Today is a very important day - you guessed it, it’s World Bee Day! Okay, so it might not be the most celebrated day in the yearly calendar, BUT there are many reasons why we want to celebrate these bright and buzzy insects… As pollinators, bees are super important to allow many plants and food crops to reproduce, but they also provide us with our beloved honey. A naturally grown sweet tasting syrup that’s long been a staple in the British diet, many of us have grown up squeezing honey to sweeten herbal teas, adding dollops to our morning bowls of porridge or spreading it generously on toast!
Here at Swisse Me we’re big fans of a particular type of honey; Manuka, a key ingredient in our Collagen & Manuka Honey Jelly Sticks, designed to help support your beauty from within! But what’s so special about Manuka honey? We’re here to tell all…
What Is Manuka Honey & How Is It Different?
Manuka honey is seen as one of the most beneficial forms of honey in the world (more on that later!) and is produced specifically by the bees that pollinate the Manuka bush in New Zealand.
So apart from where it’s grown, how does manuka honey differ from your average store-bought product? Commercial honey is pasteurised - meaning it’s heated to high temperatures - and highly filtered to prevent any fermentation. This is what makes it so smooth and consistent in its colour and makes sure it’ll last well without spoiling as it sits on your local supermarket shelves. In comparison, manuka honey is a lot darker in appearance and has a much thicker texture as well (meaning it’s a lot more difficult to spread on your toast!). Unlike any other types of honey, different manuka products will contain different UMF (Unique Manuka Factors) ratings, which help to ensure the quality and therefore therapeutic & antibacterial benefits you might gain from said products!
So, What Are the Benefits of Manuka Honey?
As well as simply being sweet and delicious, here are just some of the great benefits you could gain from adding some good quality manuka honey to your morning brew, smoothie or snack:
Honey has long been used as a natural remedy for microbial infections, and thanks to its high levels of antibacterial activity, Manuka honey in particular has been shown to be effective against several human pathogens, including harmful strains of E-coli – most often contracted from poorly cooked food or unclean water. 
Soothing your Sore Throat
Much like regular honey, Manuka honey is a great antidote for a sore throat. Manuka honey, however, boosts a thicker texture – further coating the inner lining of the throat to give an even more soothing effect – and also has greater antibacterial properties (containing a high level of the compound MGO, which correlates with antibacterial activity ) which helps to fight harmful bacteria. If eating a spoonful sounds too sickly sweet, try squeezing a spoonful into a herbal tea or warm water with lemon for a soothing drink sure to stop that painful throat in its tracks!
We might be used to getting our fill of antioxidants from berries (or dark chocolate!), but Manuka honey also boasts antioxidant properties!  Why is this so great? In simple terms, antioxidants can help to slow and sometimes even prevent damage caused by unstable molecules in the body, called free radicals. The body produces these free radicals as a reaction to environmental and other pressures, which may play a role in the development of several serious diseases  – all the more reason to add a spoonful of Manuka honey to your breakfast bowl!
Boosting your Energy
Another commonality with regular honey, thanks to its high nutrient density and fast-digesting nature , Manuka honey is a powerful energy booster. High in carbohydrates, it’s exactly what you need to gear up before a workout or to give you the buzz (pun intended!) you need to power through your mounting inbox!