Which form of honey is best for us?
I recently received a question about honey which I thought might help a few of you guys out.
The question was - Is Manuka honey better than normal honey? - So, I’d like to clear a few things up for you.
Manuka honey is a form of honey that originates in New Zealand. It comes from the bees that feed on the Manuka plant. This honey has been toted the medicinal honey due to its antibacterial and anti microbial properties. This honey has different UMF (unique Manuka factor) ratings and the higher the UMF the more active the antibacterial properties are. This benefit has been proved, albeit mainly on the reduction of skin wounds in helping them heal faster.
It still isn’t sure how much of the active properties would survive ingestion and digestion. Therefore, when eating Manuka honey the active health promoting properties may be reduced.
Raw honey is honey that can come from any other plant. Therefore, each different jar may have a different mix of compounds and benefits. This differs to Manuka which is ultimately only derived from bees that feed on the manuka plant. The benefit of Raw honey therefore is you get many different properties that can act as a possible defence system and fight against bacteria. The down side is that its not as regulated and therefore you’ll never really know what benefits you’ll get from it.
So which is better?
The main question is whether Manuka honey is better than raw honey? Well, there is no definite answer to this as research is limited. What can be said, is that the less a honey is pasteurised and processed the better it will be for you. This counts for Manuka honey, but also for many other raw honey’s too, both of which are better than a pasteurised and processed honey.
As you can see there are benefits to both Manuka and Raw honey. However, its impossible to say whether or not one is ‘better’ than the other. Things you can be sure of are as follows:
- The higher the UMF number, the more active the Manuka honey is at providing antibacterial properties.
- Raw honey may contain a more diverse amount of bacterial protection, but its difficult to know what you’re getting in each jar.
- Honey that is not ‘Manuka’ or ‘Raw’ will have been highly processed and heated. Therefore, many of the health properties removed. This means this processed type of mass produced honey is not much more than sugar and is therefore definitely not as healthy for you compared to the Manuka or raw versions.
- All honey has a high amount of sugar and therefore should only be consumed in small amounts and infrequently in order to avoid too much sugar in your diet.
I hope this helps and gives you some better understanding towards honey. It's often hard to determine what food types are better or worse for you but I would always just ask. Whether it is to a qualified nutritionist like myself, a health food store representative or an email to a bee keeper perhaps? All of these will provide insight in to your food understanding and thats something that can really help when it comes to your weekly shop!
Why not try adding some honey to my pancake
recipe instead of quite so many berries? a little indulgent, but packed with goodness nonetheless!
For any further information please feel free to contact me
- Coach Anderson