Honey: Variety, useful properties and contraindications
The healing properties of honey are known throughout the world, so the popularity of the product is only increasing annually. There are many kinds of this gift of nature, so depending on the needs of each person can choose the best option for health improvement, use in cooking or cosmetology. But the product refers to strong allergens, so in addition to the benefits, there are contraindications, which must be taken into account to avoid a negative reaction of the body. And also you need to know how to choose and store honey, because if the conditions are violated, the product can change its structure and chemical composition.
- Varieties of honey
- How much honey can you eat per day
- Composition and calories
- What's honey good for?
- General Benefits
- For Women
- For Men
- While Pregnant
- For breastfeeding
- For Children
- The benefits of honey with water on an empty stomach in the morning
- Can I Eat Honey to Lose Weight
- Honey for Medicine
- Diabetes Care
- For pancreatitis
- For Gastritis
- For Intestines
- For constipation
- For gout
- For colitis
- For the liver
- For hemorrhoids
- For cholecystitis
- For angina
- For bronchitis
- For prostatitis
- Honey based folk medicine recipes
- Honey in Cosmetology
- Facial Masks with Honey
- Hair Masks
- Honey for hands and nails
- Culinary Applications of Honey
- Harm and contraindications
- How to choose honey
- How and where to store honey
- What to do if honey has sugared
- How to Melt Honey in a Glass Jar
- Does honey lose its properties when heated
- How to test honey at home
- Can we give animals honey
- Interesting Facts about Honey
Varieties of Honey
Honey is a product of bee production, which is extracted from a variety of plants during the flowering period. It is the pollen that is processed to produce a sweet viscous mass. Depending on which plant the pollen was extracted from, honey is divided into separate categories. There are really many types, but experts stand out a few of the most popular, which combine high quality, good taste and fragrance:
- Acacia honey. This is a liquid transparent product that has no tendency to crystallize, so you can store it for several years without disturbing the structure and taste. A light, unflavored taste with a spicy and delicate aftertaste is the main feature of this honey.
- Linden honey. This is one of the most popular varieties in Russia due to the large number of trees that allow to obtain a large amount of pollen for subsequent processing in order to obtain high-quality and vitaminized honey. The color of honey is light and translucent. After standing for just a couple of days, it acquires a yellowish tint. The taste is considered a slight bitterness, which gradually turns into sweetness.
- Buckwheat Honey. Buckwheat honey can be purchased anywhere in the world, and since it is widely grown in central Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, its annual production is also increasing rapidly. It is considered a dark variety of honey, as it is dark red in color with a slight aroma of spiciness.
- May honey. This is the name of the honey produced in May when the honeycomb was first pumped out. It contains all the useful substances of primrose, acacia, peony and other plants. As a result, honey has a translucent color and liquid consistency, which creates a special fragrance and taste. But the sweet and even lightly sugary taste may be uncomfortable for those who are accustomed to indulging in honey of moderate sweetness.
- Donberry. This is a white honey that has a delicate and subtle taste, and the medicinal qualities have made this product the most useful. The natural and purest honey is harvested in the Altai Mountains and Buryatia. Fresh, just collected honey has a bright amber color, but after collecting it becomes white, and there are different shades depending on what plants were used to collect pollen.
- Flower honey. This kind of honey is also called meadow honey or field honey because it does not have a predominant melliferous plant, but has the nectar of different plants that bloom at the same time. It can contain oregano, thyme, sage, and other similar plants. This honey crystallizes slowly as it becomes an elastic mass.
- Sunflower Honey. This is one of the most popular types of honey on the home beekeeping market. In our country, sunflowers grow everywhere, so there is more than enough nectar to produce honey. For this reason, its cost is an order of magnitude lower than for the same linden honey, which is considered just as popular.
How much honey can be eaten per day
Medics say that for the positive effects of honey on the body, it is enough to eat no more than 50 grams. This will be quite enough to fill the body with useful minerals and vitamins. Exceeding the allowable norm can turn into adverse reactions in the form of high blood sugar, the appearance of an allergic reaction or abdominal pain. Honey has a complex chemical composition, which can have a negative impact on the mucous membranes of the internal organs, particularly the stomach and esophagus.
Composition and Calories
In terms of composition, honey is considered a unique product, for which there is no substitute anywhere else. It is fragrant, sweet and nutritious treat that allows you to improve the immune system and get a charge of vigor and energy. But it is important to keep in mind that at 80% it is a pure carbohydrate product, so when losing weight you should use honey very carefully, because it can cause additional weight gain, which is considered an extremely unpleasant adverse reaction. The exact proportions of fructose and sucrose in the composition depend on the characteristics of honey, its variety and type.
