Honey is perhaps best known for its sweet taste. But beneath that sweetness is a complex, healthy food.
Bees produce honey from the pollen of plants through a complex enzymatic process, turning it into the beloved golden nectar.
Many properties make honey a unique food that is not just tasty, but also quite healthy. Here are some facts about honey that might get you buzzing.
• When stored in an airtight container, honey can last indefinitely. The substance is naturally acidic and low in moisture, which means it is an inhospitable environment for bacteria. There are small amounts of hydrogen peroxide in honey as well, inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. (Source: Tin Roof Teas)
• Honey has antibacterial properties, so it has been relied on as a health food and topical treatment. Burns, cuts, infections, stomach ailments, and more have been treated with honey. (Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information)
• Honey is the only food source produced by an insect that humans eat. (Source: Peace Bee Farmer)
• Mead is a fermented beverage that is made from honey. It has a storied history as a beverage of choice in many different cultures. (Source: Hidden Legend Winery)
• Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life. This includes enzymes, vitamins and minerals. It also contains pinocembrin, a unique antioxidant associated with improved brain function. (Source: Sirhowy Valley Honey)
• A honey bee produces roughly 1⁄12 of a teaspoon of honey over the course of its life. Bees are not the only insect to make honey, however. The honey wasp, native to Mexico, also can produce honey. (Sources: Golden Blossom Honey and Inverse)
• Honey will take on the flavor of the nectar from which it was made. This nectar also will affect the color and the consistency of the honey. (Source: National Honey Board)
Honey has a sweet and rich history. At times honey has been referred to as “the nectar of the gods,” and it is still enjoyed for pleasure and medicinal reasons today.