Manuka Honey? From New Zealand? What is this Delicious, Medical Grade Honey all about!? Health Benefits, Uses, Smoothie Recipes and more...
Hello and a warm welcome from all of us here at The Healthy Juice and Diet Life to another spotlight-on article.
It's great to have you with us as we delve deep into the oozing world of a most wonderful, sticky delicacy our lovely planet provides - MANUKA HONEY!
If you haven't already been fortunate enough to have had this awesome, medical grade, New Zealand-born honey cross your path then you sure are in for an eye-opening, sweet treat today!
Read on below to get the full raw Manuka honey lowdown covering questions such as what is Manuka honey, where and what to look out for when buying Manuka honey, how to use Manuka honey, a look at some of the best Manuka honey products available and, of course, why there's such a buzz around the benefits of Manuka honey.
We've even thrown in a bonus Manuka Honey Smoothie Recipe from our post 'The 5 Best Manuka Honey Smoothie Recipes for you to Try!' Be sure to bookmark the rest for later.
OK, so we know there are some awesome honey's out there, but what makes Manuka honey so particularly unique?
In short, manuka honey is simply a mono-floral honey from New Zealand. Simple!
But what does that mean for us? The honey is harvested from bees that ONLY collect pollen from the Manuka bush (Leptospermum Scoparium). The Manuka bush is a tough, hardy, perennial flowering evergreen, native to New Zealand, whose countless benefits, from medicinal applications to aromatherapy and therapeutic uses, have been known to the original inhabitants of New Zealand for thousands of years.
However, despite the long-dating use of Manuka honey in its native region, it was only since the 1980's when a Dr Peter Molan of Waikato University began researching into the healing and antibacterial properties of manuka honey that the way was paved for today's centralized understanding of its commercial application and global benefits! Thankfully so as manuka honey is one of the worlds most rewarding researched honeys' to date!
How we use the Manuka Bush?
As such a beneficial plant in terms of health-improving ingredients and uses, coupled with the focus of modern research it comes as no surprise that we have managed to find ways to incorporate these benefits into not just Manuka Honey as food!
Methylglyoxal is the active ingredient responsible for setting manuka-based products apart in the antibacterial game. Its powerful antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties lead to it traditionally being used for wound healing, soothing of sore throats, improved oral hygiene from prevention from tooth decay and boosting the digestive function as well as reversing many digestive issues!
The mild antiviral and antibacterial benefits of your typical honeys comes in the form of peroxide-based agents, which are susceptible to breaking down when exposed to heat, light and moisture, thereby reducing the effectiveness of desired therapeutic benefits. The antibacterial and antiviral agents found within manuka honey, however, come in a non-peroxide form, in a significantly higher concentration. Manuka honey ratings sometimes use NPA (non-peroxide activity) as a measure of strength - more on this later.
Today these benefits can be seen across the board with Manuka Essential Oils as well as cosmetic and beauty products such as Manuka Lip Balms, Hair Washes, Facial Masks and more. The manuka bush is set to be one of the most rewarding rediscoveries of the 20th century in a range of fields from culinary and medicinal applications, to cosmetic and therapeutic practices!
Manuka Honey Health Benefits
Not just a sweet treat, manuka honey comes packed full of healthy goodness! Manuka Honey is the natural product produced by the bees after collecting the nectar from the Manuka Bush.
The health benefits of manuka honey far outweigh that of any other honey thanks to its higher concentration of the ingredient Methylglyoxal.
Used for culinary purposes and consumption this hugely taste-packed ingredient can sway the flavour of an entire meal, visually enhance that perfect, mouth-watering glaze or give a natural, nutritious immunity boost to any slap up meal or smoothie! But don't make the mistake of thinking that pot in the cupboard is only for your stomach!
Here are a few of the fantastic health benefits of Manuka honey:
Manuka Honey Smoothie Recipes?
Did you ask? Probably not! ... Do you want want one? DEFINITELY YES!
Naturally, here at the Healthy Juice and Diet Life we like to do our bit to take things that one step further, breaking free from the typical boundaries and limitations to the possible health benefits we can squeeze out of any situation - Manuka Honey doesn't escape our grasp!