The important thing is that honey can be easily digested by the gastrointestinal tract. It refers to simple carbohydrates, which have no "complex" components, burdening the body and making it uncomfortable to function.
Carbohydrates in honey can quickly increase the body's energy, while strengthening the muscular, immune and nervous systems. The most important thing is to observe the daily rate, which is 50 grams. Otherwise, the use of honey will adversely affect the state of health in the form of heartburn, accompanied by a feeling of nausea, because the body can not absorb a large amount of such a product in a day.
Among the most significant trace elements in the composition of honey are noted:
This is not the whole list of extremely useful minerals for the body, which are present in this product of beekeeping, so doctors recommended in the absence of medical indicators to use honey at least several times a week.
Additionally it is possible to note such substances that are contained in the product:
- B vitamins (B1, B2, B5, B6, B9).
- Nicotinic acid.
- Vitamins C and H.
Each vitamin and trace element has a beneficial effect on the overall state of the body, in particular on the functioning of internal organs and systems, so it is important to be careful in choosing honey and its intake, so that the benefits do not turn into harm.
The caloric value of 100 grams of honey is 329 kcal. The ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates is 0.8 g, 0 g, 81.5 g, respectively. But this is an average figure of calories, since each type of honey has its own specific properties and features not only in terms of taste, but also in terms of energy value. Individual calculation of calories allows you to choose honey with the lowest values of carbohydrates and total energy value, which is good for the body.
What is honey good for?
Honey is not only a delicious sweet treat. It is also a huge benefit for the human body, because it contains a lot of trace elements, vitamins and minerals that have only a positive effect on the body, which can be considered a significant advantage. Honey can have this effect on the body, strengthening and revitalizing it:
- General tonic.
Noted separate benefits for women's, men's and children's bodies, so do not neglect the basic recommendations.
For the female body, the benefits of honey are almost limitless, because it is the most valuable delicacy, which favorably affects the work of internal organs, strengthening them and restoring normal functioning.
The first thing that is noted with the regular use of honey is the ability to get rid of gynecological diseases, as honey has regenerative properties. The reproductive system is restored and strengthened. Also honey has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, prevents anemia due to its ability to increase hemoglobin.
For the male body, honey is a miracle cure that allows you to get a boost of energy for the whole day, so it is recommended to use it at the beginning of the day to feel the most comfortable afterwards. You can use honey alone or as a sweetener in tea.
In men, it prevents the emergence of cardiovascular disease, increases blood pressure, which is useful for hypotensive people. Hypertensives also need to consult with the attending physician to calculate the maximum possible daily rate of the product.
In early pregnancy honey is extremely useful because it contains essential micro- and macronutrients, which allow normalizing the functioning of the internal organs of the baby. In addition, honey is considered a natural stimulant of labor, so when you use it in the later stages of pregnancy, you can prevent complications during natural childbirth.
Many doctors recommend honey to combat the signs of acute toxicity, as well as in the presence of a threatened miscarriage. The product has a restorative effect, the body is restored and prepared for pregnancy.
But it is important to note that if you are hypersensitive to the product, it is better to refuse to use it at all, not subjecting the body to stresses with which it can not cope, because this is fraught with many complications later.
In the first months of breastfeeding you need to use honey in the diet with special care and caution, because it can cause acute allergic reactions. It is best to consult in advance with your doctor.
It is strictly forbidden to consume honey with individual intolerance and allergic reactions in the mother, because it will also not be useful for the child. Among the main contraindications of the product can also be noted:
- High caloric content, due to which young mothers with excessive postpartum weight are not recommended to abuse the product, if you want to quickly return to normal.
- The possibility of overdose, which is fraught with many problems with the work of internal organs. There is a daily norm, which is worth adhering to.
Among all the sweets and treats, honey takes the leading position among the preferences of the child. In addition, the product provides great benefits for the body, as it normalizes the cardiovascular system and strengthens the immune system. If there are no medical contraindications for the use of such a product, then you should not give it up. Medics highlight the following useful properties of honey for the body of a child:
- Provides prevention of colds and viral diseases, as it provides a general strengthening effect.
- Helps to fight insomnia. If a child cannot fall asleep for a long time, a glass of warm milk with honey 1 hour before bedtime will be the most useful sedative for him.
- It improves the condition of the skin and hair.
- Strengthens the immune system, so the child feels much easier even during a period of illness.
- It improves the digestive organs, so it prevents the occurrence of adverse reactions of the body in terms of GI distress and general malaise.
- It strengthens the bone and cartilage system, as well as toning the muscles.
