What Is Unfiltered Honey?: Everything You Need to Know
By: Greg Brian
No doubt you’ve heard a lot about the health benefits of unfiltered honey. Yet, you’ve probably been unable to find these types of honey in your local grocery store.
While some major stores sell what’s called raw honey, it’s not as plentiful there as it should be. Pasteurized and processed honey is likely what you’ve been buying there for years. This type has many of its healthy benefits stripped away due to heating.
What really is unfiltered honey then? Let’s look at some additional information on the true definition.
Unfiltered Honey is Minimally Processed
Any unfiltered honey you find means it’s not typically processed and gives you the honey exactly as how it was formed in the beehive from bee pollen.
All the antioxidants and other wide variety of healthy elements of this honey are intact due to minimal heating.
Heat is a major problem for organic honeys because it often takes away the nutrients that make it a true health food. Still, many food companies heat honey to make it look more appealing.
How your honey looks shouldn’t make any difference if you want to enjoy its most healthful properties. Unfiltered honey is never heated above 95F, which restores all its antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. In contrast, processed honey is usually heated to 161F or higher.
Just How Nutritious is Unfiltered Honey?
One reason some food companies filter honey is to eliminate small particles. They do this because the thought is consumers want completely smooth honey when they buy it.
Keep in mind when you buy unfiltered honey, it might look rougher than the honey you bought in stores for years.
It’s still going to give you myriad health benefits. Consider this: You’re getting 22 amino acids and 31 minerals as just starters. You’ll also find numerous vitamins and enzymes. Plus, you get anti-inflammatory properties and wound healing capabilities, something you don’t get in regular honey.
Not everyone realizes how powerful unfiltered honey is in providing many essential antioxidants only comparably found in fruits and vegetables.
These are also called polyphenols, giving you a food that can help with everything from inflammation to heart disease.
Forget About Processed Honey
Don’t be cajoled into thinking processed honey gives you a more enjoyable product, even if bought in health food stores. Studies show processed honey has far fewer antioxidants due to the heating process it goes through.
High heat is not good for honey if you want something truly unfiltered. At the same time, overly cool temperatures can also cause crystallization.
One thing about crystallization is, it’s frequently misunderstood as spoilage. When your unfiltered honey crystallizes, it’s just a natural process, but happens faster when exposed to colder temps in your storage location.
Using a light heat setting can smooth out your unfiltered honey when this happens. However, many people just go ahead and consume crystalized, unfiltered honey as is. The taste is never harmed, so avoid throwing it out as the best medical advice.
Where Should You Buy Unfiltered Honey?
To get the most nutrition and to support your local community, always buy unfiltered honey locally if you can. Buying from your local farmers is even better since they put in all the hard work to bring unfiltered honey to your table.
When you buy your unfiltered honey, you may also want to buy it in bulk. At Artie’s Harvest, we provide multi-gallon buckets that are made with quality materials and can keep in storage for decades.
Buying in bulk usually means making a one-time investment to bring you enough unfiltered honey for a lifetime. All the healthful properties will stay intact. If you open up that bucket of honey 50 years from now, it’ll still be healthy and perfect to consume.
Visit our website to learn about the different types of unfiltered honey you can buy, including from different wildflowers.