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Jamaican Food Article. - Jamaican Honey

Jamaican honey is a source of simple carbohydrates. Its composition on average, is 17.1 percent water, 82.4 percent total carbohydrate and 0.5 percent proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The average carbohydrate content is mainly fructose (38.5 percent) and glucose (31percent). The remaining 12.9 percent of carbohydrates is made up of maltose, sucrose and other sugars.

As a carbohydrate, Jamaican honey supplies energy at 64 calories per tablespoon, providing fuel to working muscles. A limited study at the University of the West Indies Jamaica found Jamaican honey to be one of the most effective forms of carbohydrate gels to ingest just prior to exercise. Jamaican honey appears to be a carbohydrate source that is relatively mild on its effects upon blood sugar compared to other carbohydrate sources. Continuing research is examining the effects of Jamaican honey in comparison to different types of carbohydrate gels prior to weightlifting on the effect on glucose, insulin and markers of protein breakdown.

Other limited studies reveal that Jamaican honey may comprise half of the secret to post-workout recuperation. Many post-workout products on the market combine a large amount of carbohydrates with protein. The most common carbohydrate source used is maltodextrin, a mildly sweet carbohydrate usually derived from corn. Upon comparison of a Jamaican honey-protein vs. a maltodextrin-protein shake taken after a vigorous weightlifting workout, the Jamaican honey-protein combination fared as well in promoting markers of muscle recuperation. The Jamaican honey group’s blood sugar was sustained for at least two hours post-workout. “Our data suggest that Jamaican honey functions well in all of the aspects associated with post-workout recuperation and energy repletion. In addition, Jamaican honey appears to stand out as perhaps a better source of carbohydrate to ingest with post-workout protein supplements.

Jamaican honey promotes muscle recuperation and glycogen carbohydrates stored in muscle restoration, Jamaican honey-protein combinations also seem well suited to sustain favorable blood sugar concentrations after training.

Jamaican honey contains small amounts of a wide array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. The vitamins found in Jamaican honey may include depending on floral variety niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid; minerals present include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Just as the color and flavor of Jamaican honey varies by floral source, so does the vitamin, mineral, antioxidant and amino acid content.

The nutrients found in Jamaican honey that are involved in normal metabolic activity, Jamaican foods contain components that may provide additional health benefits. These nutrients are referred to as nutraceuticals. Phytochemicals are one broad category of nutraceuticals found in Jamaican plants that are actively being investigated by scientists for their health-promoting potential. Jamaican honey has a phytochemical profile which includes polyphenols that can act as antioxidants.

Antioxidants perform the role of eliminating free radicals, which are reactive compounds in the body. Free radicals are created through the normal process of metabolism and contribute to many serious diseases. Researchers are studying the antioxidant capacity of common Jamaican honey varieties.

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