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What is Raw Honey

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Raw honey, what makes is makes honey raw? Benefits of raw honey. Where to buy raw honey? Benefits of raw honey, where to buy raw honey, and more sweet things!

Raw Honey in Honeycomb

Raw Honey

The U.S. government does not officially define raw honey, but it's generally recognized as honey that exists as it did in the hive, without being filtered or pasteurized. Honey naturally resists the growth of bacteria and other dangerous organisms because of its low moisture content. However, yeast spores that naturally exist in the nectar used to produce honey can multiply and cause fermentation, which, while not dangerous, can affect the flavor. Some commercial producers choose to pasteurize their products, which kills any lingering yeast. The pasteurization process for honey involves high heat which will neutralize the beneficial enzymes. On the other hand, raw honey tends to have a more complex flavor than pasteurized honey. Different varieties taste like the nectar the bees feasted on before producing the honey, with some light and sweet and others dark and robust.

Benefits of Raw Honey

Raw honey contains an array of plant chemicals that act as antioxidants. Some types of honey have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help to protect your body from cell damage due to free radicals.

Free radicals contribute to the aging process and may also contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Research shows that antioxidant compounds in raw honey called polyphenols have anti-inflammatory effects that could be beneficial in protecting against a number of conditions associated with oxidative stress.

Raw Unfiltered Dark Delicious Honey

The raw version of honey can also contain bee pollen and bee propolis, which may have added benefits. A 2017 review of studies suggested that raw honey may have potential protective effects for the respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and nervous systems, and even has potential in cancer treatment.

Raw honey also contains smaller amounts of the following micronutrients (or, vitamins and minerals):

Calcium | Magnesium | Manganese | Niacin | Pantothenic Acid

Phosphorous | Potassium | Riboflavin | Zinc

Additionally, raw honey is a source of varying amounts of amino acids, enzymes, and other beneficial compounds.

Where to Buy Raw Honey

We always encourage people to support their local beekeeper, which is the most local raw honey in your area. The pollen that honeybees collect throughout year end up in your jar of fresh honey and while the jury is out on if this helps with allergies, tons of people report improvement. We do offer an entire assortment of Raw & Infused Honey.

Hilltop Honey offers both a South Carolina Foothills Wildflower Honey and Central Virginia Wildflower Honey which are raw and unfiltered and have very different flavor profiles.

Never Feed Raw Honey to Infants

Honey can contain the bacteria that causes infant botulism, so do not feed honey to children younger than 12 months. Honey is safe for people 1 year of age and older.

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