Honey – for thinking vegetarians

Honey is one of the most valuable vegetarian foods in terms of nutrition and health benefits. Some vegetarians refuse to consume honey, and this is unfortunate, because in fact, if a person is not allergic to honey (and this is extremely rare), then there is no reasonable reason not to consume it. It is risky to give honey to children under 18 months old – and for adults, eating honey is very useful! Honey is a healthy, energy-rich, environmentally friendly and ethical product, known since ancient times (over 8000 years!), containing a lot of useful substances in a 100% accessible form! It is only important to consume natural honey, not heated, and not to drink it with hot drinks – then honey will give you health. Replace sugar with honey and you will become much healthier. Honey is one of the rare vegetarian products that is produced without any harm to the environment (unlike vegetables and fruits!) and in a completely ethical way: people, providing bees with a comfortable “housing” and taking care of their wintering, take from bees the surplus of their labor, tk. these economic insects store it with a large margin. This is not “slave labor” but a kind of “income tax”! In addition, bees are “programmed” to collect honey by nature itself, people do not force them. Experts call bees “half domesticated” – this is a mutually beneficial symbiosis, bees are our “smallest” brothers. In the process of extracting the frames with honeycombs from the hive, the bees do not die and do not suffer: the smoke from the smoker only frightens them, they collect honey in their goiters, thinking that a forest fire has started and at least part of the reserves must be saved (they are not inclined to sting). When a new queen appears, she is not killed (as some vegans believe), but placed in a new small hive (“nucleus”) – commercially it is much more profitable! Of course, we do not take into account unethical and simply inept beekeepers who feed their wards with second-rate raw materials (molasses or honeydew honey), which can cause diseases in bees. But aside from that “fool factor,” honey production is definitely one of the top XNUMX most ethical vegetarian foods. The apiary does not harm nature – on the contrary, because. bees contribute to pollination – so this “production” is completely environmentally friendly. The honey production process does not involve spraying pesticides, killing insects, or loosening the soil and killing worms – so, ethically, honey is far ahead of the production of vegetables and fruits! Those who call honey an “unethical” or “useless” product are simply persisting in their ignorance and depriving themselves, their loved ones and children of an important source of health. Honey is not only a nutritious and healthy food, but also a real medicine: take it internally or externally. It won’t be a big exaggeration to say that honey is the king of vegetarian products! Honey has been known for over 8000 years! Maya used honey in South America (they even had bees sacred), they knew it in Ancient India, and in Ancient China, and in Ancient Egypt thousands of years ago, and of course in Ancient Rome a little lower (Pliny the Elder gives recipes for dishes and medicines with honey). The oldest honey found by archaeologists was stored for more than 4700 years (found in Georgia). Honey is mentioned as a useful product in some sacred books: in the Hebrew Bible, in the New Testament, in the Koran, in the Vedas. The Vedas unequivocally describe honey as a very useful product; in them it is even designated as one of the five elixirs of immortality (Panchamrita). It is known that Gautama Buddha and St. John the Baptist in the course of ascetic practices ate only honey for a certain time. In the Koran, where a whole sura is dedicated to honey, the Prophet Muhammad tells how God blessed the bees to collect honey from flowers, and points out: “This drink (honey – VEG) comes from their stomachs (bees – VEG) of different colors, healing for people. Indeed, this is indeed a sign for those people who think. In ancient Rus’, they loved honey, ate it, stored it for the winter, cooked “medovukha” (the latter, by the way, is a rather complicated process). Wild honey in the forest was collected by “beekeepers”, who then began to cut hollows with bee hives from tree trunks and place them on their land. This is how the ancient “apiaries” arose. In 1814, the Russian beekeeper Petr Prokopovich (Palchiki village, Chernihiv region) invented the world’s first modern frame hive, dramatically increasing the productivity of apiaries. In fact, the whole world is now using Prokopovich’s invention! But the belief that the bear eats only honey has no scientific justification: the brown bear’s food is mainly made up of other sources (roots, berries, acorns, herbs, etc.) and it only occasionally regales itself with honey. Despite this, the word “bear” in various Eastern European languages ​​uXNUMXbuXNUMXbmeans “eating honey.” The importance of honey as a means for external use is great. Even in ancient Rus’, beauties used honey smearing (mask) and honey scrub: honey has the ability to effectively cleanse the skin. And in folk medicine of different countries in the East and in the West there are dozens of recipes based on honey! Since ancient times, honey has been used to dress open wounds, and even in modern medicine, honey dressings are used when an injured person is allergic to