Honey is a fantastic natural sweetener full of healthful benefits–if you know what to look for. We’ve put together this guide to help you figure out what makes a great healthy honey.
In our research, we found that the best honeys are raw and unfiltered, contain nothing but pure honey, and are preferably organic. Honeys from different flowers (or a variety of flowers) can have different qualities, which might affect your choice. Keeping these things in mind, we handpicked a list of our 10 favorite healthy honeys available online.
Top 10 Best Healthy Honeys to Buy Online
When it comes to finding a great honey that you’ll actually use, be sure to check the reviews to see what people think of its flavor and how they suggest using it.
1. Y.S. Organic Bee Farms Raw Honey (16 oz)
Best Organic Raw Honey
This raw, unfiltered honey is certified organic and collected from bees from some of the most remote places on earth. It’s thick and creamy at room temperature.
Reviewers love the taste and texture of this honey and write that it’s just as good as (if not better than) local farmers market honey. They write that tastes great in food or as a health supplement by itself.
2. Kiva Raw Manuka Honey, Certified UMF 15+ (8.8 oz)
Best Manuka Honey
This manuka honey has a unique manuka factor (UMF) rating of 15, which means that it’s gone through a strict, official certification process to determine its health qualities and purity. It’s crystalline at room temperature and proven to be bioactive.
Reviewers report that this honey is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, assisting with sinus issues, inflammation, immunity, and external injuries. Plus, it has a rich, full flavor that makes a great addition to any food.
3. Three Peaks Manuka Honey (8.8 oz)
Best Budget-Friendly Manuka Honey
This manuka honey has a UMF rating of 10+, and though that’s lower than the Kiva honey above, it’s also less than half the price per volume.
Reviewers report that this honey has helped with issues ranging from blood sugar levels to external wounds. It has a creamy, full-bodied flavor and a thick, spreadable texture.
4. Bee-Haven Farm Raw 100% Pure Honey, Allergy Blend (16 oz)
Best for Allergy Sufferers
This honey is collected from bees that have gathered from a wide variety of local flowers and is designed to help allergy sufferers build antibodies against the pollens that may be affecting them.
Reviewers write that with regular consumption–just a spoonful a day–this honey really does alleviate allergy symptoms. On top of that, it has a light, smooth flavor that makes it easy to eat.
|Floral Variety||Multifloral (including orange blossom, maple, oak, etc.)|
5. Big Island Bees Organic Lehua and Cinnamon Raw Honey (9 oz)
Best Flavored Honey
This organic honey comes from the flower of the native Hawaiian ohia lehua flower and contains a touch of cinnamon for aroma and flavor. It’s great for use on toast or in coffee or tea.
Reviewers note that the cinnamon flavor is subtle yet warming and that the honey itself has a unique, delicate flavor that’s slightly less sweet than other varieties.
|Floral Variety||Ohia lehua|
|Ingredients||Organic honey, organic cinnamon|
6. Winter Park Honey Raw Orange Blossom Honey (16 oz)
Best Orange Blossom Honey
Orange blossom honey is known to be very sweet with a delicate citrus flavor, and this one is no exception. Many honeys that claim to be orange blossom have added flavors, but this one’s great taste comes strictly from the honey.
Reviewers love the complex flavor and note that this particular one has fruity afternotes. Do note, however, that it is liquid at room temperature, which might mean that it’s been heat treated.
|Floral Variety||Orange blossom|
7. Bee Harmony American Raw Clover Honey (12 oz)
Best Clover Honey
This clover honey has been lightly heat treated to remain liquid at room temperature, making it perfect for a drizzle. It’s sourced solely from vetted, responsible beekeepers.
Reviewers write that it has a more complex flavor than other clover honeys. It’s mild and has a well-rounded sweetness. They also appreciate that this honey is True Source Certified.
|Type||Raw, unfiltered, lightly heat treated|
8. Tasmanian Honey Company Genuine Leatherwood Honey (12.3 oz)
Best Unique Tasting Honey
This honey is sourced from the remote leatherwood forests of Tasmania. While not certified, this honey is functionally organic as the forests remain pristine.
Reviewers rave about the uniquely complex floral flavor, and its texture is thick, creamy and spreadable. Reviewers also note that this honey seems to have similar health effects as manuka, though perhaps less intense.
9. TJO Bees Raw and Unfiltered Honey (5 lbs)
Best Bulk Honey
This five-pound jar of honey is thick, spreadable, creamy, and very sweet. It’s produced in North Dakota from seasonally available plants, and each batch differs slightly in flavor and color.
Reviewers love that it comes in a large quantity and write that despite that, because it’s so good it doesn’t take long to place another order.
|Floral Variety||Multifloral (including alfalfa, sweet clover, and wildflower)|
10. YS Bee Farms Pure Premium Clover Honey (32 oz)
Best Pasteurized Honey
For those who may be immunocompromised but still want a delicious, pure honey, this could be the one for you. While the company does produce mostly organic products, this particular one isn’t certified though it’s still very high quality.
Reviewers write that it has a mild, clean flavor and that it works well in both sweet and savory applications. The bottle is easy to squeeze and doesn’t leave a drippy mess.
How to Choose a Healthy Honey – Buying Guide
The key to figuring out whether a honey is healthy or not is carefully reading the label. Here are the particulars you should look for.
Raw, Unfiltered Honey Has the Most Benefits
Honey is known to have some pretty incredible health benefits—it’s full of antibacterial proteins and enzymes that can benefit your gut, improve allergies, and even smooth your skin if applied topically. It’s also full of antioxidants.
However, in order to get the most benefit from honey, it needs to be raw and unfiltered. Heat treating dramatically reduces honey’s health benefits, and filtering it removes healthful pollen bits. Raw, unfiltered honey is often thick and crystalline at room temperature. It should have the consistency of peanut butter and be quite opaque.
On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a slightly better sugar alternative, heat-treated, filtered honey is less likely to have bacteria that may be harmful for young children.
Honeys Made from Different Flowers Have Different Flavors and Benefits
Honey is directly derived from the nectar and pollen that bees eat, so naturally honeys from various flowers will differ slightly. The most healthful (and probably most well-known) variety is manuka honey from New Zealand. This honey comes from the flowers of the manuka bush and has bioactive properties said to alleviate upper respiratory issues, ease digestive ailments, and boost the immune system. Several studies have shown it to quite effective in killing bacteria and healing skin wounds. However, manuka honey can be pretty expensive.
Other types of honey, while not shown to have quite the same benefit-boosting qualities of manuka, do have differing flavors that may make you like one type better than another. Some common varieties include acacia (a classic “honey” flavor), orange blossom (mild and citrus-scented), eucalyptus (lightly minty), and clover (sweet and floral).
Ensure that Your Honey Is Pure
Many cheap, store bought honeys are cut with high fructose corn syrup or contain artificial flavors. So rather than go by what the front label claims, always be sure to read the ingredients list on the back prior to making your choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something a little different, you may actually want to look for a fruit-infused honey.
Organic Can Be Hard to Find, but Look for It Where Possible
Due to the nature of bees (they fly), it can be hard to ensure that they’ve only collected nectar from organically grown flowers. That’s why it can be difficult to find a certified organic honey, but they do exist. So if eating organic is important to you, you’ll definitely be able to find an organic honey—it might just take a while.
Honey can be a healthful and delicious addition to any diet, and finding a high-quality honey that you love is an easy way to sneak in some health benefits without even realizing it.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
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