseptic for decongesting the respiratory and urinary tracts, and is therefore particularly recommended for colds and lung diseases.

Linden honey. This honey, of a soft yellow colour and intense aroma, comes from the flowers of the lime tree and is characterised by its antibacterial, sedative and digestive properties. It is recommended for heartburn, gastric or duodenal ulcers, flatulence, flu and colds, anxiety and insomnia.

Orange blossom Rosemary Eucalyptus Linden
Properties Sedative, antispasmodic Hepatic stimulant Antiseptic, decongestant Antibacterial, digestive, sedative
Sweetness level Medium High Medium Medium
Flavour Mild Mild Very sweet Intense, woody Mild
Fragrance Perfumed Intense Very aromatic Intense
Colour Light amber Very light amber and white Ochre Mild yellow

Purchasing criteria

In this last section we will discuss the purchasing criteria that will help you to select the best type of honey, as honey is an extremely versatile and varied foodstuff, and it can be difficult to choose the most suitable variant for you from such a wide range.

Other varieties

In addition to those mentioned in the comparison chart, there are many other varieties of honey, noted for their taste, aroma, colour and properties. Here we will mention some of them for you to consider when purchasing.

Thyme honey. Thyme honey, with its reddish colour and pleasant taste, is characterised and stands out for being an effective natural remedy for inflammatory respiratory conditions, such as whooping cough and asthma. It also helps regulate blood pressure, and reduces fatigue and asthenia (weakness or lack of strength).

Lavender honey. This aromatic honey, amber in colour and similar in flavour to lavender, is a potent bactericide and antiseptic, so it is recommended for external use on insect bites, sunburn and wounds. It also prevents colds and flu, and helps to fall asleep and reduce anxiety.

Milflower honey. This honey, which comes from several simultaneous blooms, is characterised by its dark amber colour and intense flavour. It is a food supplement rich in minerals, which prevents anaemia, improves digestion and helps to heal wounds and burns.

Uses

As we have mentioned on several occasions, honey is a very versatile food due to its properties and particular flavour, which makes it ideal for the gastronomic industry, health and natural cosmetics. Here are some of its uses.

Gastronomic. Honey is mainly used to sweeten drinks and breads in a natural way, as a replacement for refined sugar. It is also used to make different types of desserts, such as cakes, puddings and biscuits, or to season meat and fish, among other culinary uses.

You can buy honey in plastic or glass jars (preferably), of different sizes and qualities; either alone or combined with cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, vanilla, mint or almonds, among many other complementary variants.

Medicinal. Due to its numerous properties, honey has an infinite number of medicinal uses, mainly applied in alternative, naturopathic or holistic medicine. This beneficial food is used to relieve colds, coughs, sore throats, rheumatism, asthma and stomach pains.

You can consume it directly with food or add a spoonful to tea (preferably chamomile, lemon verbena, lime, lavender, etc.). There are also more industrialised variants of honey, such as sweets or protein bars, but it is advisable to choose pure, organic honey.

Cosmetic. In addition to being an antioxidant, honey is antiseptic and moisturising, which is why it is also used as a natural cosmetic for the skin. It helps to fight acne, eliminate impurities, fade scars and moisturise and soften both face and body.

You can eat it in food and drinks or use it topically on the skin or hair. You can combine it with brown sugar and use it as a scrub, or with olive oil and lavender as a nourishing cream. You also have commercial options in emulsion or shampoo format (mainly).

Honey has countless gastronomic, medicinal and cosmetic uses due to its multiple properties and benefits. (Photo olegdudko / 123rf.com)

Quality

It is very important that when buying honey you give priority to quality, as this is what ensures that this food retains its properties and benefits intact. Here are some recommendations that can help you.

Consistency. One of the simplest ways to detect the quality of honey is through its consistency. If it is of good quality, it should be solid and tend to crystallise. Low quality honeys are more liquid and do not crystallise even in winter.

Orange blossom, rosemary and lavender varieties, among others, are solid and crystallise quickly. Heather or forest honey, on the other hand, are more liquid and generally do not crystallise, so their quality is lower.

Origin. Ideally, you should obtain the honey from where it comes from to ensure its purity and quality; it is therefore advisable to buy it directly from the beekeeper, as the industrialised variants may be subjected to different chemical processes.

The beekeeper cannot manipulate the honey, which gives you the guarantee and security that it is pure. But if you can't buy it this way, it is advisable to look for a reputable health food shop that sells truly organic products.

Label. The label should be the perfect proof of the quality of the honey, since it should include the components of the product, the place of origin, the date of departure and expiry date, among other relevant aspects.
The truth is that many times commercial brands omit information that is not favourable to them, and sell "organic" products that are certainly not. That is why it is important that you choose serious sellers, knowing that quality honeys are much more expensive.

Storage

Honey tends to have a fairly long shelf life, as long as you take certain precautions regarding its preservation. Here are some recommendations that can help you make the most of it for a longer period of time.

Store it in a cool place. Heat, humidity and direct sunlight can spoil honey, modifying its colour, texture, flavour and properties. Therefore, try to store it in a cool, dark place where it does not suffer sudden changes in temperature.

Store it in a glass jar. Glass does not oxidise, resists temperature changes, has no chemical components, is extremely hygienic and reusable, making it ideal for storing honey (always making sure that it is tightly closed so that oxygen does not get in)

Expiration. The reality is that if the honey is pure and organic it will last for a very long time, even years. Preservatives, additives and colourings shorten the shelf life of this food, and also take away most of the essential nutrients that make it so beneficial to your health.

The best quality honey is characterised by its solidity and rapid crystallisation. (Photo: estelheitz / pixabay.com)

Contraindications

Despite its countless benefits, honey can also have harmful side effects in certain cases. Below, we will discuss the possible contraindications of this food, so that you can take them into account before consuming it.

Pollen allergy. Honey is not recommended for people allergic to pollen and bees, as its consumption could cause vomiting, diarrhoea, swelling, urticaria, and even asphyxia, anaphylaxis or angioedema, depending on the degree of sensitivity to this component.

Diabetes. Honey is composed of fructose and glucose, so it has a high sugar content. Its consumption is contraindicated for diabetics, as it could worsen their state of health (except in the case of those suffering from hypoglycaemia, where the blood concentration is low and they need sugar to compensate).

Children under 1 year of age. It is not advisable for children under 12 months of age to consume too much honey, as it may cause botulism. The bacterium that causes this serious disease is often present in honey, and young children do not yet have resistance to it.

(Featured image photo: nitr / 123rf.com)

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