As avid lovers of mouth-watering, nutritious smoothies we just couldn't miss out on such a fantastic opportunity to play around and make a few of our own. Below is a smoothie recipe taken from our post 'The 5 Best Manuka Honey Smoothie Recipes for you to Try!' -which we fully recommend you check out! Each smoothie has been uniquely designed as a perfect blend of intense, distinctive flavour and nutritional content to leave your thirst quenched, and taste buds dancing, with a stoked immune system, and rejuvenated bodily function! What more could you ask for!?
The Cinnamon Honey Pear - Manuka Honey Smoothie Recipe
Simply toss the ingredients into a blender and blend until an even consistency throughout. Pour and enjoy!
Check out our other manuka honey smoothie recipes in our post 'The 5 Best Manuka Honey Smoothie Recipes for you to Try!'
What to look out for when Buying Manuka Honey? UMF/NPA?
There has been some controversy between the authentic original manuka honey manufacturers and those looking to make a quick buck under the Manuka name. You can be sure you are buying authentic manuka honey by looking at the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating, also referred to as the Non Peroxide Activity (NPA). A rating over 10 UMF is considered to be authentic manuka honey or 'Active Manuka Honey' that is potent enough for the therapeutic effects to be effective.
Typical honey attributes its mild antibacterial properties to the hydrogen peroxide antiseptic released when the enzyme glucose oxidase produced by the bees as a preservative in the honey comes in contact with moisture in the body. However, this activity is easily destroyed by heat, light and other fluids. In Manuka honey the antibacterial effects come from Non-Peroxide Activity which is more potent and stable - leading to our immense list of benefits.
WATCH YOUR RATINGS!
A WORD OF WARNING. Be wary of other rating systems. UMF / NPA is the only official standardised rating system to measure the actual effectiveness of the Manuka by means of both concentration and potency.
For example one company, Wedderspoon, have created their own KFactor rating system which they say is to measure the 'purity' of the honey. While we would hope that all products already are arriving in their jars in a pure state regardless of the ingredients, the main issue here is the rating system disregards measurement of the active, beneficial ingredient responsible for the effects you probably wanted the honey for in the first place, namely the Non-Peroxide Activity agents.
However, as a cheaper 'Manuka honey' alternative it is easy to see why many are choosing to buy it as it serves as a great introduction at a more accessible cost. However, make sure you know that what you are buying falls into the category of 'premium honey' rather than 'medical grade', which cannot promise to deliver on the therapeutic benefits with a honey with UMF 10 or above.
Where to Buy Manuka Honey?
Thankfully it couldn't be easier for you to get your very own pot of New Zealand Manuka wonder-honey in your cupboard regardless of whether you live half way around the world or just next door to the apiary!
If you're the kind of person who likes to visit a store for your purchases we are pleased to say this is possible!
*Just beware of the rating system as we mentioned previously and you should be well on your way!
In the digital era it's hard not to see the benefits the internet has afforded us. When it comes to grabbing something as specific as a medically graded honey we would always recommend doing so online from a trusted source. No where else can you so specifically search out a particular product and have all the customer feedback in one place that you can trust is both accurate and up to date.
What's more we've already done the leg work and found the best Manuka honey products available online!
Our Manuka Honey Recommendations.
Find our recommended Manuka Honey products listed below. The New Zealand Honey Co. and Kiva are two of the most respected names in the Manuka Honey industry, with a select few other organic honey manufacturer names cropping up repeatedly. Other brands such as Comvita and Wedderspoon are not to be completely ruled out, however in a comparison of price versus reward, we preferred the following for introducing Manuka Honey into your diet and regular consumption for desired effect. These brands also offer higher concentration alternatives for those looking for a real power-packed, super-strength manuka honey.
Thanks for sticking about!
Well that's it for our look at manuka honey - thanks for sticking around! We hope you've enjoyed this article and can't wait to hear how you choose to add manuka honey into your culinary experience!
If you did like this article, please feel free to share this information with friends, family and anyone you know that likes their honey or could benefit from a little extra bang for their buck!
Happy honey hunting! :)
~The Healthy Juice & Diet Life~
Manuka honey is a nutritiously rich honey produced by bees that only collect pollen from the Manuka Bush - a tough, hardy, evergreen known for its medicinal, therapeutic and aromatic uses. As a result, manuka honey packs a real punch with its various medicinal applications including antibacterial and antiviral properties as well as many other unexpected health benefits - Learn all about manuka honey in our article: Manuka Honey? From New Zealand? What is this Delicious, Medical Grade Honey all about!? Health Benefits, Uses, Smoothie Recipes and more... (opens in new tab).
