A to Z of superfoods: Honey

A to Z of superfoods: Honey

Kudos to bees. After all, honey is one of THE best things, right? 

No doubt you’ll have sipped on a hot honey and lemon when you’ve been suffering from a cold or a sore throat. You may have slapped some on your face with some porridge oats in lieu of spending money on a face mask. You might have eaten some in the hope that your hayfever will subside.

At the very least you’ve had it on toast because, well, it just tastes good.

There’s lots going for honey. And like most things, the fancier it sounds, the bigger the price tag.

Take for example Manuka honey. This is literally the nectar of all honeys, because its antibacterial properties are significantly higher than other types of honey. All honey contains an antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal, or a much easier name to remember, MG. But the manuka flowers contain a compound called dihydroxyacetone (no simple name I’m afraid). That is a super-charged version of MG.

Stepping away from the different varieties of honey, here’s what honey – any old honey - can do:

  1. Antiseptic – Naturally antiseptic, honey can help with burns, skin irritations and minor cuts and grazes.
  2. Anti-inflammatory – It’s not an old-wives’ tale. Drinking honey and lemon will work wonders on that sore through.
  3. Energy boosting – It’s a natural sugar and is a great alternative to carbohydrates for athletes. A spoonful in a bottle of water has been shown to boost energy levels.
  4. Contains antibodies – If you’re feeling run down, honey can help. Boosting the immune system, by increasing white blood cells which fight infection, honey can keep you feeling tip-top.
  5. Moisturising – So that’s why you’ve been slapping it on your face! Yes, honey contains vitamin E and its antibacterial properties mean it’s great for problem skin. Good in face creams and lip balms it will give you super soft skin.
  6. Soothing and calming – Try it in a cup of hot milk to give you restful sleep and calm the nerves.
  7. Beats decay – Strangely enough, a small amount of honey in water has been found to be great for keeping tooth decay at bay. All to do with those antiseptic and antifungal properties.
  8. Bee loving – Bees make it, so by buying honey you are supporting beekeepers and their hives. And we all need to save the bee.
  9. Preventative – Some studies are now looking into how honey may even be able to help prevent some kinds of cancer, and help repair damage caused by colitis.
  10. Tastes good – Sometimes that’s all you need. It tastes lovely, but it is pretty amazing stuff all round.

Honey has multiple health benefits so succumb to the sweet taste, because it's rare that something that tastes this good, really is this good for you.

The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura loves running, Pilates and Yoga, and is forever trying to find the time to fit these activities into her life around a busy family. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.


Mike D.
21 August 2015

Mike D.

I'm not too sure about this manuka honey, It costs a lot and I certainly wouldn't use it for baking or on toast at that cost. But I do try and get local honey when I can, or at least one which actively supports bees.

Olivia C.
20 August 2015

Olivia C.

I always have a hot lemon and honey when I have a cold - sometimes with the addition of whisky - it always helps!

Tanya M.
20 August 2015

Tanya M.

We're not big on sugar in our house but when it's needed - honey is our first choice. So versatile too!

Sasha B.
17 August 2015

Sasha B.

Yes I have put manuka honey on my face. Very good for spotty skin, and it's quite gritty so a great face scrub.

Freya W.
14 August 2015

Freya W.

Ooh, I love honey. On toast, in yoghurt, on porridge. Glad it's so good for me!

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