If you’ve spent some time on social media, you’ve probably seen the popular trend of people eating honeycomb. Mostly falling under the ASMR or Mukbang entertainment categories, content creators, influencers, and the average social media user record themselves taking huge bites of oozing, succulent raw honeycomb.
The sound of honey dripping with each bite and visuals of sweet, golden nectar gushing through lips are enough to temporarily satiate any viewers sweet tooth. Honey is not only sweet and tasty, it also has a lot of benefits including medicinal, beauty, and of course in cuisine. Biting into a brick of honeycomb may be the least traditional way to consume honey but alas, anything for views.
What is Honeycomb?
Honeycomb is a natural structure made by honeybees to store their larvae and pollen. It contains hexagonal prisms made from beeswax that’s secreted from abdominal glands on worker bees bodies.
While many have the misconception that honey is bee vomit or poop, honey is actually made from the mixture of nectar from flowers and the enzyme invertase in an expandable pouch. While transferring nectar back to the hive, the honey making process occurs in the pouch which is then transferred back to the honeycombs in a beehive.
Honey can be considered nature’s own candy since it is primarily made up of sugars, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and water. The two main sugars in honey are fructose and glucose- easily digestible, simple carbohydrate sugars, which also help give honey its thick, syrup consistency.
What Does It Taste Like
Just as it appears, biting into honeycomb has an oozing effect where the honey bursts into and fills your mouth. The first thing you may notice is how surprisingly sweet the honey is. While obvious that honey is sweet, having a mouthful of it all at once gives the sensation of holding a mouth full of pure sugar.
Depending on the source, honey can have different blends of fruity, floral, bitter, earthy, nutty, or even spicy flavors. Raw honey has a very thick, syrupy texture that’ll coat your tongue and lips. It can have the feeling of sucking up all of the saliva and moisture out of the mouth. Honeycomb is usually set in waxy cells made of beeswax that is also safe to consume.
Health Benefits of Honey
Honeycomb may seem like a treat or dessert but is actually full of healthy nutrients with a large amount of benefits. It contains natural antioxidants and antibacterial properties, which can be great from protecting the body from inflammation and viral infections.
Its antimicrobial ingredients help fight off pathogens like a cold making honey popular natural remedy for soothing a cough or sore throat. It is often prescribed as a natural alternative to antibiotics to treat upper respiratory tract infections.
Honey may also help support a healthy gut and GI conditions. Raw honey is known to be a potent pre-biotic that will help restore and nourish the gut’s healthy bacteria, helping improve the digestion process. It can be said to help with upset stomach, nausea, and constipation.
Consuming raw honey can act as an appetite suppressant and improve lipid metabolism by reducing triglycerides. It is a high source of energy from its carbohydrates that will also keep you feeling full longer. Many popular diets consist of drinking a glass full of water with 2 tablespoons of honey mixed in, as well as a dash of lemon juice.
Risks and Side Effects of Eating Honey
Honey is generally safe but it’s important to keep in mind that it consists of over 80% sugar and should be consumed in moderation. There is the potential for weight gain and an increase in blood sugar levels. It can also be damaging to the teeth similar to other types of sugars.
1 tablespoon of honey has 64 calories compared to 1 tablespoon of sugar having 45 calories. All though there is a common argument that honey is considerably sweeter than sugar so less is normally used.
Eating honey should be avoided if you have any pollen allergies. The pollen collected usually comes from flowers which is then used to create honey. Raw honey has the potential to contain botulism spores which won’t harm an adult in low doses but may cause infant botulim in babies. Babies under the age of 1 should never be given honey while toddlers who are over 12 months are safe to eat honey in moderation.
Beauty Benefits of Honey
Not only does eating honey have internal health benefits, it’s also used for many beauty treatments as a natural skin remedy. Honey can be beneficial for acne-prone, oily skin. It acts a pore cleanser and gently exfoliates as well as nourishes the skin from deep within with its anti-oxidant and antibacterial properties.
Honey acts as a natural humectant, moisturizing the skin with out making it oily. Its enzymes enable the honey to sink deep into the skin to hydrate and soften it naturally. Honey has been used for centuries for its medicinal purposes, specifically being beneficial in wound healing. Repeated use of a honey mask can help heal and lighten acne scars and it’s as simple as applying raw honey straight to the skin and letting it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing.
The Best Honey To Eat
Choosing what type of honeycomb to buy can be a daunting task as there are over 300 types of honey that are recognized. Darker honeys tends to have more nutrients and vitamins compared to lighter options.
The top rated, healthiest honey is Manuka honey which comes from bees in Australia and New Zealand. Manuka honey’s main active ingredient is methylglyoxal which is created from dihydroxyacetone, a compound found in Manuka flowers. Its benefits from its high methylglyoxal properties include power antibacterial and anti-oxidant capabilities said to be 100 times higher than other types of honey.
Buckwheat honey is known to be high in nutrients and antioxidant properties. It is made by bees that collect nectar from the small flowers on buckwheat plants. Buckwheat honey may be darker and thicker in texture but has a higher mineral content and less fat and cholesterol compared to more golden honeys. It also has the highest amount in iron content, making it an excellent food supplement for vegetarians looking to add more iron in their diet.
If the healthiest honey isn’t one of your top priorities and you’re looking for taste factor alone, Tupelo honey is known as the richest and sweetest with a higher than usual fructose to glucose ratio. Tupelo honey is made from bees collecting nectar from the blossoms of the Ogeechee tupelo tree. It’s high fructose sugar content makes it one of the few honeys that won’t crystallize keeping its texture and flavor as unfiltered and pure as possible.