Sunday, September 11, 2011

Show me the Honey

Do you add a little honey to your tea? Good move. While honey contains a few more calories per teaspoon than sugar, the former has a number of healthy advantages over the latter.  Here's why runners should enjoy the sweet stuff...

FUEL PERFORMANCEA study on cyclists found consuming 60 calories of honey (one tablespoon) with water every half hour works as well as an energy gel in improving sprinting efforts at the end of a long workout.

Studies show that using honey over regular table sugar can help steady blood-sugar levels—great news for those with prediabetes or insulin resistance.

Compared to other sweeteners, honey has higher levels of antioxidants. In one study, subjects who drank tea with buckwheat honey showed a seven percent increase in antioxidant levels compared to subjects who had tea with sugar.

Using honey instead of sugar for two weeks can lower your "bad cholesterol" and reduce levels of C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation in vessels.

IMPROVE G.I. HEALTHHoney contains oligosaccharides, a type of sugar that fuels the growth of immune-boosting bacteria in the gut, promoting a healthy intestinal tract.

Ways to use it you ask?

20 MINUTES: Bake energy barsMix 3 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 2 eggs, walnuts, orange zest, and 2 cups granola. Bake 15 minutes at 375° F.

15 MINUTES: Grill vegetables
Place sliced zucchini, peppers, and onions on hot grill. Brush with 2 tablespoons honey, 1/4 cup white wine, and 1 teaspoon garlic.

10 MINUTES: Fruit smoothie
Blend together 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 ripe peach, 1 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon buckwheat honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and ice.

5 MINUTES: Salad dressing
Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup honey, 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons minced scallions, and salt and pepper.

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