Consuming honey is nothing new and actually brings about numerous health benefits such as strengthening your heart and liver. Eating honey from the comb, on the other hand, might have some dangers. If you’re curious to find out if you can eat honeycombs, here are some important information to give you a better idea.
What Is It?
It is created by honey bees for the storage of pollen and honey, or to shelter their larvae. The honeycombs are made up of hexagonal cells of beeswax, packed with raw honey. Unlike the processed commercial honey, raw honey is not pasteurized or refined. The entire honeycomb could be eaten, including the beeswax cells. They are also packed with a very small percentage of bee pollen, royal jelly and propolis, which is beneficial to one’s health too.
Both the honey and beeswax of the honeycombs are packed with nutrients. The raw honey consists of a minute amount of proteins, minerals, and vitamins, but is mostly made up of sugar and water. In contrast to processed honey, raw honey has enzymes that carry antibacterial and antimicrobial characteristics. These valued proteins are often ruined by heat and filtered when being processed to produce commercial honey. They also have a higher content of antioxidants that lowers inflammation and help your body fight against diseases. In addition, the beeswax could decrease your cholesterol levels due to the presence of alcohol and long fatty acids beneficial to the heart.
Improve Heart Health
It appears that the long fatty acids and alcohol could be effective in cutting down harmful LDL cholesterol while increasing the beneficial HDL cholesterol. However, these components are only found in beeswax, which makes up a minor portion of the honeycomb. Despite so, such a correlation was found in honey as well. On top of that, substituting sugar with honey could increase your triglyceride levels too. Benefits of honey include expanding your arteries connected to your heart and lowering the risk of heart attacks, blood clot formation, and stroke.
Honeycomb improves and strengthens your body to combat certain fungi and bacteria. For example, laboratory studies have found that beeswax extracts have properties to withstand against disease-causing bacteria and fungi such as E.coli. The other component, honey, also has antimicrobial features to prevent your digestive tract from intestinal parasites. Nevertheless, these theories require more experiments on humans in order to validate it.
Honeycomb is potentially effective in lessening coughs in children, who are more likely to contract respiratory tract infections. Fortunately, studies indicate that honey could be used to cure this as well. In a study done, it was proven that consuming buckwheat honey was more successful in alleviating discomfort from coughing in children, than consuming cough syrup. They were also able to enjoy better sleep. Since honeycomb is made up of mostly honey, they are likely to carry the same properties and benefits. However, young babies below the age of one should not consume honey or honeycomb as there are bacteria that could pose a danger to them.
Possible Substitute for Diabetics
This is possible since honey tastes much sweeter than sugar, so a lesser amount is required to achieve the same sweetness. Furthermore, it does not increase blood sugar levels as much as refined sugar does. That being said, diabetics should still avoid consuming honey since it will result in higher blood sugars. Apart from the honey, beeswax found in the honeycomb has components of alcohol which lowers insulin resistance. This would be beneficial to those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and diabetes since it would help to reduce their insulin levels. Take note that more studies are needed to prove this theory.
Enhance Liver Functions
In a 6-month long experiment, a solution of beeswax alcohol was given to a group of people who suffered from liver disease. As compared to only eight percent of the control group, almost half of the group who consumed beeswax enjoyed lesser symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain and bloating. Part of the group also saw their liver functioning normally again while the control group saw no such effects. Though the results are heartening, the amount of honeycomb that one has to consume to see the same results is still a question on researchers’ minds. More in-depth and established studies still have to be conducted to draw a credible relation.
How To Consume?
There are many ways to eat honeycomb. You could eat it alone, or spread it on your bread or muffins. Apart from that, it acts like sugar, which could be used in your desserts — or simply add a scoop to oatmeals, yogurts or pancakes. Some might even pair it with fruit salads, cheese spreads or charcuterie. Honeycombs can be found easily, from the farmers market, local supplements store or even online. You should go for honeycombs that are darker since they have a higher content of beneficial compounds. It can be kept for a long time if you store it at room temperature. You might observe some form of crystalization after a long duration but fret not, as it is still edible.
On a normal basis, honeycombs are safe for consumption. However, the honey in honeycombs is prone to contamination from C. botulinum spores. This bacteria is especially detrimental to pregnant women and children less than one year of age. Sometimes, consuming too much honeycomb could also give rise to stomach obstructions and issues. To avoid such health problems from arising, it would be wise to not eat so much honeycomb daily. Another way would be to not swallow the beeswax. Furthermore, those with allergies to bee pollen or venom should exercise caution since they have a high disposition to an allergic reaction. It is crucial to note that honeycombs are very high in sugar levels. They should be consumed in moderation even though it has numerous health benefits.
Honeycombs are unprocessed products made by bees, which are made up of hexagonal beeswax cells packed with raw honey. Both the honey and the comb can be consumed and they carry with them a myriad of health benefits. They include enhancing performances of the liver, a better and stronger heart, combating infections and a great substitute for sugars, especially for those suffering from diabetes. Despite this, they should still be eaten in moderation because of their high sugar content.