It’s always a happy thing when delicious foods are also good for you and promote your health in some way. If, like me, you love some raw honey in your tea, and you notice that it soothes a scratchy throat during the chillier (or downright freezing) months, you’ll be happy to know that there are some legit reasons why you need manuka honey in your pantry this winter.
"Manuka honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and may help promote the healing of burns and wounds and prevent infection, although study results are mixed," Christy Brissette, registered dietitian and President of 80 Twenty Nutrition tells Bustle via email. "Newer research suggests that for people with cancer, manuka honey could help prevent inflammation in the esophagus from treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. It could also help prevent gum disease," Brissette says. "The studies we have so far are small, so we need more research to be sure of these potential benefits."
The Irish Examiner reported in 2018 that manuka honey hails from New Zealand, and is produced by bees that pollinate the native, white-flowered manuka bush. Some health experts say that this dense, dark-hued honey is minimally processed at low temperatures, and, as such, retains its antibacterial properties, beneficial enzymes, and a higher nutrient profile, the Irish Examiner writes.
Given that manuka honey tends to carry a higher price point than many other commercial varieties, it’s good to know that there are science-backed reasons to consume the stuff. Kaitlyn Berkheiser, RD, LDN, wrote for Healthline that “Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties are what set it apart from traditional honey.” Additionally, manuka honey contains methylglyoxal (MGO), its active ingredient, which lends the honey its powerful antibacterial properties. Traditionally speaking, manuka honey has long been used for addressing a slew of health conditions. In case you need more reasons (read: excuses) to nosh on some delicious honey this winter, here are six benefits of eating manuka honey, according to science.