But honey must be used properly, because otherwise it can cause an allergic rash, inflammation or irritation on the skin. A clear sign of honey overdose is considered nausea and vomiting, indigestion.
The benefits of honey with water in the morning on an empty stomach
Many doctors recommend in the morning on an empty stomach to eat a spoonful of honey with water to "start" the digestive system and the gastrointestinal tract. This is a kind of energy drink that allows you to charge the body with energy and vigor. The most important thing is to choose the right honey, because some varieties of honey have individual contraindications, to which you should pay attention in order to avoid a negative reaction of the body. Among the main positive qualities of honey with water in the morning on an empty stomach are:
- Better digestion of food taken throughout the day.
- Improvement of mood, as natural fructose has a calming effect on the nervous system.
- Normalization of hair and nails, as the product contains only beneficial substances.
- Prevention of headaches, as honey refers to natural painkillers.
Choosing the right honey and taking into account the doctor's recommendations on its use - this is an opportunity to obtain excellent medical benefits and to improve the overall condition of the body.
Is it possible to eat honey while losing weight
Slimming is a process of normalizing the level of food consumed for the removal of toxins and detoxes, reducing the percentage of subcutaneous fat. For the desired effect, you need to give up harmful fats, carcinogens, sugar in any form. But as for honey, on the contrary, it is allowed to lose weight, because this is how you can expect to saturate the body with useful substances, thanks to which the weight loss process will be more effective. But it is important to remember that you should not consume honey in large quantities, as it negatively affects the overall condition of the body, provoking excessive weight gain.
It is not superfluous to consult a nutritionist beforehand, so that you can correctly calculate the caloric content of the diet to avoid a negative reaction of the body.
Honey in medicine
Honey can be used in medicine, because given its naturalness and nutritional value can improve overall health, which is considered an important positive property. But each disease has its own cause of manifestation and peculiarities of the course, so special care is required in drawing up a scheme of admission to avoid a negative reaction of the body.
In diabetes mellitus
Diabetics need to control the amount of sugar they consume, because only in this way can they expect to feel good, which will not cause an adverse reaction in the form of an increase in glucose in the body. There are a lot of adverse reactions from sugar, but as for honey, it is useful because of the mild effects on the body. And the benefits are provided at a high level, which is considered an important advantage. But it is important to consult with specialists individually, so as not to encounter adverse reactions, because the illiterate reception of honey can turn out to be a sugar increase and deterioration of health.
Important: The glycemic index of honey from 30 to 90 units (it all depends on the time, place of collection and variety).
During an exacerbation of pancreatitis, it is necessary to follow a special diet, so as not to worsen health, because pancreatic inflammation is a complex pathology that requires special attention to treatment. And here in the remission stage it is just recommended to use honey to normalize the state of the mucous membrane, because only in this way you can restore the work of the pancreas, which is considered an important positive quality.
Gastritis in most cases is characterized by increased acidity, so it is not recommended to use acidic products that can cause additional irritation on the mucosa. Honey allows you to relieve inflammation and "soothe" the walls of the mucosa, so it is considered especially important for the normal functioning of the body. But additionally, it is worth consulting medics, because only in this way can you expect to receive maximum benefits without the likelihood of developing complications.
For the intestines.
Honey is considered an excellent anti-inflammatory and tonic, so you can expect to improve your overall health. And also honey has an enveloping effect, so you can improve the overall condition of the digestive system, eliminating constipation.
Honey stimulates the digestive system and the intestines, so you can tone the body. Regular consumption of honey can get rid of the problem of chronic constipation, which is considered an important medical benefit.
Honey in gout can stop the pain, which prevents the occurrence of complications, which is considered an important advantage in the neglected stage. If uric acid has just begun to collect in the body, then with the help of honey and bee products used for compresses, you can eliminate the inflammatory syndrome, preventing the emergence of all kinds of complications.
Intestinal problems in the form of colitis is a pathology that belongs to the most common. Therefore, special care is required in the choice of drugs and foods to restore normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Honey is considered a natural anti-inflammatory product, so using it in such a disease is not only possible, but also extremely useful.
For the liver
Honey helps to prevent an increase in cholesterol levels, because it removes it from the body, while normalizing the work of the liver. An important quality is also considered to be the regeneration of liver cells, which ensures the maximum proper functioning of the organ.
Ointments based on honey and bee products can reduce inflammation and promote tissue regeneration, so you can accelerate the healing of the wound, which can be attributed to the important positive qualities. But if we are talking about rehabilitation after surgery, then in that case it is necessary to initially consult with doctors to avoid the appearance of complications.
