Packed with antioxidants and vitamins, natural honey is a powerhouse for your health. But there are a few myths about honey that need to be cleared up. It’s true that there are certain situations in which honey can be dangerous, so it’s important to learn the details to be sure you can enjoy natural honey with confidence and no concerns.
Is Natural Honey Toxic?
It’s an antibacterial, antioxidant, and packed with healthy vitamins. So why would people be wondering about the dangers of raw honey? The truth is, anything – yes, anything – can be used inappropriately and have dangerous effects. This can be seen across the realm of healthy foods. Too much cinnamon can cause blood sugar to plummet, swallowing too many cherry pits can cause cyanide poisoning, etc. There are lots of examples like this!
Though honey has overwhelmingly positive health effects and has been used for centuries as a healing ingredient, there are certain conditions and situations in which honey may not be good for you. Is honey toxic? No. But as with anything, you need to know how to use it appropriately.
Understanding how to use natural honey safely is the key enjoying the health benefits that it offers. Here are 3 simple rules to follow when enjoying honey as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
1. Avoid Heating Honey Too Much
Heating food is a practical way of killing off bacteria. In fact, this draws the line between raw honey and pasteurized honey – both of which can be good for you. But heating honey too much can deplete it of its healthy vitamins and minerals. Obviously, if you’re enjoying natural honey for its healthy vitamin and mineral profile, then it’s best to try and retain as much of those components as possible.
While cooking with honey is very popular, adding too much heat can actually take away some of the health benefits and essentially boil off antioxidants, too. Researchers found that heating honey above 140˚C can change its chemical composition. Does it make honey dangerous? No. But it does take away some of the healthy components that are found in natural honey.
2. Do Not Give Honey to Babies
For infants, honey can be a very dangerous food item. Natural honey can contain a certain bacteria called clostridium that can trigger botulism in babies under 12 months of age. After a year, a baby’s digestive system has undergone significant growth and development, and most kids over the age of 12 months will be able to process honey – and enjoy the delicious flavor – without a problem.
3. Avoid the Combination of Honey + Ghee
Recent studies show that honey heated past 140˚C and combined with ghee can actually produce a harmful mixture that can function as a poison. This is a very rare occurrence, yet this specific combination of honey and ghee should be avoided nonetheless.
Keep in mind, there are so many health benefits with natural honey! Be sure to use honey correctly, and you can take advantage of a tasty treat that’s good for you, too.