Tagged: wild food

Honey: The Functional Food

Oh Honey. . .
Oh honey . . . how much do we love you . . .? Let me count the ways:
  1. You sweeten my life naturally
  2. You are a high enzyme food
  3. You contain powerful anti oxidant compounds
  4. You remain eternal and never spoil
  5. You can keep wounds clean and speed healing

Magical Food
Honey is such a special food source and I (Mark D’Aquila) the guy who writes these blogs love it so much.  To me honey is magic, what the bees do is alchemy, drinking nectar from a flower then transforming it into a sweet viscous nourishing substance.  Honey and bees have been revered throughout time, archaeologists found honey in a pyramid in Egypt and guess what, it is still good, honey never spoils. I call it magic, maybe honey is the real ‘fountain of youth’?  It does keep the skin moist, supple and dignifies the aging process in that respect.

Honey is a high enzyme food, some of the enzymes in honey have been introduced by bees and some are part of the original flower nectar.  Heating honey neutralizes the enzymes, to get the enzyme benefits of honey you need to consume it raw.  Some of the enzymes in honey include amylase, invertase, the most notable enzyme in honey is glucose oxidase. This enzyme produces hydrogen peroxide which is part of honey’s anti bacterial activity and contributes to its wound healing properties.

There are literally thousands of  honey varieties from all corners of the globe. And, all honey varieties are unique because of the flowers and energy of the region where the bees gather the nectar. This expansive variety makes exploring the world of honey a fun, endless and rewarding treat.  And I am always looking for a variety or two that truly stand out.  Today most honey is produced by apiaries but being that bees are ‘wild’ animals I wondered if I could find any ‘wild’ honey.  My prayer was answered and not only did I find wild honey but I found wild honey from a sacred source.  I am proud that we here at Zebra Organics can now offer you a variety from the sacred Himalayan Mountain range and a variety from virgin forests of central India.  

Raw Wild Honey
From wild beehives in virgin forests, this is certainly something you do not come across very often.  This honey is sourced by tribes in central Indian’s virgin forests an area far from the pollutants common in more developed areas.  These virgin forests are also a source for many herbs used by Ayurveda healing practitioners. From these healing plants within this preserved environment comes this raw wild honey. The tribes who gather this honey are paid a fair price which allows them to maintain a traditional lifestyle and gather honey the way their ancestors have for centuries.  Make no mistake there is a lot of care and attention that has gone into this product from the forest itself to the gathering, bottling and shipping.  Every effort is made to ensure you receive a truly raw, nutritious and health promoting honey.  The unique flowers of this honey provide for a unique variety of anti bacterial, anti viral, anti fungal and anti oxidant compounds.

Anti Oxidant Power
Because normal body processes result in oxidative stress the human body naturally produces anti oxidant compounds. When honey is consumed on a daily basis the levels of anti oxidants in the blood increases.* This is promising because oxidative stress is the body rusting and to slow this process  slows the aging process. Honey is a source for bioflavoniods, darker honeys like the wild forest variety contain more bioflavoniods. 
The Himalayan mountain range has been held as sacred land for thousands of years.  It is a place where yogis and mystics live and go to, to attain nirvana, enlightenment. To be able to offer you honey, a sacred food from a sacred mountain is an honor.  The White Himalayan Honey we offer is a clear transparent honey sourced from the upper reaches of Kashmir near the border of Tibet. This extremely rare and exotic honey  has a rich flavor profile that is almost not noticed at first and then opens up to a world of exquisitely sumptuous subtle flavors.

Honey and Wound Healing
Honey has been and can be used to speed the healing process of wounds.  Honey’s ability to heal wounds is found its way into the pharmaceutical market, there are now prescription only honey based wound care dressing available.  Honey helps wounds heal because of its ability to draw moisture from the wound and the presence of anti bacterial compounds.  These are just its natural properties.

Glycemic Index
Just some of the things I love about honey.  Honey is a functional food bar none and it is magical.  A sweet nectar produced by bees from flowers, a safe sweet nectar at that.  Honey is composed of fructose and glucose two simple sugars which are easily digested and have a lower glycemic index than regular sugar.  Honey has a glycemic index rating of 55 which puts it one point lower than medium on the glycemic index scale, 56-69 is considered medium. Experimental evidence suggests the body can tolerate honey better than either fructose or glucose separately.*

However you want to look at it honey is truly a special food, whether you want to use it as a sweetener or are looking to it for it potential health benefits, honey can find a place in any pantry.  While all honey is unique and special I encourage you to try the wild varieties we offer.  By purchasing these wild foods you are supporting the traditional honey foragers in maintaining their indigenous way of life which is in harmony with the environment. 

*The information in this blog post is not medical advice and this information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

*from research by biochemist Heidrun Gross and colleagues of UC, Davis
*International Symposium on Honey and Health 2008, Sacramento, CA.