antibiotic dressings (honey is especially effective for healing minor and moderate burns). Natural honey, among other things, effectively treats cataracts. But of course, the most important thing for us is the nutritional properties of honey as a healthy vegetarian food. From a scientific point of view, honey is a flower nectar partially digested in the crop of a honey bee. It consists of 76% fructose and glucose, 13-20% water and 3% enzymes and pollen – this last part is the most useful. Honey has unique beneficial properties when taken as food: it strengthens the immune system, improves appetite, and gives strength. Natural honey contains about 20 useful amino acids – what vegetarian product can compete with it? It is curious that the “real” honey contains almost all the useful trace elements that the human body needs, and all of them are 100% absorbed – so honey can also be called the “second milk” in terms of nutritional value and digestibility! Today, the production of honey can (depending on the variety, i.e. honey plant) reach 1 ton of honey per hectare of honey flowers (white locust), so honey is a reliable component of a vegetarian diet in an ethical society. Honey contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, E, K, C, provitamin A (carotene), as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, and acids: folic, pantothenic, nicotinic, ascorbic , and other useful trace elements – all this in a form accessible to the body! Isn’t it a miracle? Natural honey does not lose on nutritional value with the most valuable organically grown fruits (which, by the way, unlike honey, are hard to get)! Honey is a fast source of energy, a healthy alternative to a chocolate bar and muesli bars: it is quickly and completely (100%) absorbed by the body! Some athletes consume up to 200 g of honey before competitions. Honey is a healthy alternative to sugar. Dozens of different varieties of honey are known, with different taste qualities – so if you get tired of a particular honey, you can simply replace it with another one for a while! It is known that sugar (sucrose) is far from the healthiest product, and honey, which contains a large amount of fructose (which, according to scientists, is especially useful) and glucose (also very useful for the body), is simply a champion compared to sugar. If sugar contributes to fullness and is a favorable nutrient medium for harmful microflora, then honey, on the contrary, can promote weight loss, and is an unfavorable environment for the reproduction of bacteria, it is actually a natural preservative: honey jams do not spoil for a long time, and in general, any object placed in honey, like it’s being preserved. Honey contains no more than 5% sucrose (sugar), and the sweetness of honey exceeds sugar (due to fructose, which is 2 times sweeter than sugar). Of the other sugars, honey contains maltose (5-10%) and dextrins (3-4%). In fact, honey (except for fructose and glucose, which do not occur naturally) is the healthiest natural sweetener! While scientists argue about the usefulness of chemically derived sweeteners as sugar substitutes, a wise, thinking person really does not have to look far – honey, a gift of nature, is always at hand! The calorie content of honey is quite high: 304 kcal per 100 g, that is, it is not just a “yummy”, but a full-fledged, high-calorie food. At the same time, because of the specific taste, you can’t eat much natural honey, so there are no cases of addiction or obesity on honey (except for the famous incident with Winnie the Pooh) by science. In certain periods of the life of an ascetic, the saints could eat only honey (usually wild) for quite a long time, without harm to health. Even ordinary people can starve on honey for a week (of course, while drinking water in the required amount), with great benefits for the body and little weight loss. And how delicious “Krishna” balls and other oriental sweets on honey are! Tasty and healthy! A healthy alternative to over-sugared store-bought sweets. One thing is bad about honey: it is very often counterfeited! According to statistics, honey is one of the most adulterated products in the world. In fact, part of the honey is faked legally – for example, in Switzerland, honey is popular, consisting of 75% molasses. In our country, very often, for natural honey, they sell worthless honey obtained by feeding molasses to bees, or “fruit” honey obtained by industrial methods. However, in order for honey to be not just a sugar substitute, but a useful product on your table, or even a medicine, it must be natural! When buying, the consumer may require a certificate of honey quality from the seller. All honey is tested – a fundamentally important radiation control and quality control already in terms of chemical and consumer (taste) properties. But you can try to determine the quality of honey and “handicraft”, “old-fashioned” methods. The simplest of them are: • Natural honey candied several months after harvest. In winter, all natural honey is candied! The candied content should be uniform (i.e. the entire can) and not just at the bottom – otherwise this is a sure sign of dilution with water. Only fresh (young) honey can be not candied – in July-August and a maximum until mid-October. Liquid honey in winter – either adulterated or overheated – which is actually the same in terms of usefulness: it is zero. Real honey has a characteristic smell – a fragrant aroma. You don’t have