The healthy side of honey
by Rebeca López-García
Honey is a sweetener, thus it is mainly composed of sugars. The average is 38.5% fructose, 31% glucose, 7.2% maltose, 1.5% sucrose and 0.5% free amino acids, vitamins, minerals and protein.
These other compounds give honey its unique functionality and health profile. Depending on its source, honey contains a variety of phytochemicals that may serve as a dietary source of antioxidants, as well as other compounds such as organic acids and enzymes. In general, darker honeys have been shown to be higher in antioxidant content than lighter honeys. (See “Honey’s Antioxidant Activity” below.)
Honey also contains a variety of oligosaccharides that may function as prebiotics or compounds that help increase populations of Bifidobacteria important to gastrointestinal health.