Honey is a sweet liquid made by bees using the nectar from flowers.The flavor of a particular type of honey will vary based on the types of flower from which the nectar was harvested.
Honey has high levels of monosaccharides, fructose, and glucose, and it contains about 70 to 80 percent sugar, which provides its sweetness. Honey also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Modern medical science has managed to find uses for honey in chronic wound management and combating infection.
The story of honey is older than history itself. An 8,000-year-old cave painting in Spain depicts honey harvesting, and we know it’s been used for food, medicine and more by cultures all over the world since.
But honey isn’t about humans. It’s the natural product made from bees—one of our planet’s most important animals. Honey bees visit millions of blossoms in their lifetimes, making pollination of plants possible and collecting nectar to bring back to the hive.
Lucky for us, bees make more honey than their colony needs, and beekeepers remove the excess and bottle it. Just like they’ve been doing since the beginning of time.
Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees and some related insects. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or from secretions of other insects such as honeydew). They do this by regurgitation, enzymatic activity, and water evaporation. Honey is stored in wax structures called honeycombs.
Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, and has about the same relative sweetness as sucrose (granulated sugar). It has attractive chemical properties for baking and a distinctive flavor when used as a sweetener. Most microorganisms do not grow in honey, so sealed honey does not spoil, even after thousands of years.
In addition to being an amazing natural sweetener, honey has benefits that have gone largely unknown. It’s a wholesome sore-throat soother, a natural energy booster and more.
It’s not just versatile, varied and delicious. Research has shown that honey contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants3. Flavonoids and phenolic acids, which act as antioxidants, are found in honey3. The amount and type of these compounds depends largely on the floral source3.
Honey is sweet—that’s a given. And it adds a special touch to almost every recipe. It can be your secret ingredient that’s always revealing new possibilities. Many people think of honey as a drizzle in desserts or a topping for toast. But more and more, honey is being recognized as a pantry staple. It gives your recipes unbeatable flavor and unexpected functional benefits. From balancing flavors to providing moisture to baked goods, honey excels in a slew of tasks—all from one little bottle and only one ingredient.
Honey is a natural source of carbohydrates, providing 17 grams per tablespoon, which makes it ideal for your working muscles. Since carbohydrates are the primary fuel the body uses, honey can help maintain muscle glycogen, also known as stored carbohydrates, which gives athletes the boost they need when they need it most.
Honey has been used for centuries to help alleviate symptoms of the common cold, and now research confirms this approach for children ages one and older. Honey offers an effective and natural alternative to over-the-counter cough medicine. Though time is the most important healer of a sore throat, a spoonful of honey can help relieve the irritation.
Honey is a versatile and wholesome food for older children and adults. Honey may be introduced into a child’s diet after the age of one, but not before.