The 5 Best Manuka Honey Smoothies
If you like honey and haven't already heard of Manuka Honey then boy have we got a deliciously sweet surprise in store for you today with our Manuka honey smoothies!
Being such a potent ingredient with a fantastically rich and complex flavour, it's obvious to see how manuka honey can be used to work wonders in our smoothies! For those familiar with the sweet, rich, nectar prepare to be left with your mouth watering and taste buds tingling as we bring you the 5 best manuka honey smoothie recipes for you to try!
Manuka Honey Smoothie Recipe #1
What are you waiting for!?
Let us know in the comments below!
~The Healthy Juice & Diet Life~
- 2 Carrots
- 3-4 Celery Sticks
- 3-4 Cabbage or Dandelion Leaves
- 1/2 Beetroot
- 1 Large or 2 Smaller Apples OR Pears
- 3 Spinach Leaves
Optional extras can be added to enhance specific nutritional content and/or flavour and preference - feel free to experiment with different ingredients until you find your perfect combination!
Optional extras include:
- 3 Apricots
- 1/2 Red Onion
- 1 Papaya
- 1 Clove of Garlic
- 1 Cup of Blackberries
- 1 Cup of Chopped Fennel
After washing down the ingredients to prevent any unwanted contaminants making their way in, proceed to chop your ingredients and send them all through your juicer.
Inflamed intestines sometimes are unable to stomach (pardon the pun) such a concentrated mixture depending on your chosen optional extras. It is thoroughly recommended that the yielded juice be diluted to approximately 50% strength using either water or a suitable herbal tea replacement (see below).
You should aim to be making enough for approximately 1 Litre (35oz) of diluted juice per day, which should be consumed over the course of the day in quantities of approximately 5-7oz servings. (Roughly 5-7 servings per day).
SUITABLE HERBAL TEA INGREDIENTS
The herbal tea ingredients below have a restorative effect on the intestine and bowel and can be used in the place of water above to dilute down the concentrated juice.
- Golden Seal
- Dandelion Root
What's in it for me!?
- Blackberries, raspberries and blueberries contain phyto-nutrients are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants which induce intenstinal anti-inflammatory responses.
- Apple, pears, guavas, plums, gooseberries and oranges, along with other citrus fruits contain large amounts of pectin which soothes the intestinal mucous membranes.
- Apricot, beetroot, carrot and papaya are high in bera-carotene which heals inflamed intestinal mucous membranes.
- Cabbage, dandelion, and garlic are high in organosulfur (organic sulfur) which plays an important part in the effective protection of the liver function while healing the bowel.
- Leafy, green, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach and pak choi (bok choy) are high in vitamin K which strengthens the immune system positively enhancing natural gut bacteria decomposition.
Avocado, Pineapple & Banana in a Coconut Paradise Mix-Up. A Hugely Healthy Superfood Smoothie Recipe!
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup water (vary according to consistency preference)
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 avocado
- 1-2 pinches of fresh grated ginger
As well as being rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C and fiber, as well as trace elements manganese and copper, pineapples contain bromelain - an enzyme with many great health benefits including the digestion of proteins and anti-cancer properties. It is fantastic in the treatment of digestive disorders, improved surgery recovery times, sinus infection control and reducing joint pain.
To get an appreciate of just how nutritionally dense Avocados are, here is a breakdown of a typical 100g (3.5 Oz) serving.
- Vitamin B5: 14% of RDA.
- Vitamin B6: 13% of RDA.
- Vitamin C: 17% of RDA.
- Vitamin E: 10% of RDA.
- Folate: 20% of RDA.
- Vitamin K: 26% of RDA.
- Potassium: 14% of RDA.
- Also trace amounts of of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).
High in potassium and loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids (mostly Oleic acid). Oleic acid has been linked to beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer and reducing inflammation. Avocados are also high in both soluble (25%) and insoluble (75%) fiber and are great in the treatment of digestive problems.
