It’s amazing to think that while we prepare for another productive day at school or work, the bees are as busy as we are. Thanks to their unique job as pollen and nectar hunters, we get to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables plus sweeten our food with honey. But what makes honey good for you? And is it really better than sugar?

Sugar and honey are both sweeteners but they vary in sugar type content. Sugar has a higher type of sugar called fructose, which can cause a faster increase in blood sugar levels. Honey, on the other hand, has less fructose and contains other components like vitamins and minerals, making it a healthier choice. Despite its better nutritive value, honey is still a form of added sugar that should be taken in moderation.

There are several types of honey to enjoy, each with a unique aroma and flavour. But when it comes to health benefits, raw honey tops the list. Because it has not undergone any heat treatment and processing, raw honey’s beneficial antioxidants and bacteria remain intact. You can learn more about honey production and benefits through our invited professional beekeepers at our What’s the Buzz: Backyard Beekeeping workshop.

Here’s a list of other types of honey and their benefits.

1. Blue gum

  • Characteristics
  • Blue gum is a dense honey with a light amber colour. It has a subtle mint flavour, hence the name. It belongs to the eucalyptus honey species from South Australia and Tasmania.

  • Food and drink pair
  • It is perfect for toasts, wafers, tea, coffee, and ice cream.

  • Health benefits
  • It has the ability to increase immunity as well as fight respiratory and urinary infections.

2. Jarrah

  • Characteristics
  • Jarrah has a dark amber colour and stronger flavour often likened to a caramel or toffee aftertaste. It is another variety of eucalyptus honey that is uniquely found in Western Australia.

  • Food and drink pair
  • Try stirring jarrah honey in warm water to end your lovely dinner with a sweet drink.

  • Health benefits
  • Jarrah has gained popularity because of its ability to treat wounds, burns, and skin infections when applied topically. Also, because of its hydrogen peroxide content, ingesting jarrah can inhibit the growth or fight the golden staph bacteria as well as Helicobacter pylori, an ulcer-causing bacteria.

3. Leatherwood

  • Characteristics
  • Harvested from leatherwood blossom that grows on the west coast of Tasmania, leatherwood honey is lighter in colour and has a strong floral taste.

  • Food and drink pair
  • Leatherwood honey has a distinct spicy flavour that is wonderful on wheat toast. It also produces a great aroma when added to your cake, muffin, coffee, and tea recipes.

  • Health benefits
  • Aside from its antibacterial properties, leatherwood honey is also rich in antioxidants that are beneficial in preventing a myriad of ailments including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and even ageing!

4. Manuka

  • Characteristics
  • Manuka honey is derived from bees feeding on the flowers of the manuka plant native to New Zealand. In Australia, manuka honey comes from jellybush and the golden tea tree. It has a robust, almost medicine-like flavour in varying intensity depending on the source.

  • Food and drink pair
  • To enjoy its health benefits, manuka honey is best eaten raw and straight from the spoon. It is also a good sweetener for tea, smoothies, and warm milk. Try adding this in your salad dressing recipe, too.

  • Health benefits
  • Manuka honey is special because of its antibacterial property called Unique Manuka Factor, which has been found to be effective in curing acne, sore throat, colds, indigestion, and stomach ulcer.

5. Yellow box

  • Characteristics
  • The yellow box is yet another eucalyptus honey variant from New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. It is pale in colour, aromatic, and very dense. This is one of the popular types of honey in terms of flavour.

  • Food and drink pair
  • Its mild eucalyptus blend makes a great combination with tea and coffee. Drizzle this on top of your choux puffs or use if for baking cakes and bread.

  • Health benefits
  • The yellow box has been identified to have a glycemic index (GI) of 35, which is the lowest GI rating among other types of honey. This means yellow box honey is broken down more slowly in the body and does not cause a drastic increase in blood sugar. This gradual increase in blood sugar make you feel full and energised longer.

Why Honey is Better For You Than Sugar

Honey is indeed one great superfood. It makes a good sugar alternative, pairs easily with most food, and even comes with a myriad of health benefits. And for that, we have a thousand industrious bees to thank!

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Aimee Arcega

Aimee is a content writer for Kitchen Warehouse and a foodie at heart. Also a trained pastry chef, she bakes in her spare time to make people happy.

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