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Acacia Honey: Nutrition, Benefits, and Downsides

Health + Wellness
Pexels

By Kaitlyn Berkheiser

Acacia honey is produced by bees who pollinate the flowers of the black locust tree, native to North America and Europe.


It's said to boast several health benefits, which are likely attributed to its high antioxidant content.

This article reviews the nutrition, benefits, uses, and potential downsides of acacia honey.

What is Acacia Honey?

Acacia honey is derived from the nectar of the Robinia pseudoacacia flower, commonly known as the black locust or false acacia tree (1Trusted Source).

This unique honey is typically labeled and sold as acacia honey in Europe but is commonly found as American acacia or locust honey in the United States.

Compared with traditional honey, it's often much lighter in color, appearing almost transparent.

It has a flower-like aroma and sweet, delicate flavor.

Conveniently, acacia honey remains liquid longer and crystallizes much slower than traditional honey. This is likely due to its higher fructose content (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

Because it abstains from solidifying for longer, this honey is highly popular and can be more expensive than traditional types of honey.

Summary

Acacia honey is made from nectar derived from the black locust tree. It's lighter in color and crystallizes slower than traditional honey.

Nutritional Profile of Acacia Honey

Like traditional honey, 1 tablespoon (21 grams) of acacia honey provides around 60 calories and 17 grams of sugar (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).

Acacia honey includes the sugars glucose, sucrose, and fructose, though fructose is the most prevalent (2Trusted Source).

Nutritionally, it provides no protein, fat, or fiber. On the other hand, it contains small amounts of several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and magnesium (4Trusted Source).

What's most impressive about acacia honey is its high content of powerful plant compounds like flavonoids, which act as antioxidants (1Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

Summary

Nutritionally, acacia honey is primarily made up of carbs in the form of sugars, and it's rich in powerful plant compounds with antioxidant properties.

Benefits of Acacia Honey

Acacia honey is not just useful for culinary purposes. While it shares the ordinary health benefits of traditional honey, it also has unique properties of its own.

Here are some of the health benefits of acacia honey.

Rich in Antioxidants

Acacia honey supplies many important antioxidants, which may contribute to its potential health benefits ( 1Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

Antioxidants protect your cells against damage caused by free radicals. Over time, free-radical damage can contribute to disease (9Trusted Source).

Flavonoids are the main type of antioxidants in acacia honey. A diet high in flavonoids may reduce your risk of chronic conditions, including heart disease and certain types of cancer (8Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

Though not as prevalent as flavonoids, this honey also contains beta carotene, a type of plant pigment with powerful antioxidant properties (12Trusted Source).

Eating beta-carotene-rich foods and supplements has been associated with improved brain function and skin health (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).

One test-tube study even showed that acacia honey effectively stopped the spread of lung cancer cells (16Trusted Source).

Natural Antibacterial Properties

Many of acacia honey's healing abilities are likely attributed to its antibacterial activity.

The honey contains components needed to produce and slowly release small amounts of hydrogen peroxide (3Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).

Hydrogen peroxide is a type of acid that kills bacteria by breaking down their cell walls (18Trusted Source).

One study discovered that acacia honey proved effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, two types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It concluded that its high levels of powerful hydrogen peroxide were likely responsible (19Trusted Source).

May Aid Wound Healing

Honey has been used to treat wounds since ancient times.

Due to acacia honey's antioxidant and antibacterial properties, it may help speed wound healing and prevent bacterial contamination and infection.

Additionally, this honey helps maintain a moist environment while providing a protective barrier, both of which can aid wound healing.

Confirming the efficacy of this ancient practice, both test-tube and animal studies indicate that acacia honey accelerates wound healing (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).

May Prevent and Treat Acne

Scientific evidence is limited on acacia honey's ability to fight acne.

That said, commercial acne-fighting creams and lotions containing a mixture of acacia honey and acidic ingredients are available (22Trusted Source).

Due to its strong antibacterial activity, acacia honey could help keep your skin free of bacteria, which may improve or prevent common skin conditions like acne (23Trusted Source).

Ultimately, more research is needed to determine whether acacia honey is an efficient home remedy against acne.

Summary

Acacia honey has potent antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It may aid wound healing and improve acne.

Precautions of Use

For most individuals, acacia honey is safe to eat.

However, some populations may need to avoid or limit acacia honey, including:

  • Infants. Due to the risk of botulism, a rare foodborne illness, it's not recommended to give any type of honey to babies under the age of one year (24Trusted Source).
  • Those with diabetes. Though the evidence on honey and diabetes is mixed, all types of honey are high in natural sugar. Acacia honey should be consumed in moderation, as it may affect blood sugar levels.
  • Those allergic to bees or honey. If you are allergic to traditional honey or bees, you may experience an allergic reaction to eating or topically applying acacia honey.

Additionally, though acacia honey may come with health benefits, keep in mind that it — like any sweetener — should be consumed in moderation due to its high calorie and sugar contents.

Eating too much of any type of sweetener may contribute to weight gain, increase blood sugar levels, and have an overall negative impact on your health (25Trusted Source).

Summary

Acacia honey is safe for most individuals over the age of one. Nonetheless, those allergic to bees or honey and people with diabetes should speak with their healthcare provider before using it.

The Bottom Line

Acacia honey, also known as locust honey, is derived from the nectar of the Robinia pseudoacacia flower.

It has a light, almost transparent color and stays liquid for longer, prolonging its shelf life.

Acacia honey may aid wound healing, improve acne, and offer additional benefits due to its powerful antioxidants.

However, further research is warranted to support these purported beneficial properties.

If you want to experience the flowery sweetness of acacia honey and test its potential benefits, you can buy it locally or online.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

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