I have a confession and it might come as a bit of a shock, but I can’t hide it anymore. So, here it goes. I have an addiction and its getting out of control…
I’m addicted to honey. There, I said it. I LOVE honey and I hate to think about how much I have a day (its sooooo good in coffee, golden lattes, matcha – do I need to go on?). Then of course there is honey which has health benifits, but do you know which is which?
There’s a lot of buzz around honey and its health benefits and to help us get the most out of their honey, Australia’s largest health and wellness retailer Healthy Life has compiled some information to help navigate the complex beehive of products available on shelves.
While consumers can currently choose from three major types of honey – “supermarket honey”, raw, organic honey and medicinal honey – Healthy Life Nutritionist Cayte Moxom said the latter two were more likely to have health benefits.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about the health benefits of honey. While raw, organic honey and medicinal Manuka honey can have health benefits, refined supermarket varieties are often only beneficial as a sugar replacement and in some cases, can be so heavily processed that they’re actually bad for your health,” Cayte said.
“The big difference is the antibacterial properties that come with raw honey and high strength Manuka products, which contain all the special nutrients that bees collect from nature and bring back to their beehive.
“Because a lot of honeys look alike, the best way to tell if a honey is healthy is to check that it has been certified organic, which means that all the natural goodness should still be intact and no nasties have snuck in during heavy processing. When it comes to Manuka, check the MGO rating. Anything over MGO 280+, that is organically certified, offers the best potential health outcome. At Healthy Life, we only source trusted quality brands so we take the guess work out of honey health and ensure our customers are getting the most out of their honey.”
Refined ‘supermarket’ honey:
Highly processed and pasteurised, refined honey contains no medicinal properties. While it can be beneficial as a sugar replacement, honey still contains fructose and can create a similar reaction in the body as refined sugar. Watch out for jars of honey that have been so heavily processed that they’re actually bad for your health.
How to consume:
To curb sugar cravings, replace sugar with honey in tea or coffee or spread on toast in place of a sweet jam.
Raw organic honey:
Rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes, raw honey contains antibacterial and antifungal properties. Health benefits include assisting with wounds, sore throats, digestive problems and blood sugar levels. Raw honey can also make a great natural beauty face mask.
How to consume:
To curb sugar cravings, start the day with a spoonful of honey in warm water or as a natural sweetener, replace refined sugar with raw honey in tea or coffee. A spoonful of honey before bed can also aid a good night’s sleep.
Containing powerful antibacterial properties, the far-reaching health benefits of Manuka can include assisting with allergies, anti-aging, oral health, gut health, immunity, fighting infection, blood sugar levels, sport performance and recovery, better sleep and general health and wellbeing. Similar to SPF ratings in sunscreen, the higher the MGO (Methylglyoxal), the greater the antibacterial effects. Opt for at least MGO 280+ to get better health benefits.
How to consume:
Take 1-2 teaspoons of Manuka honey per day. It’s best consumed straight off the teaspoon at room temperature – boiling water is a big no-no for Manuka honey as it can kill the honey’s special antibacterial properties.
For more information about Manuka’s health benefits visit http://healthylife.com.au/health-library/food-related/the-benefits-of-manuka-honey/