Is Honey Good for You? The Real Health Benefits.


8 minute read

Essential Takeaways

Honey is good for you in so many different ways, but these do depend on a few factors.

Different types of honey offer different benefits. And honey still contains sugar, so it’s important to enjoy it as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle.

When used correctly, honey can help to heal wounds, protect against bacteria, ease allergy symptoms, balance hormones, reduce stomach issues, and so much more.

Ancient cultures used honey for medicine and skincare long before we had the science and tools to prove its capabilities¹.

Since we’ve only really had the technology to test it for the last few decades, the evidence that has come out is pretty impressive.

Honey has had a reputation of being good for us for thousands of years, verified only by stories and anecdotes passed down the generations.

So, what about now?

Do we know if honey is good for you? And if so, how?

That’s what we’ll explore right here.

In this guide to ‘is honey good for you’:

  • 5 reasons why honey is good for you

  • Is all honey good for you?

  • How to use manuka honey to get the best results

  • Where to buy premium manuka honey

5 Reasons Why Raw Honey is Good for You

What do we mean when we say something is “good for us”?

We’d argue that keeping our bodies functioning well, helping them to repair themselves, and protecting them against disease or illness covers most bases.

And honey, particularly manuka honey (we’ll come to this later), offers all this and more.

Here’s how.

  1. Honey contains antibacterial properties to help us fight infection

“Research has been conducted on manuka (L. scoparium) honey, which has been demonstrated to be effective against several human pathogens.”

Manuka honey has been found to be effective against illnesses like E. coli, salmonella, and even MRSA².

Where traditional antibiotics are failing due to a rise in antibiotic resistance, more doctors are turning to natural alternatives like honey.

With no side effects and fast results, the antibacterial activity of manuka honey makes it an easy win.

It’s also great for daily health and wellness, keeping bacteria at bay and infections away.

  1. Honey contains antioxidant properties that help us stay healthy

“The antioxidant capacity of honey which plays an important role in its useful effects, related to a wide range of compounds including phenolics, peptides, organic acids, enzymes, and Maillard reaction products.”

Free radicals are unstable atoms that can cause damage to our bodies³.

Antioxidants protect us against this damage, and although we make them ourselves, we can also get them from food.

Honey is good for you thanks to its antioxidant compounds, and manuka honey has been found to consistently contain more antioxidants than other honey types⁴.

Eating honey regularly is a great way to give your body the extra nutrient boost it needs.

  1. Its humectant properties help us heal faster

“The natural properties of honey as well as its active compounds are crucial for the wound healing process… its jelly consistency creates a surface layer over the wound that inhibits the entrance of bacteria and protects the wound from dehydration.

Its high sugar content creates a higher osmotic gradient that pulls fluid up through the subdermal tissue and offers an additional glucose source for flourishing cellular components in the wounded area.”

Honey has humectant properties, which means that it locks in moisture to a wound and keeps it hydrated whilst it heals.

Not only this, but honey can boost healing itself by preventing bacterial growth, flushing out harmful debris or dead tissue, and even transporting nutrients from deep inside the skin to the damaged area⁵.

It’s easy to make your own manuka honey wound dressing by soaking a gauze and layering it directly on top of the wound.

NB: Always make sure to check with a doctor before using anything for medical purposes.

  1. Its amino acids help us to prepare for and recover from exercise

“Honey, as an energizing mixture, helps athletes overcome fatigue and regain energy in a short period. It reduces significantly the recovery time.

Honey was used by athletes, starting even from the very ancient times, at the Olympic Games in ancient Greece. Nowadays, the Alpine climbers also eat honey as an energy source.”

Although honey contains sugar, it has a lower glycemic index, which means it delivers an energy hit over a more sustained period of time.

Its antioxidants and amino acids give our cells the fuel they need to work out and repair themselves afterwards, making honey a great pre- or post-workout snack.

  1. Its nutrients give us an all-round health and wellness boost

From targeted treatment for wounds and infections to a general preventative measure, pure, raw honey is a fantastic natural superfood.

Packed full of vitamins and minerals, it delivers a powerful wellness punch in a deliciously smooth mouthful every time.

So honey, trust us. And get some on your spoon.


Is All Honey Good for You?

Different types of honey have slightly different properties and characteristics.

Factors that influence these properties include the botanical origin of the nectar, the health of the honeybees making the honey, and the location of the hive (to name a few).  

Honey flavours, textures, and benefits all vary based on these factors. And the global demand for honey is enormous.

