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Why Honey Never Spoils

Bees are incredible creatures, and one of the products they create, honey is a truly magical substance – it’s the only food that never spoils if it’s stored in a sealed container.

As long as moisture from the air doesn’t get in, honey keeps indefinitely! There are three reasons why it keeps for so long:

Additionally, honey contains several other chemical compounds with anti-bacterial activity that have been identified, and these include:

Honey is a natural food that contains around 200 different substances. It’s mainly composed of sugars (with fructose and glucose being the most abundant at 70% of total sugars) and other constituents such as enzymes, amino acids, organic acids, carotenoids, vitamins (especially vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid), minerals (including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc), and aromatic substances. It is rich in compounds known as flavonoids and phenolic acids that act as natural antioxidants.

What Are the Health Benefits of Honey?

Honey is a natural substance that has been used as a sweetener for over 5,000 years, long before cane and beet sugar came into use, and it has also been used for its therapeutic properties since ancient times.

It is known that honey contains flavonoids and phenolic acids which plays an important role on human health due to the high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that they exert. According to the WebMD site, honey contains beneficial antioxidants which can protect the body from inflammation, a physical condition that can lead to a variety of health issues, such as heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.

They also state that health authorities don’t recommend over-the-counter medications to treat young children’s coughs and colds. As a preferred natural remedy, honey is a much better choice. A study showed that two teaspoons of honey relieved children’s nighttime cough and allowed them to sleep, but doctors don’t recommend this for children less than a year old.

Honey also possesses antimicrobial activity. In a review of studies published in 2020 by BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, researchers reviewed 14 studies of almost 1,800 people with upper respiratory infections (viral illnesses such as colds that cause symptoms such as a stuffy nose, congestion, sore throat, and cough) that were either treated with honey or with medications such as antihistamines, expectorants, cough suppressants, and painkillers. Their findings were that honey appeared to improve symptoms, especially cough frequency and severity, and in some cases shorten the duration of symptoms by a day or two.

Being mostly sugar, honey contains 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. Honey is said to taste slightly sweeter than granulated sugar, so less can be used, and can be a great substitution in recipes calling for sugar. In addition, it has antidiabetic activity, and has been shown to reduce of glucose, fructosamine, and glycosylated hemoglobin serum concentration.

Another interesting property of honey is that it also exerts a protective effect in the cardiovascular system, where it mainly prevents the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, in the nervous system, in the respiratory system against asthma and bacterial infections, and in the gastrointestinal system.

Honey is a truly amazing food, and the global production of honey reached 1.88 million metric tons in 2020 according to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report. It’s amazing how easily we forget that this is important human food is produced by insects, Apis mellifera, the domestic honeybee, using nectar from flowers!


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