Honey is one of nature's oldest and most treasured sweeteners (even if it does take a little nerve to gather), so we're never surprised when we hear about its benefits as a food source. The latest: Honey can fight "bad" cholesterol.
British researchers have discovered that honey slows the oxidation of "bad" IDL cholesterol, which is responsible for causing arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. And the darker the honey, the better.
A second study by Nicki Engereth, one of the investigators and a professor at the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Studies, has shown that the antioxidants in honey rival those in many fruits and vegetables. This is good news for runners, as antioxidants help fight the free radicals that can cause damage to muscle tissue.
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The darkest honeys, hence those with the most antioxidants, include buckwheat and tupelo honey. Honey was the original "energy gel" and can be a quicker-picker-upper. But be cautious at first, as honey causes gastric upset in some cases. You can get a double dose of antioxidants by adding honey to your favorite tea, or spread it on toast or whole-grain pancakes.
Another study reported that you can also boost your post-workout recovery by combining honey with a protein supplement. Source: Beth Moxy; September 2002 Runner's World Magazine.