Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Honey for your health

I read a little science news item the other day about the antioxidant content of honey. Apparently, some honeys have greater antioxidant properties than others. (Just to remind you, antioxidants are compounds that work to counteract the effects of free-radicals, oxygen molecules that are responsible for all sorts of damage to our bodies.)

According to a group of Spanish scientists, who studied 36 local honeys, the antioxidant content depends on what the bees have eaten. Certain bees collect nectar from flowers and others collect something called honeydew. The honeydew honeys are the ones with more antioxidants. I got all excited at the thought of honeydew honeys (sounds delicious, doesn't it?). Except here's what honeydew actually means: a fluid exuded by plants in response to a visit by a plant-sucking insect. Euuuuwww. Well, let's not think about it.

Anyway, I'm not sure how this translates into useful information for the consumer, but the study appeared in a trade journal for the food science industry. So you can be sure that as soon as they can figure out how to slap a "high-antioxidant" label on honey, they will.

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