The health benefits of Avocados really are astonishing with benefits ranging from Cardiovascular and Cholesterol effects, Anti-cancer properties, Weight Loss, Antioxidants, Eye and eyesight improvements, Nutrient uptake and many more. In the coming weeks we will be releasing a dedicated article on avocados and their immeasurable health benefits. We will link this HERE once published.
- Digestive and Gut Problems
- Healthy Skin and Anti-aging Properties
- Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Management
- Detox and Metabolism Boosting
- Immunity Booster
- Weight Loss
Intolerant to Certain Ingredients?
Just bear in mind that the final result itself may have varying consistency to your expected smoothies and juices without the usual mass and plant matter going in - but for the positives it's worth it.
Here are some great supplementary options and alternative sources to turn to if you suffer the above. To be taken alongside your smoothie mix, or added as an ingredient, depending on the product.
- 2 Red Apples
- 2 Green Apples
- 2 Pears
- 4 Carrots
Depending on the strength capabilities and size of your blender/juicer slice the ingredients to an appropriate size and then one by one add the ingredients ensuring the carrots are included between the other ingredients so that a more complete blend is easily obtained.
With a blender you will have the benefit of the full fiber intake as all the material is included in the smoothie created. You may wish to add ice according to taste as a way to alter the thickness of your smoothie or extend the yield of a particular batch.
Juicers, on the other hand, typically remove the pulp from your returned yield, thereby dramatically reducing the amount of fiber retained in the final juice mix, leading to a more liquid 'juice' in the end. Bear this in mind when using the ingredient mix as a therapeutic aid for digestive issues where fiber is your focus.
Apples: Rich in fiber and important antioxidants, and flavanoids. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
Pears: Another great fiber and antioxidant containing fruit, with an abundance of vitamins - calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, folate etc.
Of important note: A new analysis of the Nurse's Health Study showed that across all fruit and vegetables analyzed for flavonoid content, the combination of apples and pears produced the most consistent ability to lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Carrots: An excellent source of beta-carotene, fibre, and antioxidants. Rich in Vitamin A, C, K, B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper and manganese, carrots are a truly nutrient rich veg.
- Antioxidants are powerful substances the protect the body from a wide range of illnesses and chronic diseases
- Anti-cancer properties
- Blood pressure and cholesterol management
- Digestive issues
- Anti-ageing, wrinkle reversing, skin enhancer
- Thoroughly hydrating (great for all organs)
- Weight loss
Have your Say
Banana, Orange & Raspberry Delight Smoothie Recipe - For Digestive and Cardiovascular Health Benefits
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
- 1/2 cup skimmed milk
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon good honey
- 1-3 cups of ice (according to preference)
- A nutritionally packed, refreshing blast to energise and boost immunity. A healthy source of essential ingredients with a range of vitamins and minerals such as B6 and Vitamin C
- Potassium has been linked with maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Diets rich in foods containing potassium significantly lowers the risk of stroke
- Fiber content promotes cardiovascular health
- Natural antacid effect protects against stomach problems including ulcers and ulcer damage
- Bananas stimulate the cells that create the protective lining in the stomach
- Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid which is used to produce serotonin - this plays a significant role in regulating digestive function and intestinal movement
- Anthocyanins in raspberries help inhibit growth of certain bacteria and fungi in the body such as Candida albicans, which contributes to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and vaginal infections
- Raspberries are also a great source of phytonutrients and antioxidants including ellagic acid, a tannin that helps to prevent free radical cell damage and is known to slow tumor growth
- A refreshing, daily smoothie
- Cardiovascular / Digestive health particularly those with digestion or gut problems
- Boosting immunity
- Regulating blood pressure
- Improved mineral and nutrient absorption
- Kidney health
- Weight loss
By combining foods with antioxidants that boost cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain we can create a whole host of natural goodness that has almost immediate positive influences on our brain activity and cognition as well as improving memory and overall performance over time.
Beetroot, a natural vasodilator, is really great for improved blood flow to the brain, as well as Blueberries and Blackberries. Combined with potassium sources such as the favourite Bananas and Coconut Water you're onto a winner. We've saved those for some upcoming recipes though just to let your mouth water a bit first ;)
For now though...
It's simple and only includes the following:
- 2 Beetroots
- 2 Sweet Potatoes
- 6 Medium Carrots
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