Manuka honey is, by far, the most beneficial option for honey. It offers unique advantages, including powerful antibacterial benefits.
One of the best ways to get these advantages is to focus on UMF certified manuka honey brands.
This certification means you’re getting high-quality manuka honey that has been tested and verified. You can also choose the UMF levels that you want based on your needs.
Manuka Honey Brands
The UMF rating is used by many different brands. But, the ones below are some of the most reliable choices on the market.
Comvita is probably the most well-recognized UMF manuka honey brand and it sells exceptionally well. The company ensures that its products are traceable from ‘hive to shelf’ and the jars are made from BPA-free plastic.
This brand is particularly common at grocery stores and local health shops.
Kiva Manuka Raw Honey
Kiva doesn’t just offer manuka honey. The brand also has various other products, such as chia seeds, cacao powder and black seed oil. That selection isn’t a bad thing, especially as Kiva strongly focuses on health and quality.
For manuka honey, they offer three types: UMF 10+, UMF 15+ and UMF 20+. Interestingly, the UMF 10+ version is available in small snap packs only, not in a jar. There a 28 of those snap packs in a container.
The snap pack style won’t work for everyone, and you’re not getting all that much honey for the price. Even so, it is a great way to have honey on the go. The packs are certainly more convenient than a full jar of honey, especially if you’re traveling.
Steens has an especially strong emphasis on quality, more so than most other companies. For example, their honey is marketed as raw and cold processed.
The company also uses minimal processing to ensure all the natural compounds remain present in the honey. Steens also adds in ‘bee bread’, which includes bee pollen, enzymes, honey and probiotics. This should mean the honey offers more health benefits than other brands.
Happy Valley Honey
Happy Valley Honey is a less common option and they don’t have the same consistent packaging that other brands offer.
There are also other types of honey, including a blended manuka honey and some other honey varieties. These won’t offer as many health benefits. Still, you might find the flavor profile more appealing.
Manukora Manuka Honey
Manukora is the final brand that we’re going to focus on. The company uses sustainable harvesting to help keep the bee population healthy.
The company uses a slight creaming process. This maintains all the health benefits and can make the texture more appealing.
What is the UMF Certification Anyway?
UMF is one of the most common ways to measure the biological activity of manuka honey. The term stands for Unique Manuka Factor and it is the industry standard.
It considers the overall antibacterial impacts of manuka honey. This includes effects from peroxide (which you find in all honey) and non-peroxide activity.
Manuka honey offers many health benefits beyond just the antibacterial effects. But, the UMF level is still useful.
- It provides an indication of the quality of the honey
- Shows that the honey has been through testing
- Shows that you’re getting pure manuka honey, rather than a blend of multiple types
- You can choose honey based on the UMF level that you’re looking for
- Identifies the presence of a powerful property that isn’t found in all manuka honey (2)
The UMF grading system can be broken down like this (3):
- UMF 0 to UMF 4: Manuka attributes not detectable
- UMF 5 to UMF 9: Low grade
- UMF 10 to UMF 15: Medium Grade
- UMF 16+: High grade
Different brands vary in the terms they use to describe each grade. Some also go higher, like UMF 24. But, regardless of the terms, the higher UMF numbers contain more of the important manuka honey.
This means that the medium and high grades are the best options for health. But, they’re also more expensive. You’ll often need to choose your honey based on the grade and your budget.
- For medicinal use, you should choose at least UMF 10 honey. UMF 16+ is better.
- If you want to dilute the honey, focus on the higher grades, ideally UMF 16+.
- For non-medicinal purposes (like cooking or sweetening), you can choose any UMF. The higher ones will offer more benefits. But, for these uses, the difference isn’t nearly as significant.
The UMF rating is a great way to find high-quality manuka honey. It means you can easily know exactly what you’re getting, without spending a long time searching.
The brands on the list above are all a great place to get started. You might find others in your local area. Alternatively, you can read this article for more information about how to choose manuka honey and what signs you should look out for.
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