Unfortunately, as a result, more honey is sold throughout the world than is produced, which can only mean one thing: counterfeits on the shelves.

Manuka honey has gained a special reputation for its uniquely potent antibacterial properties and related health benefits. Thanks to this, it could be considered the healthiest type of honey.

To protect the integrity of genuine manuka honey and to help buyers make sure they get the real deal, there’s a dedicated grading system just for manuka honey.

No other honey anywhere in the world is regulated this strictly.

The Unique Manuka Factor grading system tests for purity, authenticity, and freshness.

All UMF™-graded manuka honeys are 100% pure, raw, monofloral manuka honey from New Zealand.

It’s super nature at your fingertips.

Is Honey Good for Everyone?

Honey is a fantastic natural source of antioxidants and antibacterial properties, but there are some people who should not eat honey.

Honey is not safe for infants or people with allergies to bees.

Evidence shows it is safe for expectant mothers.

And although honey can be used to safely manage diabetes, it’s best to get advice if you are diabetic.

So if you’re unsure whether you should have honey, ask your doctor.


How to Use Manuka Honey for the Best Results

Here are our top tips for getting the very best out of your manuka honey.

Opt for UMF™-graded manuka honey

You will find manuka honey out there that isn’t graded using the UMF™ system.

It could be the real deal.

But UMF™ gives you the peace of mind that you are definitely supporting genuine, responsible suppliers, and that your honey has not been tampered with.

Learn more about this rigorous grading system.

Get into the habit of a spoonful a day

It’s a great idea to have a spoonful of honey every day, whether that’s first thing in the morning, as a snack, or to wind down at night.

By incorporating it into your daily routine, you can keep yourself healthy, prevent allergies, and keep your body topped up with the nutrients it needs to be and feel well.

Simply eat it straight off the spoon!

Replace sugar with honey in food and drink

We all love a little sweetness, but honey offers so much more than sugar for our bodies.

The same goes for agave nectar and stevia, by the way.

Honey is healthier than sugar thanks to its multitude of other compounds, like antioxidants, which help to prevent the damage that sugar can do when isolated in food and drinks.

Add manuka honey to your hot drink after it’s cooled a little, or use it in delicious smoothies to really kick off your day on the right foot.

You can also make your own immunity-boosting tonic for those pesky allergy seasons.

Be careful not to overheat it

If your manuka honey exceeds the typical temperature of the beehive (37℃/ 98℉), its beneficial compounds may start to break down.

So if you’re using manuka honey for its health benefits, it’s key that you don’t overheat your honey by cooking with it or even trying to decrystallise it (which can happen with pure, natural manuka honey).

Get both the flavour and health benefits of manuka honey by adding it to drinks once they’ve cooled or to foods after they’ve cooked.

Make healthy snacks for a sustained energy boost

Making manuka honey snacks with other whole foods is a great way to keep you full for longer and enjoy all the health benefits it has to offer.

We have listed over 170 ways to use manuka honey, but here are a few of our snack recipes that you might want to try:

Eat in moderation as part of a balanced diet

Honey is good for you when it’s part of a healthy, balanced diet.

And you don’t have to just eat it off the spoon (although, admittedly, this is our favourite).

Manuka honey is an extremely versatile ingredient that can be used in just about any dish.

Here are a few recipe ideas:

Get The Best Honey for You from New Zealand Honey Co.

Honey is great for your body because it tastes delicious, offers a plethora of beneficial nutrients and compounds, and keeps out nasty bacteria and microbes.

But don’t take our word for it. Check out our testimonials from happy customers below, or click here to start shopping.

“Love the taste & texture but especially the health benefits. I really feel it has helped my respiratory issues.”

“I tried New Zealand Manuka honey in an attempt to "stay healthy" for an upcoming trip. I LOVED it! I have now incorporated it into my daily routine. The taste is AMAZING!

If you are on the fence due to the price, just do it if you can afford it because I firmly believe it is worth every penny!”

“My favorite is the 24+UMF/1122+MGO Manuka honey. It has a rich caramel flavor and texture.

I also use it at times to help heal unsightly flair ups of rosacea on my chin. It helps control and heal the skin inflammation better than any antibiotic ointment.”

Shop our range of premium manuka honeys.

Unsure which grade is right for you?

Take the quiz.


¹ Honey and health: a review, National Library of Medicine.

² Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity, National Library of Medicine.

³ Free radicals: how do they affect the body? Medical News Today.

Health benefits of manuka honey, National Library of Medicine.

Honey in wound healing: an updated review. National Library of Medicine.

Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.


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