If you’re tuned into pop culture, (and by pop culture I mean the Kardashians), then you most likely know of Kourtney Kardashian and her obsession with Manuka honey. The same way she swears by avocado and milk smoothies regularly, she also touts the health benefits of a daily spoonful of Manuka—and she’s not alone in this belief. So what exactly is this special honey and why should you consider adding just one teaspoon a day to your diet?
Regular or raw honey is known for its nutritional value and immune boosting properties. Raw unfiltered honey, the kind you find at health food stores or farmers markets, are rich in vitamin B, magnesium, iron, amino acids and zinc—to name just a few. However, if you opt for Manuka honey, you’re getting four times the nutritional values of regular flower honey.
Manuka honey can only by harvested by bees from the Manuka bush, a plant native to New Zealand and Australia, famous for fragrant pink flowers which bloom for a short time. The honey harvested is mono-floral, meaning it is only made by bees that interact with just one flower species. It’s immensely special because it’s recognized for being medicinal and, arguably, miraculous.
It’s used to treat sore throats, alleviate digestive issues such as bloating and acid reflux, cure staph infections, gingivitis, and can even be applied to the skin to treat eczema, hives, rosacea or scarring. Feel a cold coming on? Stir Manuka honey into a cup of hot tea—or skip the caffeine and have it in the morning for the bright and bushy-eyed wakeup call you crave. Because it is made up of fructose and glucose, your body’s primary energy sources, it cuts to the chase (but take it with complex carbs as well to stave off a sugar slump).
Before you buy: Make sure you get the right kind. A sure sign that you’re spending your money on the real deal is if the label has a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating of 10+ or more. Lesser grades, or those without a rating all may be ineffective and are probably just plain old honey.
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