Food for Soul

Honey strengthens the immune system

 Canan YALÇIN SEVER      İbrahim BAĞCI 

Honey is a food that has been used for centuries and also has health benefits. Although we remain below the world average in consumption as a country, we have a high potential in terms of honey production. The chemical content of honey, its health benefits, bee products and much more information are provided by Hacettepe University Bee and Bee Products Application and Research Center (HARUM) faculty member Assoc. We talked to Aslı Özkök. The information about propolis is provided by Assoc. We got it from Ömür Gençay Çelemli.

Can you talk about the chemical properties of honey? There are experts who argue that honey is actually sugar, so it should not be consumed. Can we equate honey with sugar?

Honey contains a lot of sugar. It consists of 70 percent sugar. These sugars are mostly in the form of monosaccharides such as fructose and glucose. When we look at the amount, it contains around 38 percent fructose and around 30 percent glucose. But of course, this depends on the type of honey. For example, this rate is lower in secretory honeys. This rate is higher in flower honeys. Apart from these sugars, sucrose, which we call dissaccharides, may contain trisaccharides. It also contains 20 percent moisture. So it has water content. In the remaining amount, antioxidant substances such as phenolics, flavonoids, minerals, vitamins and amino acids etc. The components we call honey are the substances that make up the structure of honey and give it its properties. These are always present in trace amounts. But it is effective in creating the characterization of honey. This is where the difference between sugary liquid and honey comes from. About 10 percent of the content in honey turns it into an incredibly useful food. Therefore, it is a much more useful and valuable food than a sugary food, drink or jam. It is already the most important energy source that has been used for centuries and has been discovered by human beings.

STRENGTHENS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

What are the health benefits of honey?           

Bees have been living on our earth for 50 million years. Bees co-evolved with flowering plants. In fact, bees produce their products for themselves. The discovery of these products by humanity dates back to 15-20 thousand years ago. People have used honey for both energy and medicinal purposes. Honey is especially used in wound and burn treatments. For example, during the reign of Fatih in the Ottoman Empire, 3 thousand 300 kilograms of honey was consumed per month in the palace. Some of it was made into medicine in the form of paste and used. So it is an extremely valuable food. It is also used in the treatment of soldiers with open wounds in GATA. Honey has a wound-healing effect. As soon as you apply honey to the wound, you both allow it to breathe somehow and keep that part moist. 

THE CONTENTS OF DARK COLORED HONES ARE MORE RICH COMPARED THAN LIGHT COLORED HONES

In addition, honey has antibacterial properties. In addition, it has a very high antioxidant property and has a strengthening effect on the immune system. It is also one of the important foods in the treatment of Helicobacter pylori, which causes stomach ulcers. This has been proven by scientific studies. In other words, it is wrong to define honey as a sugary food. The content of honey varies from plant to plant, and there are many varieties. For example, monofloral honeys are honeys from a plant variety. In other words, the content of honey changes from plant to plant, its type and its benefits change. But I can say this. Dark-colored honeys are richer in antioxidants than light-colored honeys. For example, chestnut honey, oak honey. However, although chestnut honey is richer in antioxidants, it has no table value because its taste is bitter. Instead, it has a strengthening effect on the immune system, especially if it is eaten as a dessert spoon in winter. Oak honey, on the other hand, is a type of secretory honey with a very high antioxidant value and delicious in taste. However, we have monofloral honeys that are light in color and have many different benefits. For example, although citrus honey is light in color, it is a type of honey that can be consumed by diabetics. Thyme honey is also a type of honey that diabetics can eat. The mode of production is also important in honey. In other words, it is the process from the producer to the consumer. Honey must come to the consumer in a hygienic way and none of its properties must be intact. Normally, honey is a non-perishable food. There is honey that is 3000 thousand years old. But if the producer harvested honey early, for example, the moisture value of the honey increases and in this case some bacteria, spores may reproduce or if the producer has not worked hygienically, some bacteria and parasites may be mixed into the honey. In these cases, the quality of honey deteriorates.

PINE HONEY HAS LOWER SUGAR RATE

How many types of honey are there? How much honey can we consume daily?

