Health & Wellness

Top 3 Health Benefits of Honey for Women, Men, and Children

If you’ve ever wondered about the health benefits of honey over other sweeteners, you’ve come to the right place!

Today we’re going to break down the different types of honey along with how to best use them.

So, if you’re looking to add more nutrients to your diet and take a preventative step in regards to your health, keep reading. This is one article you don’t want to miss!

 

What You Need to Know About Honey

While honey is absolutely better for your health than table sugar, it’s important to know that it still does contain sugar. And that can make it problematic for people prone to high blood sugar levels, such as those with diabetes.

So, moderation and consideration of your personal health history and individual needs are still important.

That said, there are numerous health benefits of honey that you may not be aware of. But the key lies in the type of honey you’re using.

That’s right—the different benefits of honey depend on the type you’re using or consuming. Let’s take a quick look at the different kinds of honey you’re most likely to use and what you can expect from each.

The 3 Major Types of Honey

There are three major types of honey, and each is used for a different purpose. Here’s the breakdown of what you need to know based on each type.

1. Regular honey

Regular honey is the most common kind of honey we regularly come into contact with. It’s easily located in every grocery store and for good reason: It’s easy to cook with.

You can identify this honey quickly because it often comes in squeeze bottles. It’s also clear, meaning it’s pasteurized. As a result, it’s lacking beneficial microbes and may very well contain additives to keep it fresher longer.

2. Raw honey

While raw honey is also used for cooking, its appearance it pretty different from regular honey.

Raw honey comes in jars and has a cloudy appearance, which is due to the fact that it’s unpasteurized and unfiltered.

The result? It’s retained its original health-promoting vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. These nutrients include ascorbic acid, pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. [1] Shocking, isn’t it?

You’re more likely to find higher quality raw honey by shopping locally at your local farmer’s markets. In fact, that’s where I usually get mine. But you can also check out organic health food stores/grocery stories if you’re interested in purchasing raw honey.

3. Manuka

Finally, we can’t discuss the types of honey without discussing Manuka honey. This type of honey isn’t used for cooking; instead, it’s used medicinally—both topically and internally, usually by the spoonful.

Manuka honey is a type of honey that comes from bees that pollinate only the Manuka bush, which is native to New Zealand and Australia. It’s also unpasteurized and is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, but it contains even more benefits.

Manuka honey is rich in antibacterial properties, which is why it’s often used topically for skin abrasions and burns as well as sore throats!

When shopping for Manuka honey, look for the UMF (unique Manuka factor), because not all Manuka honey is the same. The UMR ranges from 10 to 25, with the higher ratings being more potent. [2]

This type of honey usually costs more, since it’s used medicinally, so be prepared for a little sticker shock if this is your first time purchasing it.

 

Benefits of honey - Dr. Pingel

 

3 Major Health Benefits of Honey

Now that we’ve reviewed the different types of honey, let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of honey. You may be surprised by No. 3!

1. Aids in healing wounds, burns, and more

We can’t discuss the benefits of honey without diving into its incredible healing powers for your skin.

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, Manuka honey has been known to benefit your skin in many ways. That’s why I recommend keeping some on hand at all times.

According to a 2013 review, using Manuka honey topically promoted rapid and improved wound healing. It also aids in relieving burn pain, decreases skin inflammation, and fights bacterial infections in wounds. [3]

In fact, numerous studies have confirmed that Manuka honey is extremely effective against many different bacterial strains, and specifically MRSA. One study revealed that using Manuka honey topically completely inhibited MRSA at 50 percent concentration. [4]

And if you struggle from eczema and have a hard time finding relief, you may want to consider picking up a jar of Manuka honey. According to a 2017 study, Manuka honey significantly improved eczema symptoms when applied topically every night for a week. [5]

To use Manuka topically, just rub it onto the affected area and leave it on for up to an hour.

2. Helps relieve coughs

Another health benefit of honey is the fact that it is known to help relieve coughs. But just how effective is it?

According to one study on 105 children with upper respiratory infections, the children who consumed honey found as much relief as those who took honey-flavored dextromethorphan. As a result, honey was the preferred treatment by parents. [6]

Also, a 2021 meta-analysis of 14 studies, confirmed that honey was found to be more effective at reducing both cough frequency and severity in comparison to many other methods. [7]

Please keep in mind, however, that consuming honey isn’t safe for children under the age of 1. If you’re considering giving honey to your child, speak with a pediatrician beforehand just to be safe.

For adults who prefer to consume Manuka honey for coughs, common dosages are typically one-half teaspoon under the tongue two to five times daily, as needed.

You can also try my homemade cough drops, which feature honey.

3. Supports heart health

Believe it or not, when it comes to the benefits of honey, one of its greatest is the fact that it’s known to support heart health. But you won’t get this benefit with regular honey, so make sure you get an unpasteurized version.

That’s because all of the heart health benefits of honey come from its nutrients—specifically its antioxidant properties.

Numerous studies and reviews have shown that honey contains the antioxidants known as polyphenols, which have a promising role in preventing cardiovascular diseases. Specifically, the polyphenols in honey include quercetin, caffeic acid phenethyl ester, acacetin, kaempferol, and galangin.

The antioxidants in honey have been found to  decrease the risk of heart disease by improving coronary vasodilatation, decreasing clotting, and preventing LDL oxidation. [8]

Based on the findings, many researchers recommend consuming raw honey on a regular basis, as regular consumption of these antioxidants is most effective in supporting heart health.

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