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~
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