Is a Spoonful of Honey a Day Good for You?


15 minute read

Essential Takeaways

Yes, a spoonful of honey a day is good for you as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Honey offers antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. But some honey types are more potent in these properties than others.

Manuka honey has been studied for decades for its unique antibacterial potency. Today, it’s used for everything from daily health and wellness to some of the most severe medical conditions in both people and animals.

A spoonful of manuka honey a day is the best way to look after your insides and your outsides with the super powers of Mother Nature, straight from your pantry.

Yes, a spoonful of honey a day is good for you.

But wait!

Don’t click away yet. There’s a caveat.

Not all honeys are created equal. Some are much better for you than others, and can offer a suite of delicious benefits for your mental and physical health.

So stick with us to discover the best health benefits of honey and how our customers have benefited from their daily dose.

In this guide to whether a spoonful of honey a day is good for you:

  • Why is a spoonful of honey a day good for you?

  • A spoonful of manuka honey vs other honey types

  • 9 reasons why you should take a spoonful of manuka honey a day

  • Choosing the right UMF™ grade for you

  • Why choose New Zealand Honey Co. for your manuka honey

Spoons at the ready…

Why a Spoonful of Honey a Day is Good for You

“[Honey] has been used for several centuries in many countries as a treatment of disease, even before knowledge existed on the causes of infection.

It has been known to be very effective in almost all cases of infection and for the promotion of healing especially in burn injury and wounds.”

Thanks to decades of scientific research, we now know that honey offers a wide range of exciting health benefits.

Although its primarily a sugar solution, honey also contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols¹.

These compounds make honey antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant.

“Many factors have been shown to contribute to the antibacterial activity of honey, such as its high viscosity, mostly due to a high sugar concentration and low water content, which helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection.”

The science now backs up what cultures throughout history and across the world have always known: honey is good for you.

So do all honeys offer the same amount of good stuff?

Not quite.

The chemical makeup of honey varies based on a number of different factors, and this impacts how antibacterial it is.

In this respect, one type in particular comes out on top.

Honey Benefits: Manuka Honey vs Other Honeys

“Honey is a powerful antimicrobial agent with a wide range of effects.

Various components contribute to the antibacterial efficacy of honey: the sugar content; polyphenol compounds; hydrogen peroxide; 1,2-dicarbonyl compounds; and bee defensin-1.

All of these elements are present at different concentrations depending on the source of nectar, bee type, and storage.”

Honey’s antibacterial properties come from a few different compounds all working together.

And we know that these vary between honey types based on three key factors: the flowers used, how fresh the honey is, and how it’s been processed².

Unfortunately, due to a colossal global demand, honey has become one of the most counterfeited and diluted products on supermarket shelves.

In order to make more honey and honey that looks appealing to customers (i.e. clear and free from impurities like pollen), some suppliers ultrafilter, heat, and even dilute their honey.

So any naturally beneficial properties from the nectar are lost, the honey may not be as fresh, and it may be topped up with sugars like high fructose corn syrup.

For these three reasons, UMF™-graded manuka honey gives you the best possible chance at powerful health and wellness benefits.

Here’s why.

“The composition of manuka honey consists of carbohydrates, minerals, proteins, fatty acids, phenolic and flavonoid compounds.

Although such compounds are found in other types of honey, other unique features also occur in manuka honey, such as an unusually high level of methylglyoxal (MGO) formed from dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which correlates with antibacterial activity.

It was found that the MGO levels of manuka honey are 20-fold higher in comparison to other non-manuka honeys.”

In terms of floral source, we know that monofloral manuka honey (honey made only with nectar from the mānuka plant) offers the most potent antibacterial activity³.

This largely comes from its methylglyoxal (MGO) content.

And this activity gives it broad application and huge potential in medicine:

“Manuka honey shows antioxidant and anticancer properties, which are considered due to its constituents-phytochemicals working as active bio-compounds.

Manuka honey can be safely used as an alternative natural antibiotic, which exerts a stimulating effect on macrophages to release mediators needed for tissue healing and reducing microbial infections.”

The UMF™ grading system was designed to verify monofloral manuka honey from New Zealand.

It was also designed to test the freshness of the honey, and to ensure that it is pure and raw.

So by opting for UMF™-graded manuka honey, you can rest assured that you’re getting the freshest, most potent antibacterial honey that hasn’t been heated, contaminated, or overly processed.

It’s the most regulated honey in the world.

So if you’re going to use honey daily, make sure it’s the best.

9 Reasons Why You Should Take Manuka Honey Every Day

The unique antibacterial properties of manuka honey make it a versatile natural superfood that can be used in so many different ways.

In fact, we list over 170 of them right here.

Here’s a summary of the top 9 ways that a spoonful of honey daily can help you protect your health and wellness using the best that Mother Nature has to offer.

1. Honey helps your body fight bacteria

Manuka honey has been found to stop the growth of different types of bacteria, including (but not limited to) Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)⁴.

