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Sweet stuff

(article, Ashley Griffin Gartland)

Honey has long been touted as a health food. Its phytonutrients had been shown to have cancer-preventing and anti-tumor properties as well as energy-enhancing abilities. So I used to drizzle it over peanut-butter toast for a nutritionally sound recovery snack after track practice. 

Lately, however, it appears that one specific honey variety gives me a bigger nutritional bang for my buck.

A new study in the February issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture concludes that the best honey, healthwise, is the darker-colored "honeydew" varieties made from the sugary secretions that insects leave on plants, otherwise known as honeydew. 

According to the study, honeydew honey has even higher levels of disease-fighting antioxidants than the honey that bees make from nectar.

Alas, honeydew honey isn't widely sold in the United States; it's commercially made mostly in New Zealand and Europe. It's also stronger-tasting than the floral honeys we're accustomed to. 

You can still slurp regular honey as part of a healthy diet. Mix a spoonful in your tea, drizzle a teaspoon on top of your toast, or use it as a sweetener in baked goods to reap honey’s benefits without adding too much sugar to your diet.