The Definitive Guide to Manuka Honey
In a market saturated with superfood trends, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard of Manuka honey. This premium grade honey has taken the market by storm with health and nutrition benefits that almost seem too good to be true.
But what makes Manuka honey so special, especially compared to regular honey, and what benefits does it really offer?
What is Manuka Honey?
Regarded as the crown jewel of the honey industry, Manuka honey is primarily harvested in the beautiful New Zealand wilderness. Bees produce the honey after gathering nectar and pollinating Manuka bushes, also known as tea trees, which are native to New Zealand and Australia. This process creates a raw organic honey that delivers a signature robust and earthy taste, but still provides the distinct sweetness that honey lovers have come to expect.
The rise to fame for Manuka honey is partly attributed to its exclusivity. Limited availability of Manuka trees, as well as the fact it can only be harvested a few weeks a year when the Manuka plant is in bloom, impacts the amount of honey cultivated from New Zealand. This makes it not only delicious but rare!
What are the Health Benefits of Manuka Honey?
The health benefits of Manuka honey, including its medicinal properties, are well-documented. Medical afflictions that are said to be reduced or cured with regular consumption or application of Manuka honey include:
- High cholesterol
- Dry skin
- Cuts and burns
- Stomach upset
- Fungal infections
- Psoriasis flare-ups
- Sore throats
- The common cold and flu
- Bacterial infections
- Cancer cell growth
This New Zealand honey can also give your immune system a boost! Compared to ordinary household honey, this honey is dense in nutrients while still providing the natural protection against bacteria that are present in other raw honey. It also includes one important addition: Methylglyoxal (MGO).
Manuka flowers produce Methylglyoxal dense pollen which increases MGO levels as much as 1000x more than regular honey. Plus, it’s the only honey that carries the high concentrations of MGO, proven to boost the body’s natural healing abilities. The bacteria resistance that MGO provides to Manuka honey has yet to be replicated in a stable form in any laboratory. To date, the only food that allows you to ingest MGO in a strong and stable form is Manuka honey.
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Giving strong boosts to the immune system while also giving you supplemental vitamins and minerals, this New Zealand honey can improve your energy levels day to day and make you feel stronger.
How Can Manuka Honey Be Used?
There are lots of exciting ways Manuka honey can be used and consumed that will give you all the amazing benefits that the honey has to offer. It’s also vegetarian-friendly!
Ingesting this honey straight out of the jar isn’t frowned upon, it’s encouraged! If you’re feeling less adventurous you can try it on toast or mixed into your favorite Greek yogurt with some fruit and granola.
Manuka honey is also quickly becoming a contender in the sports world. The fructose and glucose levels provide athletes with a necessary energy boost before, during, and after athletic training.
Another great benefit of this honey is the fact its heat stable! You can also add it to your favorite cake recipe or a cup of tea won’t destabilize the compound efficacy. Hot or cold, your body will still get all the same amazing health benefits from Manuka honey.
Topical uses of Manuka honey are as varied–and just as amazing–as consuming it. This New Zealand honey can be applied to scrapes and burns to promote natural, faster healing with an innate resistance to bacteria
Need to color your hair in a hurry? Apply it to hair for a naturally lighter look. Mixed with lemon juice and brown sugar, it can also become a cleansing and softening facial scrub that removes blackheads and prevents acne with daily use.
The possibilities are endless!
Finding Legitimate Manuka Honey
You may be asking yourself, “How do I know if the honey I’m purchasing is really Manuka honey?” Here are a few tips to spotting legitimate Manuka honey:
- Labeling: If the label on your honey jar says there is “100+ mg/kg Methylglyoxal” you know the honey that you’re purchasing is the real deal. The ideal ratio should be above 100 milligrams per kilogram.
- Consistency: Manuka honey doesn’t have a thick and smooth consistency at room temperature like regular honey. The texture is more crystalized until the honey is heated to create that familiar honey consistency.
- Color: Honey often has a light golden color. Manuka honey is more bronze and thicker than the generic honey.
Knowing how to spot faux-Manuka can save you precious time and money.
The benefits of Manuka honey far-outweigh those of regular honey. And, while it may have a higher price point, the health benefits, taste, and quality make the extra cost well worth it.