Doctors and vets alike have also achieved impressive results with both oral and topical application in healing severe wounds.

Honey’s significant antibiotic benefits are particularly important now, as medics face an antibiotic resistance crisis.

Scientists believe it’s unlikely that bacteria will develop a resistance to manuka honey as they have with traditional antibiotics⁴, so it may just be the golden ticket they need.

Learn more about medical grade manuka honey.

2. Honey helps your body fight inflammation

Manuka honey has been found to be effective in fighting inflammation both inside and outside the body. This is thanks to its antibacterial activity and humectant properties.

Manuka honey provides a moist and bacteria-free environment for skin to heal, and it also boosts tissue regeneration and collagen production⁵.

By locking in inflamed areas and helping them to heal, manuka honey can be used in a wide range of ways. One in particular is skincare.



Learn more about manuka honey for acne.

Read about manuka honey for eczema.

3. Honey protects your head and your heart

The polyphenols in honey have been found to be great for our brains, both with neurodegenerative conditions (like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases) and for mental health⁶.

It has also been associated with heart health thanks to its antioxidative activity, blood pressure regulation, and its restorative and regenerative effects on cells⁷.

So whether you listen to your head or your heart, it’s honey all the way.

4. Honey can ease allergies

Those pesky seasonal allergies can be kept at bay using just a spoonful of manuka honey a day.

Honey helps to clear the airways, boost the immune system’s response, and reduce nasal mucus⁸. It also makes the perfect sinus wash to relieve sinus infection and inflammation.


Learn more about manuka honey for allergies and ways to use it.

5. Honey can give you a sustained energy boost

Honey is an easy-to-digest carbohydrate that supplies our bodies with the glucose we need to function. It also contains amino acids, which help to repair cells after exercise⁹.

In fact, honey has been found to improve athletic performance to the same level as commercial sports drinks. So why wouldn’t you opt for the more natural option?

Slower blood sugar spikes are also important for people with diabetes, so honey may be a good way to manage this condition (subject to advice from your doctor).

Read more about manuka honey and exercise.

6. Honey can help the body deal with hormone imbalance

Hormone imbalance can lead to pretty unpleasant side effects that can affect our quality of life.

Manuka honey has been found to help the body react to the oxidative stress that comes with hormone imbalance.

Whether that’s for people with low testosterone or those going through the menopause, just a spoonful a day could help to keep those hormonal woes away.

Learn more about manuka honey and testosterone.

Get tips on using manuka honey for the menopause.

7. Honey can help with gastro problems and pregnancy

Though you should never give honey to infants due to the risk of botulism, manuka honey is generally safe to eat when pregnant.

Manuka honey can help keep your immune system strong, your skin healthy and glowing, and balance your digestive system when it might be feeling a little tender. It’s also great for recovering after birth, helping cells to repair and renew themselves naturally.

Speaking of digestion, with its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, manuka honey eases a lot of the most common stomach problems using nature’s own ecosystem.

That includes nasty gastric ulcers and even acid reflux¹⁰.

Get the scoop on manuka honey for pregnancy and recovery.

Uncover the truth about manuka honey for stomach issues.

8. Honey can protect our mouths

The body reacts to toxins in our mouths by flushing the area with white blood cells. These cells break down the invader but they also damage the body’s cell tissue, too¹¹.

Manuka honey not only seals the inflamed area and protects it from bacteria, but it helps the damaged cells to repair themselves and clear up the painful sore faster¹².

It can be applied topically or used to make your own mouthwash.

Solving those canker sores never tasted so good!

Learn more about manuka honey for mouth ulcers.

9. Honey is a healthier natural sweetener

If all you really want in life is a touch of sweetness without the guilt, then honey, manuka is your best friend.

We investigated manuka honey versus the other popular sweeteners from sugar to maple syrup, agave, and even stevia.

Even in their pure and unprocessed forms, these sweeteners don’t offer the same level of health benefits as manuka honey.

Use manuka honey in your cuppa, side dishes, breakfast, and beyond. Your mental and physical health will thank you for it.

Choosing The Right UMF™ Grade of Raw Honey For Your Needs

You might notice lots of numbers on manuka honey jars.

UMF™ grades take four chemical markers into account that measure the honey’s antibacterial activity (MGO), its authenticity, freshness, and shelf-life.

The higher the UMF™ grade, the more MGO the honey contains and the more antibacterial it is.

So on the jars you’ll see a UMF™ grade followed by the MGO content (in milligrams per kilogram).

There’s no hard and fast rule about what to use each UMF™ grade for, so below is just a guide.

But if you’re after the most potent effects for medical purposes, then aim for the highest grade.



MGO 263+

The everyday honey.

A delicious natural supplement to boost your family’s health and wellness.

We recommend this honey for kids, teens, young adults and families who live active lifestyles and want to protect their bodies inside and out.

“I have problems with my stomach and manuka honey seems to help it. I love the taste. I put some in my daily cups of hot green tea.”

