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Honey, a golden elixir produced by bees from flower nectar, has been revered for its medicinal properties and sweet flavor for centuries. Beyond its delightful taste, honey boasts a myriad of health benefits, and not all honey is created equal. In this article, we will delve into some of the healthiest honeys and their unique properties that make them stand out.

  • Manuka Honey

Originating from New Zealand and Australia, Manuka honey is renowned for its exceptional antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It is derived from the nectar of the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium) and is graded based on its Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). The higher the UMF rating, the more potent the honey's therapeutic benefits. Manuka honey is believed to aid in wound healing, immune system support, and digestive health. Its high methylglyoxal content sets it apart as a powerful natural remedy.

  • Raw Honey

Raw honey is a pure, unprocessed form of honey that retains all of its natural enzymes, antioxidants, and minerals. Unlike commercially processed honey, raw honey is not heated or filtered, preserving its nutritional value. This type of honey is rich in vitamins, enzymes, and pollen, making it an excellent choice for promoting overall health. Raw honey has been linked to improved digestion, allergy relief, and enhanced immune function.

  • Buckwheat Honey

Dark and robust, buckwheat honey is derived from the nectar of the buckwheat flower. Packed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, this honey variety is known for its potential to alleviate coughs and sore throats. Buckwheat honey has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties and may be effective in reducing oxidative stress. Its distinct flavor profile, reminiscent of molasses, adds a unique twist to culinary applications.

  • Acacia Honey

Acacia honey, produced from the nectar of the acacia tree, is prized for its light color and mild taste. This honey variety remains liquid for an extended period, resisting crystallization. Acacia honey is an excellent choice for individuals with sensitive stomachs, as it is low in acidity and may help soothe gastrointestinal issues. Additionally, acacia honey is rich in fructose, making it a suitable sweetener for those with diabetes.

  • Clover Honey

Clover honey, derived from the nectar of clover plants, is one of the most common and widely available honey varieties. With a mild, floral flavor, clover honey is a versatile sweetener used in various culinary applications. It contains essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, contributing to its potential health benefits. Clover honey has been associated with promoting cardiovascular health and supporting the immune system.

In the realm of natural sweeteners, honey stands out not only for its delicious taste but also for its diverse health benefits. Each honey variety possesses unique properties that cater to different health needs. Whether you're seeking immune system support, wound healing, or digestive health, incorporating these healthiest honeys into your diet can be a delightful way to promote overall well-being. As with any natural remedy, it's essential to choose high-quality, responsibly sourced honey for optimal health benefits.

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**For the Cake:**

- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

- 1 cup granulated sugar

- 1 cup brown sugar

- 2 large eggs

- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 1 cup buttermilk

**For the Cream Cheese Frosting:**

- 8 oz cream cheese, softened

- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

- 4 cups powdered sugar

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

**For Decoration:**

- Orange and black food coloring gel

- Halloween-themed cake toppers or decorations


**For the Cake:**

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the pumpkin and vanilla extract.

5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

6. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared pans.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

8. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

**For the Cream Cheese Frosting:**

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy.

2. Add the powdered sugar in batches, mixing well after each addition.

3. Stir in the vanilla extract and mix until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.

**Assembling and Decorating the Cake:**

1. Once the cakes have cooled, level the tops if necessary to create even layers.

2. Place one of the cake layers on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a layer of cream cheese frosting on top.

3. Place the second cake layer on top and frost the top and sides of the entire cake.

4. Use orange and black food coloring gel to tint some of the frosting, creating Halloween-themed colors. You can pipe decorations like pumpkins, spiders, or other spooky designs on the cake.

5. Decorate the cake with Halloween-themed cake toppers, candies, or any other decorations you like.

6. Slice and serve your delicious Halloween Pumpkin Cake to enjoy!

Remember to get creative with your decorations to give your cake a spooky and festive Halloween look. Happy baking and Happy Halloween!

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258 million people in the world live in conditions of severe malnutrition and lack of access to food. Last year, this phenomenon intensified compared to 2021, when 193 million people lived in a state of emergency. The data for 2022 is the worst since 2017, when a comprehensive study of the famine phenomenon began.

According to the report of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), an organization associating representatives of eight African countries, prepared together with the Food Security Information Network (FISN), the threat of hunger in the world is growing. The worst situation is in several African countries, as well as in the Middle East, which are at war. The population of war-torn Afghanistan is also at serious risk.

More than 26 million citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country with numerous natural resources, but torn apart by internal conflicts and plundered by transnational corporations, are at serious risk of starvation. Ethiopia came second with 23.6 million people at risk, but the extent of malnutrition is somewhat smaller.

The share of starving people in the country's total population is highest in Yemen. In a country devastated by civil war and the aggression of Western-backed Saudi Arabia, 55% of the population is starving. The same percentage applies to Syrians, but in this case it is malnutrition, not starvation. In Yemen, an additional 31,000 people are on the brink of starvation. In Afghanistan, devastated by American occupation and civil war, 19.9 million people, or 46% of the population, are starving. 6.1 million are extremely malnourished.

The report on world hunger points out that in the most affected countries, the gap in the level of nutrition between the small elite and the general population is growing. Hunger affects mainly the weakest - refugees, the sick and children. Developmental disorders of malnourished children are a huge problem. In the most affected countries, they have problems with proper weight and height development. In 2022, the phenomenon affected 4.8 million children in Ethiopia, 2.8 million in Sudan, 1.5 million in Somalia and 1.4 million in South Sudan. In extreme cases, malnutrition causes an increase in infant and child mortality.

The report lists three main causes of famine. The first is armed conflicts. They are ongoing in most of the affected countries. The situation has deteriorated significantly in countries such as Yemen, Afghanistan, as well as South Sudan and Sudan, where internal conflicts have flared up again.

The second factor is the international crisis, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which supplies developing countries with a significant amount of cereals. They caused an increase in the stratification of societies. The poor have felt it the most, losing food security, among other things. Poor countries have become less resilient to successive crises.

The third factor was natural disasters - the worst prolonged drought in decades in West Africa - the so-called Horn of Africa covering Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, tropical cyclones in the south of the continent, and in Asia, especially in Pakistan, a series of floods on a massive scale. Natural disasters have devastated many agricultural regions whose production was used to feed millions of people. The authors of the report point to record high food prices in countries where all of the above-mentioned factors have been combined. For example, in Somalia grain prices have increased by 142% compared to the average prices of the last 5 years. In Sudan, the price of a kilogram of sorghum, one of the staple crops, increased by 243% in 2022 compared to the previous year. Many farmers lose their farms and are forced to buy food. In turn, a decrease in local production causes an increase in prices.

According to the authors of the famine report in Africa alone, in 2023 more than 30 million people will need urgent food assistance due to the situation in which they find themselves. This is especially true for the inhabitants of Somalia and South Sudan. It is estimated that infighting in Sudan may significantly increase the number of those in need of immediate assistance. More than a million Sudanese have left their homes in recent months, of which around 250,000 have taken refuge in neighboring countries. Many rural farming communities were destroyed by the war or forced to flee, and even before the outbreak of the civil war, the situation, especially in the Sudanese countryside, was difficult.

IGAD calls on the UN and the World Health Organization to take coordinated action to combat hunger. It also informs that getting out of the current crisis will require many years of action.

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