Honey: Much more than a sweetener

Francesc Ventura Coll and Josep Serra Bonvehí examine the nutritional and health-promoting qualities of honey, including the magic at play that marks it as a prized commodity.

While honey may seem like a simple viscous liquid that bees use for sustenance, it contains a magic cocktail of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and taste-building compounds that make each variety unique and confer a slew of health benefits for humans.1

In this article, we take a deep dive into the nutritional, sensory and taste characteristics of honey, as well as its medicinal qualities, and how origin and bees play in influence these attributes.
Nutritional composition

Sugar, as a pure substance sucrose, is empty calories. It provides energy without any additional nutrients and requires vitamin B1 to metabolise. Studies have demonstrated that increases in carbohydrate intake, from 55 percent to 65 and 75 percent of total energy, caused reductions in plasma and urine concentrations of thiamine (vitamin B1).2 Termed as the “morale vitamin”, the essential nutrients in thiamine play a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy nervous system and promoting cardiac health.