Honey 101: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, Types, and More

For different people, honey can be many things. It serves as a concentrated energy source, a healthy natural sweetener, and an age-old folk treatment for well-being. Honey is also an important part of skincare products and cosmetics. It is also used for scientific studies as well. So how does this sweet, syrup-like superfood benefit you?

What is the Process of Making Honey?

Honeybees collect flower nectar on their trips and bring it back to their hive where they make it into honey. The worker bees at the hive receive the nectar from the collector bee, who then turns it into a viscous syrup and stores it in a honeycomb.

Younger bees' wax is used to create the honeycomb, which is then formed into cells with a hexagonal shape and sufficient strength to retain honey. The nectar is poured into the cells by the worker bees, who fan it with their wings to help evaporate moisture, making it even stickier, thicker, and more spoiled-resistant. The bees uses wax for coating the honeycomb cells and also protect the honey during storing it.

To squeeze or otherwise extract honey from the honeycomb, beekeepers employ different techniques. While some procedures melt or otherwise manipulate the wax to remove and separate the raw honey, others drain it while keeping the wax comb for using it again. Although most mass producers of honey sold in supermarkets take the process one step further by purchasing large batches of it and diluting, heating, and filtering the raw product to remove pollen and other naturally occurring materials, small-scale beekeepers typically stop here and sell honey in its original state.

Is Honey Beneficial for your Health?

In terms of nutrition, raw honey is healthier than granulated white sugar since it includes extremely modest levels of a range of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and disease-preventing antioxidants. However, it consists of glucose and fructose, two sugars that, albeit in different amounts, make up white sugar, along with other liquid sweeteners derived from plants, such as agave and maple syrup. Honey is sweeter and has more calories, carbohydrates, and total sugars than granulated sugar.

The inherent antibacterial properties of honey are widely known. Small amounts of antimicrobial hydrogen peroxide are created in the hive as the original nectar dehydrates and turns into what we know as honey. Honey is used as a topical medicine to aid healing and prevent infection in skin wounds, burns, and ulcerations, including surgical wounds, pressure sores, diabetic foot ulcers, and various leg ulcers. It is because hydrogen peroxide possesses antibacterial properties.

When newer antibiotics were created, using honey as medicine was abandoned. However, with the rise of bacteria resistant to antibiotics in recent years, scientists are reexamining the antibacterial properties found in them. Honey has therapeutic potential for use as a broad-spectrum antibiotic because bacteria rarely seem to acquire resistance to it.

Different health conditions, such as asthma, gum disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, diarrhea, fungal infections, inflammation, internal and external ulcerations, viruses, and more are being researched as prospective candidates for treatment using honey.

Types of Honey

There are different kinds of honey. Various honey types possess a sweet taste. They vary in color and flavor.

Clover Honey

Clover honey is the most popular type of honey and has the highest yearly production. It is full of the fragrant, gentle fragrance of clover blossoms. This well-known honey, which is grown in Canada, the United States, Sweden, and New Zealand, has a sweet, mild flavor with a hint of cinnamon and a light golden hue.

Acacia Honey

Black locust trees, commonly referred to as fake acacia trees, produce the nectar that is used to make acacia honey. Due to this, it is occasionally marketed as "locust honey" in the US. The honey has a pale, nearly transparent appearance and a sweet, delicate flavor with a trace of vanilla.

Wildflower Honey

A unique combination of wildflowers and petals can be found in wildflower honey. Wildflower honey can come from any country that produces honey because it is gathered from different wildflowers depending on the time of year and the area in which they bloom.

Alfalfa Honey

The alfalfa honey variant made in the United States and Canada is derived from nectar from vivid purple alfalfa blooms. The result is honey with a light herbal flavor and subtle, pleasantly sweet undertones.

Buckwheat Honey

Buckwheat honey is made fresh from the tiny white flowers of the buckwheat grain and is dark and robust. It is found in the Netherlands, Canada, Japan, France, and the United States.

Manuka Honey

Bees that pollinate the indigenous Manuka shrub in Australia and New Zealand create manuka, honey. This honey has a subtly nutty flavor and a slight sweetness to it. The basic sweetness of this honey is followed by a mildly bitter aftertaste.

Eucalyptus Honey

This unique honey is gathered from Australia's flowering eucalyptus trees and has a sweet flavor balanced with cold overtones of new eucalyptus.

Orange Blossom Honey

Orange flower honey has subtle citrus overtones and is available from the spring blossoms of Florida's orange trees. Its flavor and aroma are nutritious, and it has a golden color.

Creamed Honey

Creamed honey is a unique method of processing honey, even though it isn't officially a type of honey. It is produced by keeping honey at a temperature of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit and allowing it to crystallize. This product is also known as spun honey. Compared to regular honey, creamed honey has a richer, and creamier texture. Additionally, it frequently has a significantly paler hue than liquid honey produced by the same bloom.

How long can Honey Last?

If kept dry and carefully maintained in a sealed container, honey can last a lifetime. It will become contaminated by moisture, deteriorate, and have a sour flavor. But as long as it is stored at room temperature, it will be safe.


Honey contains healthy substances like propolis and antioxidants and has several potential health advantages. It is a fantastic sugar substitute, but you should only use it sparingly because it still has the same effects on your body as sugar.

Updated on: 23-Feb-2023


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