Manuka Honey Vs Regular Honey
Did you know that of the 20000 species of bees in existence, it is only the honeybee that makes honey? That said, the world of honey is sweet and colourful. There are over 300 varieties of honey, each with its distinct hue, flavour and taste.
Even more fascinating is the fact that all these diversities have exclusive nutritional and health benefits. Every flower source has a direct influence on the qualities of honey. For this reason, honey buffs will never run out of new sweet vistas to discover.
What makes honey… honey?
Honey is a sweetener that precedes ordinary sugar and has proven its value to humanity over the centuries. It is an important part of many cultures and religions, often playing a central role in healing, worship, and communal interactions.
Raw honey is a combination of glucose and fructose. Mature raw honey is a preservative and does not go rank. Archaeologists have found 5,500 years old honey in Tbilisi Georgia. They have also dug out 2000-year-old jars of honey in Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb.
Honey is low in moisture content and absorbs water. This makes it a potent microorganism killer. Honey varieties are multi-floral or uni-floral. Multi-floral grades are a product of nectar from multiple flower species. Uni-floral honey strains come from a single flower’s nectar. To make honey, the Apis mellifera species of bees sap flower nectar to their honey sacs and blend it with their salivary enzymes.
Invertase and diastase enzymes will break the sugary compounds in the nectar into fructose and glucose. Much of the water in the nectar evaporates leaving an aqueous sweet product behind. The final product is a viscous medley of fructose, glucose, minerals, acids, lactones, and water.
Raw honey is a rich source of copper, sulfur, potassium, calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphorous, iron sodium, and manganese. The hard working bees also load it with vitamins such as B and C.
What is regular honey?
You will find raw honey in a motley of textures. As an illustration, Acacia is clear and light and has a floral taste. It has very high levels of fructose, so it keeps its liquid state for hours on end. Its delicate aroma and extreme sweetness make Acacia honey a perfect sweetener for your tea. It also goes along well with cheese, perfectly balancing its salty tang.
The Aster variety has a thicker consistency and has a full-bodied floral aroma. You can enjoy Aster’s aromatic crystallized sweetness, just as you do ordinary sweets. Antioxidant, rich Buckwheat honey is dark and strong tasting and makes excellent mead.
Raw honey varieties can be creamy, smooth, granulated, or chunky as they are crude. Eat them, as they are straight from the comb. Regular honey is refined, raw honey. It has undergone pasteurization, straining, and heating to eliminate all impurities.
The pasteurization process will kill all yeast in the honey, keeping it fermentation free. Regular honey then adopts a syrupy texture and a translucent coloration. Most honey found on store shelves is commercial regular honey. It is smoother than raw honey and easier to package.
Most proponents of raw honey say that the processing of honey robs it of most of its restorative and therapeutic goodness. Regular honey does not have natural enzymes, pollen, or antioxidants. Sometimes, manufactures might add sweeteners or sugar in regular honey to lower its costs.
To round it all up;
Raw honey has a wide range of minerals, amino acids, and bioactive plant compounds. These components give raw honey its health benefits. It can lower the risk of heart disease, and reduce inflammation.
It also has antiviral and antibiotic properties. Raw honey has more antioxidants than regular honey. Regular honey does not have pollen, the component in honey that eases inflammation.
What is manuka honey?
Manuka honey is a variety of raw honey native to coastal New Zealand. The English honeybee that produces manuka honey, collects its nectar from the region’s Tea Tree bush or wild manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium).
You can find manuka honey in Australia too, a product of the golden tea tree or Jellybush nectar. The New Zealand type is the more popular of the two. Manuka honey has excellent antibacterial and medicinal properties.
Raw honey has components in that produce hydrogen peroxide, killing bacteria. Manuka honey does not rely on hydrogen peroxide only to kill bacteria. It can wipe out antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria via methylglyoxal (MG) a component found in high concentrations in manuka honey.
The methylglyoxal is a product of the compound dihydroxyacetone found in tea tree flower nectar. Manuka honey makes medical-grade honey, a sufficient treatment for burns, cuts, acne, and colds. Additionally, it promotes digestive health.
It will also clear your sore throat and suppress your cough. Manuka honey also inhibits the growth of bacteria on open wounds or acne. Eat it for stronger and healthier gums, as it will kill off gingivitis causing microbes. You will find manuka honey in high-end food stores and restaurants, and it often has a hefty price tag.
Is manuka honey is better than regular honey?
Raw honey has more therapeutics benefits than regular processed honey does. Manuka honey has raw honey’s restorative properties and methylglyoxal. Manuka honey high in MG has stronger antibiotic effects. For this reason, manuka honey producers have a “Unique Manuka Factor” or UMF rating for their honey.
The UMF valuation of a manuka honey jar points to how many bacteria the honey can kill, without the added benefit of naturally produced hydrogen peroxide. The higher that UMF rating, the higher the Manuka honey’s healing abilities are. While raw honey can help cure wounds, manuka honey is more effective with antibiotic-resistant infections.
Regular honey is heat-treated and has a uniform smooth colour and consistency. Raw honey has a variety of textures, colour and aromas and has more therapeutic benefits. It is rich in pollen, wax, propolis, antioxidants, and minerals, making it superior to regular honey in the health department.
Manuka honey from the manuka plant flower nectar has methylglyoxal, giving it added antimicrobial strength. It has a thicker and darker texture than regular honey does. If you want to enjoy the healing virtues of honey, go for raw or manuka honey.