Enzymes have been referred to as “life force” and for good reason—they make things happen inside our bodies!
Without enzymes, food that we eat will not be digested or absorbed by our bodies. Instead, it will rot and cause us a myriad of health problems in addition to nutritional deficiency. Inside every cell in the body, enzymes are needed to convert food into energy that we need to do everything – walk, run, think, work and even to breathe or blink. Our bodies cannot survive without enzymes because we even need energy for basic survival when we are sleeping!
Some people experience enzyme deficiency due to age, hereditary diseases and heavily processed foods, causing poor health: from tiredness and mental fog, to indigestion and poor appetite. A healthy diet with natural foods, such as pure honey, can introduce useful enzymes into our body.
Most of the enzymes inside honey are produced by bees and added into the honey. There are usually more than 10 different enzymes inside honey and together, they make honey the sweet and nutritious superfood that we all know.
Lovoury Honey, especially, has a high amount of natural enzymes, thanks to our healthy, well-cared bees, and our honey’s unadulterated and minimally processed state. Our honey is simply filtered to remove wax bits and bee parts, and bottled immediately. Enzymes are heat-sensitive, so we also harvest our honey in the shade and store it in a cool place.
Here are a few highly beneficial enzymes inside our honey :-
You may already know diastase because its common name is amylase. It is a digestive enzyme whose main function is to break down starch (the large carbohydrates) into simple sugars that our body can absorb. Our bodies need a lot of diastase (aka amylase) because starchy carbohydrates are our staple food, therefore making up a very big part of our diet. These are examples of starchy foods:
Diastases inside honey help us digest our food better and reduce problems such as bloating, - and the embarrassment of flatulence.
The International Honey Commission (IHC) has determined that the quality of honey be measured based on its diastase enzyme activity level, and should be no less than 8 Schade units. This is due to 3 main reasons:
1. Many honey producers heat honey for pasteurisation and to reduce its moisture level. However, heating honey to a mere 60°C will damage most of its natural enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants. Diastase is heat sensitive so if the diastases’ activity is lower than 8 Schade units, it would most probably mean that the honey was excessively heated and may have lost a lot of its beneficial enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants.
2. Diastase activity level also reduces when honey is being kept for a long time so a diastase level above 8 Schade units would mean that the honey is fresh.
3. Some bee farmers feed their bees with sugar to make the bees produce honey all year round, even when the weather is unsuitable and there are no flowers. This method also produces honey faster than the traditional way where the bees fly up to 6 or even 8 kilometres each day to collect nectar from flowers. Research have found however that sugar-fed bees produce honey that has VERY LOW levels of diastase, other enzymes and NO plant-based antioxidants, which together, provide the many benefits honey. A diastase activity level above 8 Schade units indicates that the honey is produced by flower bees (not sugar-fed bees), so it WILL HAVE all the nutritional benefits as nature intended it to.
Lovoury Honey has been tested by independent, accredited laboratories in Thailand and Germany, and results show high diastase enzyme activity of over 12 units for our Wildflower Honey and 18 units for our Longan Flower Honey.
Invertase is the enzyme that ripens nectar and turns it into honey. It does this by breaking the sucrose inside nectar into glucose and fructose, smaller sugar molecules which can be absorbed by the body. The glucose and fructose also gives the rich sweetness to honey.
Another enzyme called glucose oxidase breaks down glucose to form gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide, a strong anti-bacterial agent, during the ripening process of honey. The gluconic acid makes honey acidic, ranging between pH 3.2 to 4.5.
The acidity of honey and the hydrogen peroxide content are among the main reasons why honey can fight and kill bacteria that even antibiotics sometimes cannot kill.
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British Nutrition Foundation. Starchy Foods (Carbs) [Internet]. British Nutrition Foundation [updated 2017 October; cited 2018 March 27]. Available from: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/basics/carbs.html?limit=1