What is gut microbiome and how can honey help?

What is gut microbiome and how can honey help?

Honey, Gut Health and the Microbiome

Eating honey on a regular basis, especially active healing honey, has many health benefits. These range from helping to reduce the duration and severity of colds and flus to boosting brain power. But honey also has a remarkable effect on the health of our guts. 

Here’s how honey can support good gut health and keep everything moving and working as it should.

What is the Microbiome?

Within our guts, we have trillions of microorganisms living happily alongside us. These so called ‘probiotics’ are made up of bacteria, viruses and fungi and are collectively known as our ‘microbiome’. 

The more of these good guys we have, the better. They colonise the gut, successfully (most of the time) fending off the bad guys that come along and want to give us stomach bugs and cause sickness and diarrhoea. 

When we’re born, we pick up our first collection of gut microorganisms and then as we grow, we pick up more and more. It’s thought that we each have a microbiome that is unique to us, and it’s constantly changing. We pick up bugs from wherever we go and whatever we eat, adding to our uniqueness. 

The microbiome is a hot research topic at the moment. Researchers have discovered that the health of our microbiome impacts not just the health of our guts, but also everything from our immune health to our mental health. 

However, what we eat can directly impact the health of our microbiome. A diet low in certain fibres can mean that our microbiome becomes unhealthy. This is because all these bugs thrive on fibre called prebiotic fibre. An unhealthy microbiome is linked with health conditions such as asthma and other allergies and obesity.

The Prebiotics in Honey

Australian active healing honeys such as Necta & Hive Jarrah 22+ TA and Necta & Hive Red Gum 10+ TA honeys contain prebiotics that effectively support the microbiome. The human gut doesn’t digest prebiotic fibre, but the microbiome thrives on it. By eating active healing honeys, we can effectively feed our microbiome, allowing it to remain healthy.

The prebiotics in honey are called non-digestible oligosaccharides. Honey also contains substances that kill pathogenic bacteria. These two properties together – feeding the good bacteria and helping to reduce the bad bacteria – means that honey has excellent benefits to our health. 

Achieving the Holy Grail of a positive microbial balance and a more favourable bacterial gut community has been the subject of many scientific studies. And it seems that active healing honeys might be the answer! 

Eating Honey for a Healthy Gut 

Not all honeys have the same effect. Cheaper, more widely available honeys from supermarkets tend not to have the same benefits. They tend to be heat treated which removes the healing enzymes. 

But active healing honeys such as the ones we proudly source and stock here at Necta & Hive do have gut health benefits. Our honeys are not heat treated, which maintains their healing integrity. 

A teaspoon a day, mixed into a smoothie, swirled into a hot herbal tea or eaten straight from the spoon could make a difference to your bacterial good guys, and your overall health. 

The fact our honeys taste amazing makes it even more worthwhile!