Honey is scientifically divided into two. The first is flower honey, which we call floral honey, and the second is secretion honey, which we call extrafloral. Secretion honey is also divided into two. In some cases, plants release secretions from various parts. It can give from leaves; can give from bud. When the bee collects these secretions, this secretion becomes honey. There is also pine honey. Especially in our country, Muğla Region is in an extremely good situation in this regard. In fact, 90 percent of pine honey is produced in Turkey and 10 percent in Greece. It is not produced elsewhere. Because the insect that makes pine honey lives in the region where the pines we call Red Pine or Pistachio Pine. There are plenty of these pines in Muğla. And on these pines you see thrushes in the form of white cotton. This insect, called Marchalina hellenica, lays its eggs and creates an environment in which it can live. And it produces those thrushes I just mentioned. At the same time, this insect sucks the sap of the tree. He also leaves his own interest outside. A sweet sticker on the sticker. Since there are some algae and spores on the sweet sticker it leaves, that sweet sticker gets moldy. But it’s not the mold we know. Then the bee collects this sweet extract and brings it to the hive when there is no flower. It turns it into honey in the hive. It’s called pine honey. Pine honey has a lower sugar content. Therefore, it takes a little longer to take a nap. In other words, while an insect is active in one of the secretion honeys, it is not active in the other type. Of course, these honeys are very valuable honeys. At the same time, this insect sucks the sap of the tree. He also leaves his own interest outside. A sweet sticker on the sticker. Since there are some algae and spores on the sweet sticker it leaves, that sweet sticker gets moldy. But it’s not the mold we know. Then the bee collects this sweet extract and brings it to the hive when there is no flower. It turns it into honey in the hive. It’s called pine honey. Pine honey has a lower sugar content. Therefore, it takes a little longer to take a nap. In other words, while an insect is active in one of the secretion honeys, it is not active in the other type. Of course, these honeys are very valuable honeys. At the same time, this insect sucks the sap of the tree. He also leaves his own interest outside. A sweet sticker on the sticker. Since there are some algae and spores on the sweet sticker it leaves, that sweet sticker gets moldy. But it’s not the mold we know. Then the bee collects this sweet extract during the absence of flowers and brings it to the hive. It turns it into honey in the hive. It’s called pine honey. Pine honey has a lower sugar content. Therefore, it takes a little longer to take a nap. In other words, while an insect is active in one of the secretion honeys, it is not active in the other type. Of course, these honeys are very valuable honeys. But it’s not the mold we know. Then the bee collects this sweet extract and brings it to the hive when there is no flower. It turns it into honey in the hive. It’s called pine honey. Pine honey has a lower sugar content. Therefore, it takes a little longer to take a nap. In other words, while an insect is active in one of the secretion honeys, it is not active in the other type. Of course, these honeys are very valuable honeys. But it’s not the mold we know. Then the bee collects this sweet extract during the absence of flowers and brings it to the hive. It turns it into honey in the hive. It’s called pine honey. Pine honey has a lower sugar content. Therefore, it takes a little longer to take a nap. In other words, while an insect is active in one of the secretion honeys, it is not active in the other type. Of course, these honeys are very valuable honeys.

Except for those who are allergic to honey, they can normally consume up to 1 tablespoon of honey per day. Of course, this may vary depending on the person’s situation. Honey can be given to children by mixing it with milk that is not very boiling.

If honey is consumed in babies before the age of 1, a disease called Clostridium botulinum may occur. Since honey is an extremely natural product, the intestinal system of babies may not tolerate honey. It is not something that will happen to every child, but there is a risk.

IF THE HONEY IS REAL CAN ONLY BE DETERMINED BY ANALYSIS

Is there a way for us as consumers to understand real honey?

It is very difficult for the consumer to understand whether the honey is fake or not. They are so specialized in this matter that they add flavor after making the sugar thick. It looks like a gorgeous flower honey. But when we analyze, we see that what is done has nothing to do with honey. We face the situation we call empty honey. Therefore, analysis is absolutely necessary to understand whether a honey is fake or not. This analysis does not include a single analysis. It covers many stages such as microscopic analysis, chemical analysis and physical analysis. All of these are one.

Producers usually care for the bees for the winter. At that time, the producer must feed the bee from his own pollen. Sometimes producers can also feed the bees with sugar or cake during this period. In fact, this is normal for a certain period of time. But some producers can do sugar or cake feeding all year round. This naturally reflects in honey. In analysis, we can understand this. In analysis, we look at the quality and origin of honey. While the bee collects nectar, it also collects pollen. It also transfers pollen to honey and that amount of pollen must be in certain proportions in honey. For example, between 20 thousand and 100 thousand is a normal value honey. If we cannot see these values ​​in the incoming honey, we say that the quality of this honey is low. Between 100 thousand and 500 thousand means that the quality of the honey is better. But if there is more than 1 million pollen, then we say that there is adulteration. Pollen has been added to the honey outside. This analysis is quality analysis. In the international literature, it is written as follows for honey. Honey is a natural product, nothing can be added from the outside, and no substance in it can be withdrawn. If starch has been added to honey for consistency or if it has not been hygienically studied, these will appear immediately in microscopic analysis.

Also, as I said before, we look at the origin of honey as well as the quality. We detect which plant the bee brought the pollen from. For example, if geven pollen is above 45 percent, we call it geven honey. In order for us to say chestnut honey, this ratio should be 70-90%.

While the content of honey changes from plant to plant, its type also changes and its benefits also change. 
But I can say this. 
Dark-colored honeys are richer in antioxidants than light-colored honeys.

