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Clover honey is popular because of its sweet and slightly floral taste.
Unlike other common sweeteners such as table sugar, it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can benefit your health.
This article reviews the uses, nutrition and health benefits of clover honey.
Clover honey is a thick and sweet syrup made by bees that collect nectar from clover plants. It is soft in flavor and light in color, making it a popular choice among honey enthusiasts.
Clover plants are very common, resistant to weather and a preferred source of nectar for bees, so clover honey is widely available (1, 2).
Clover honey has a more complex flavor than table sugar, and many people use it to sweeten tea, coffee and desserts.
In addition, because of the growing interest in healthier alternatives to sugar, food manufacturers offer more foods and drinks sweetened with honey (3).
Clover honey is also commonly used in cold and cough medicines and in home remedies because of its unique health-promoting properties, including its antibacterial qualities and its soothing effect on sore throat (4).
Summary Clover honey is a popular and widely available type of honey. It is used as a sweetener and as a natural remedy for coughs and colds.
Clover honey is high in sugar, but it also provides some nutrients.
One tablespoon (21 grams) of clover honey contains (5):
This type of honey is mainly carbohydrates in the form of natural sugars. However, it also offers small amounts of different vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc (6).
In addition, it is rich in antioxidant compounds that can benefit your health (7).
Summary Clover honey consists mainly of natural sugars, but also contains different vitamins and minerals. It also contains antioxidants that improve health.
Clover honey offers several potential health benefits.
Clover and other types of honey have antiviral and antibacterial effects.
In a study that compared the antibacterial capacity of 16 different types of honey, the clover variety had the strongest antibacterial action against the harmful ones Staphylococcus aureus Cells: equivalent to a dose of 2.2 mg of the antibiotic kanamycin (8).
In addition, it is an effective antibacterial dressing for wounds, such as burns and scratches, since bacteria can not develop resistance to honey (9).
In a 3-month study in which trefoil honey was used as a dressing for 30 different diabetic foot wounds, 43% of the wounds were completely healed and another 43% were significantly reduced in size and in the bacterial count (10 ).
Clover honey can also be a potent antiviral.
A test-tube study found that application of a 5% clover honey solution to skin cells infected with varicella virus significantly decreased the virus survival rate (11).
Keep in mind that fresh and raw honey may have stronger antibacterial properties than varieties that have been pasteurized or stored for a long period (12).
Clover honey is full of antioxidants, which are compounds that can prevent or reduce cell damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. This can decrease your risk of diseases (7, 13, 14, 15).
In a study with rats, clover honey extract reversed the liver damage caused by free radicals, probably due to the antioxidant capacity of the extract (16).
Clover honey is particularly high in flavanol anti-inflammatory antioxidants and phenolic acid. Flavanols can improve the health of the heart and lungs, while phenolic acids strengthen the central nervous system (17, 18, 19).
Although honey is mainly sugar, it has several unique benefits that make it a better choice than table sugar or other sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Some studies indicate that honey may be better for heart health and weight control than table sugar (20, 21, 22).
In a 6-week study of 60 people who consumed 70 grams of honey or table sugar daily, people in the honey group had lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as higher levels of HDL cholesterol (good) (23).
In addition, a study in 80 children observed that a single dose of honey caused a blood sugar response smaller than an equal dose of table sugar, even in participants with type 1 diabetes (24).
However, although honey is healthier than table sugar, it is still considered added sugar and should be limited.
Diets high in added sugars, regardless of type, are associated with obesity and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer (25, 26, 27).
For optimal health, less than 5% of your daily calories should come from added sugars (28).
Summary Some studies indicate that clover honey is antiviral and antibacterial. It is also rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants. However, although it can be healthier than table sugar, it is still an added sugar and should be consumed in moderation.
The nutrient content, taste and color of honey depend on the type of nectar from which it is made, as well as the time of processing and storage.
Along with clover honey, other types of light color and mild taste include alfalfa, orange blossom and wildflower honey. These varieties are similar in antioxidant content (29).
However, buckwheat and manuka honey, which are often used medicinally, have a much darker color and a richer flavor, which could be the result of their higher content of minerals and antioxidants (29, 30, 31).
Manuka honey, made from a plant native to New Zealand, is also prized for its powerful medicinal potential (32, 33).
Although it has more antioxidants than clover honey, a test tube study found that 5% solutions of manuka and clover honey, respectively, were equally effective in stopping the spread of the varicella virus (11).
However, if you are using honey for medicinal purposes, you may want to choose a darker variety, such as buckwheat or manuka.
Unpasteurized and unfiltered raw honey of any kind is a healthy option for many people, as it is richer in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than pasteurized varieties (12, 34, 35).
It also contains pollen, which can offer benefits, such as stimulating the immune system, reducing inflammation and protecting the liver from free radical damage (36).
Raw honey, even from clover plants, can be purchased online and in stores. In addition, locally harvested raw honey is available at many farmers' markets.
Keep in mind that you should not eat raw honey if your immune system is compromised. In addition, honey products should not be administered to children under one year of age due to the risk of serious diseases (37, 38).
Summary Clover honey is one of several types of honey with a light color and a mild flavor. Darker varieties, such as buckwheat and manuka, are richer in antioxidants. Raw honey, including raw clover honey, may be more beneficial than processed honey.
Clover honey is a popular, light-colored honey with a mild flavor that provides several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
It can offer potent antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Although it is a bit healthier than table sugar, it should be used sparingly.