to be a “honey sommelier” to distinguish natural honey by smell. The trouble is that diluting adulterated honey with natural to some extent gives it a “honey” smell. And yet it can be distinguished. • Honey should not foam. Bubbles can be only immediately after pumping. Honey with bubbles is most likely fermenting – a sign of dilution with water, or that the honey simply absorbed moisture from the air during improper storage. Such honey is undesirable, because. ferment even more (“drunk honey”). • At home, the quality of honey can be determined as follows: put a little honey in a glass and pour boiling water, stir and cool. Then put a couple of drops of iodine there: if the “honey” turns blue, starch has been added to it, this is not a natural product. Not only starch is added to honey, but also chalk, clay, alcohol and other substances, strong tea (for color) – do you need it? You can check honey “for chalk” by dropping vinegar into a cup of honey – “chalky” honey “boils”. • The most typical falsified honey – light, very liquid, very sweet – a typical “Soviet” store-bought sugar honey. Remember: liquid honey is available only in summer! You can be 100% safe only by buying evenly candied honey or honey in honeycombs – but even in this case, you need to check its taste so that it is not too sugary-sweet – after all, honey obtained by feeding molasses to bees has such a taste, it is not useful . In addition, this is a sign of an unethical attitude of the beekeeper towards his bees: bees that do not leave their own honey for food can get sick. • There is also a special “honeydew” honey. It is especially useful, and was not obtained from nectar, but either from “honeydew” or from plant sap – purely “vegan” varieties, and there is also honeydew honey of animal origin – the sweet secretions of parasitic insects. Both types of honeydew honey are very healthy – even more so than ordinary honey made from nectar by bees. It is more viscous, may not taste as sweet, and may not taste as good in general. But this is a unique, highly valuable vegetarian product! It is useful for all people, but especially the sick and weakened (for example, after surgery), children (over 18 months), suffering from anemia, or after an injury, an accident (when there was a loss of blood). Natural honeydew honey should be much more expensive than ordinary natural honey! Often it is mixed with ordinary nectar honey, this is normal. Another fundamental point that must be taken into account in order to get the full benefit of natural honey is that it cannot be heated above 37C. Honey should not be consumed with tea, coffee or hot water, then it turns from a medicine into a slagging agent – in fact, a poison. This is confirmed by all experts in Ayurveda. Even if you do not believe in Ayurveda, according to Western science, honey heated to 40C loses all its beneficial properties – this is just a fructose-glucose syrup, nothing more! Elementary Chemistry. So do not trust dubious “grandmother’s” “wisdom”, do not drink tea with honey in winter, this is ignorance! Honey can be washed down with liquid at room temperature: water, juice, milk, cream, yogurt, compote or dried fruit infusion, etc. It is best to buy honey, which indicates that it was obtained by cold extraction, or candied honey. Liquid honey in winter – 100% was melted, and most likely at temperatures above 37C – it’s just natural fructose-glucose. It is also important to store honey properly. In no case should it be placed in metal (especially galvanized or copper – deadly!) dishes, because. it reacts with some metals (high-quality steel is an exception, but this is not easy to find). Any wooden utensils are not suitable either: honey can absorb bitterness or the dark color of wood; acceptable materials for wooden utensils: linden, beech, cedar, poplar. It is best to store honey in a glass, enamel or ceramic container, or in an airtight food-grade plastic container. Honey loves darkness: if you keep it in a transparent glass jar, don’t put it on a table or window sill, put it in a closet. And it is best to store honey in the refrigerator, so you can not be afraid for its damage. Honey should be stored for no more than a year – then its beneficial properties are significantly reduced. We took a comment from a specialist in Ayurveda and Yoga Tatyana Morozova. She confirmed that honey is a useful product from the point of view of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of health, friendly to Hatha Yoga. “Yoga regards freshly harvested honey as pranic nourishment. Ayurveda recommends honey in the cool season and in the morning as a product that increases the Agni (fire) of digestion (for this it is taken on an empty stomach), knowledge (then honey is taken between meals), as well as vision: in this case, honey is buried or laid directly into the eyes, which, with its cleansing effect, resembles the action of the famous Ayurvedic drops of Udzhal,” Tatyana said. Finally, I would like to share the experience that there is not much point in chasing commercial Western honey if you want to purchase a natural product. If we exclude the most elite and expensive varieties of purchased imported honey, then in fact, there are more chances to find good domestic honey from a small producer – “from the apiary” – or store-bought honey (always candied). Eat honey: let your life be healthy, bright, fragrant, sweet!  

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