CRYSTALIZING HONEY IS REAL HONEY

Therefore, all I can say is that consumers should prefer reliable brands. In the facilities of reliable brands, honey goes through the analyzes I just described. Therefore it is safe. In addition, since there is a large amount of sugar in honey, it is not possible for honey not to crystallize. Therefore, we can say that crystallized honey is real honey.

I want to switch to bee products that have been popular lately. What are bee products? What health benefits does it have?

We normally divide bee products into two. One of them is the products that the bee collects directly from the plant and creates by adding some substances from its body. For example, honey, pollen, propolis, bee bread. Others are products secreted by the bee from its own body or directly produced by the bee. Royal jelly, bee venom, apilarnil and beeswax. These products are referred to as bee products. The reason why these products have been heard so much lately is the emergence of various benefits. There are many scientific articles published on this subject. Treatment with these products is called Apitherapy. The Ministry of Health also defined Apitherapy for the first time in 2014. After this definition, these products began to spread uncontrollably. We are currently working in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Food Codex Department to bring standardization to bee products. The commission consisting of various universities, institutions and producers works for the standardization of bee products. In fact, each bee product, like honey, has different properties. With this product, it varies from bee to bee, from producer to producer, from plant to plant.

POLEN PROTEIN SOURCE

Bee pollen is the male reproductive cell of the plant. The bee collects pollen, especially by landing on flowering plants. The bee first collects pollen with its front leg and mouth and turns it into a ball. We call it pellets. The hind leg of the bee is developed in the form of a basket. He also carries the pellets in the basket. Traps are set in front of the hive by the producer. While the bee passes through these traps set by the producer, the pellet on its foot cannot pass. And in this way, the producer collects the bee pollen. The bee, of course, collects the pollen for itself. How do we meet our protein needs with meat, milk, eggs? The bee collects its pollen and meets its own protein needs. Bee pollen has a high protein content and it is very beneficial. For example, you can meet your protein needs just by eating pollen. For those who do not have allergies, if consumed as much as a teaspoon daily, it has the feature of increasing the immune system. In addition, it is a storehouse of vitamins and minerals. It can also be consumed by mixing pollen with honey.

THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE OF PROPOLIS IS ANTI-MICROBIAL

On the other hand, the bee creates propolis by collecting various substances both from itself and from the buds of the tree. Trees and plants secrete resinous secretions in the form of ooze to protect themselves. This leak has anti-microbial and thermal insulation properties. The bee collects these secretions by scraping them from the plant with the help of their upper jaws. Again, as it collects the pollen, it puts it in the pollen basket and brings the propolis to the hive. Meanwhile, it adds its own enzymes to propolis. Bee propolis is used for the hive. For example, if there are cracks in the hive, it can be used to narrow the entrance of the hive, or it can be used to protect the hive from diseases. Since the herbal source of propolis varies from region to region, its chemical content is also different in each region. Therefore, the standardization of propolis is a very difficult task. This situation limits the application of propolis. Because we have to standardize the ingredients in it so that we can then call these useful and useful. The most well-known feature of propolis is its antimicrobial property. There are propolis products on the market now. Although we have our own products, imported products are mostly. It is inconvenient to consume unprocessed propolis. May cause an allergic reaction. Again, if you have a chronic disease and you are constantly taking medication, it is necessary to consult a doctor before using propolis. Because we have studies on this subject and propolis can reduce the effect of some drugs. It is a very useful product, but it should not be used randomly. There are propolis products on the market now. Although we have our own products, imported products are mostly. It is inconvenient to consume unprocessed propolis. May cause an allergic reaction. Again, if you have a chronic disease and you are constantly taking medication, it is necessary to consult a doctor before using propolis. Because we have studies on this subject and propolis can reduce the effect of some drugs. It is a very useful product, but it should not be used randomly. There are propolis products on the market now. Although we have our own products, imported products are mostly. It is inconvenient to consume unprocessed propolis. May cause an allergic reaction. Again, if you have a chronic disease and you are constantly taking medication, it is necessary to consult a doctor before using propolis. Because we have studies on this subject and propolis can reduce the effect of some drugs. It is a very useful product, but it should not be used randomly.

Hygiene is one of the most important issues to be considered when using bee products. We should choose brands that we know and trust. We must pay attention to the proper storage conditions. If we bought the pollen dry, we can store it in the refrigerator at +4°C. If we are old, we should store it in the deep-freezing part of the cabinet at -18°C. Honey can still stand at room temperature. We can store propolis at +4°C and royal jelly at -18°C. For example, they want to use bee products in cancer treatment. But people should not expect miracles from these products. But if they do, let them use it under the supervision of a doctor. These products are purely supplements. In general, when we look at all of them, they have immune system strengthening effects.

http://www.turktarim.gov.tr/Haber/135/-bal-bagisiklik-sistemini-guclendiriyor

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