  • Nancy S., verified buyer | UMF™ 10+ | MGO 263+

“Very good, I'm using it on my senior dog who coughs constantly from a collapsed trachea. Together with meds from the vet it us really helping.”

  • Anonymous, verified buyer | UMF™ 10+ | MGO 263+

Shop this honey.


MGO 514+

The energizer.

Only the best for your insides (and your outsides).

We recommend this honey for an extra antibacterial boost for foods, and for skincare or skin complaints.

“I have taken it every morning. And I can tell the difference in my skin the first week. It also help me with bloating and discomfort in my stomach. After one week no more bloating and indigestion after dinner. The taste and quality of this Manuka is amazing. I love it. I highly recommended everyone to try and see the difference. Is worth every penny.”

  • Anonymous, verified buyer | UMF™ 15+ | MGO 514+

“The honey is the best I have I have had. I am recovering from a stem cell transplant for leukemia and have terrible reflux. I take it for its overall health benefits and to help with the reflux. It is great for skin wounds. My family uses it. Makes a big difference.”

  • Debbie H., verified buyer | UMF™ 15+ | MGO 514+

Shop this honey.


MGO 829+

The enhancer.

You only get one body, so give it the good stuff.

More than just a supplement, this premium-grade manuka honey powers up your immunity and brings vitality naturally.

“I can’t praise this enough. Health insurance really should cover this honey. It’s done miracles for my GI issues I developed after COVID.”

  • Anonymous, verified buyer | UMF™ 20+ | MGO 829+

“I searched long for medicinal honey for a health problem that I have. I bought very expensive types from pharmacies and known stores but was not convinced. With this honey, in the first two days I felt my inflammation being cured like you are putting water on fire.”

  • Anonymous, verified buyer | UMF™ 20+ | MGO 829+

Shop this honey.


MGO 1122+

The optimizer.

Nutrient rich, New Zealand rare. This honey is brought to you straight from the wild.

Effective for almost any use, this premium grade has a full, delicious, earthy flavour, and belongs everywhere from your pantry to bathroom and medicine cabinet.

“I've tried a few of the different UMF/MGO rated raw Manuka honeys from New Zealand Honey Co and have enjoyed each one. 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.”

  • Thomas P., verified buyer | UMF™ 24+ | MGO 1122+

“I purchased this to use in key of preventative antibiotics following a minor incision/stitches! It prevented infection and sped up wound healing dramatically! So thankful for this incredible and natural super food!!”

  • Alli T., verified buyer | UMF™ 24+ | MGO 1122+

Shop this honey.


MGO 1282+

The force of nature.

Only a very small fraction of manuka honey makes it to this superior grade.

Powerful and scarce, this is one of the rarest superfoods in the world. Use it for any health and wellness complaint, particularly topical application on severe wounds and skin issues.

“This is the best grade honey I have ever purchased. It’s delicious! Has a nice consistency which is full of precious compliments for your body! Try it and you’re sure to want to have it on hand, especially when you check out the wonderful benefits for your health & well being!”

  • Anonymous, verified buyer | UMF™ 26+ | MGO 1282+

“I use the honey for my overall health, however I have purchased this honey for 2 of my friends going through chemotherapy and it has helped reduce side affects and both are in remission. Bought for my aunt and mother in law for horrific bed sores and the sores healed after applying to their wounds.”

  • Gerald M., verified buyer | UMF™ 26+ | MGO 1282+

Shop this honey.


MGO 1450+

The ultra honey.

Mother Nature just took it up a notch. It doesn’t get better than this.

Unrivalled in purity, if you’re after the best quality manuka honey there is, you’ve found it.

“I do not have enough good things to say about this honey. I had a cyst and nothing worked when it got infected. It was so painful and antibiotics and cortisone stopped working. I had to do hot compresses 3x a day and use a syringe to drain it myself and wait weeks for it to stop getting worse.

Then I covered it in honey and didn’t cover it. The next morning I could pop it. It didn’t hurt anymore. And the redness was almost gone after I covered it that night with honey too. It’s a miracle. I can’t recommend it enough.”

  • Anonymous, verified buyer | UMF™ 28+ | MGO 1450+

“My husband had a spontaneous full thickness wound dehiscence on his back after the removal of a large basal carcinoma. We had a follow up with his dermatologist today and he said he had never seen a wound heal so quickly. It truly is miraculous!”

  • Suzette T., verified buyer | UMF™ 28+ | MGO 1450+

Shop this honey.

Still unsure which is right for you?

Take this quick quiz.

Why Choose New Zealand Honey Co. Manuka Honey?

All our manuka honeys are UMF™ graded, independently tested, and certified Halal, Kosher, Non-GMO, and glyphosate free.

We also use recyclable BPA-free, FSC certified packaging that keeps your manuka honey fresh without compromising on our environmental values.

So you know with New Zealand Honey Co. that you’re getting the best.

We only deal with real.

Find out more about our accreditations.

Shop our manuka honey range.

Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.


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