As previously mentioned, honey removes harmful cholesterol and restores the work of the liver, so when chronic or acute cholecystitis normalizes the outflow of bile, which prevents complications in the work of the gallbladder.
Angina is a purulent inflammation in the throat cavity, so to relieve pain and discomfort, it is recommended to drink warm milk with honey. The natural product of beekeeping promotes the "soothing" of irritated cells, so the effect is immediately felt.
Bronchitis is characterized by a build-up of mucus in the lungs and bronchi, so you need to use expectorants to relieve the discomfort and cough. Honey is considered a natural antibacterial drug that can expel sputum and normalize all airways.
Treatment of prostatitis with honey will not replace traditional drug therapy, but at the same time will provide a general tonic effect, reduce inflammation and normalize health. There are many recipes for natural home-made anti-inflammatory remedies, so depending on the stage of the disease and the features of its course, you can choose the most effective method of therapy.
Recipes of folk medicine based on honey
Folk medicine is rich in many discoveries, so there is always a great opportunity to get a general strengthening effect for the whole body. It is not superfluous to note that in folk medicine can be used not only honey in finished form, but also other bee products. They are rich in minerals, micro- and macronutrients, so the benefits of their own handmade means will be the greatest.
But it is important to remember that in most cases, preparations and remedies based on honey are used in conjunction with medication therapy, because only in this way is provided the overall impact on the body, destroying the virus and pathological manifestations, maintaining immunity.
There are several effective folk medicine recipes based on bee products:
- To treat diseases of the kidneys and the urinary system, you can prepare a medicine based on 1-2 teaspoons of honey and 250 ml of freshly squeezed cranberry juice. Mix all components thoroughly and use 1 teaspoon 3 times a day before meals.
- To cleanse the body and soothe manifestations of hives, you can use 1 teaspoon of honey and the same amount of horseradish root juice. Mix all components together and use for 3 weeks 1-2 teaspoons a day.
- Strengthen the gums. Honey (1 tsp.) Mix with salt (0.5 tsp.). The resulting composition to rub the gums 4-5 times a day.
- The elimination of pain in the joints. Aloe (2 tbsp.) mixed with honey (1 tbsp.) And vodka (2 tbsp.). The resulting composition to put on the sore spots. Such a compress will help with osteochondrosis, radiculitis, arthritis, arthrosis and rheumatism.
- Influenza treatment. Mix honey and crushed garlic to the pulp 1 tsp each. Eat this mass at night, drink warm water. The course is 1 week.
Honey in cosmetology
Cosmetology is another branch of the use of natural honey. In most cases, linden honey is used for cosmetic purposes, because it has a special flavor and structure. Working with it is much more pleasant.
Facial Masks with Honey
Honey and egg-based masks are considered a popular solution for restoring skin elasticity and firmness. There are a wide range of different formulations, but these particular masks are popular due to their effectiveness and overall benefits.
- For normal skin. For the preparation you will need 10 ml of liquid honey and 1 egg yolk. Mixing the two components results in a soft and viscous substance, which should be applied in a thin layer to the skin of the face, avoiding the eye and lip area. To soak the skin, hold the mask for at least half an hour, then rinse with warm water. Additionally, you can apply a nourishing cream to fill pores and "revitalize" them.
- For dry skin. This composition will provide nutrition and hydration, eliminate flaking (course: 6 masks, 2 per week). Preparation: mix 1 tbsp. each of the following ingredients - melted honey, sour cream and olive oil. Apply the prepared mixture to the face and keep for 20 minutes, then rinse and apply a protective cream.
- For oily and problematic skin. Mix honey, fresh lemon juice, add baking soda - take all the ingredients listed above by 1 tbsp. On the face of the composition to soak for no more than 10 minutes. If during the procedure you can feel the burning sensation, the composition should be washed away immediately and the next time to reduce the amount of lemon juice in the preparation of the mask.
Masks based on honey can also be used for hair care, because the bee product is distinguished by its nourishing, vitaminized and mineral composition.
- Damaged hair can easily be restored with a nourishing mask. For preparation you will need 1 teaspoon of aloe juice, 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of any oil (you can use avocado oil, burdock or castor oil). All the components are thoroughly mixed together to obtain a homogeneous substance to simplify the application of the product on the hair. It is enough to hold such a mask for no more than half an hour, then rinse with warm water without shampoo to completely wash out the components and prevent excessive greasiness of the hair.
- If the hair is in a normal condition, then in addition fit a mask based on honey, which will keep the attractiveness and integrity of the structure. For its preparation, you need honey, which should be heated to a liquid state and applied along the entire length of the hair. Even better effect can be achieved if you add a lot of yolk and dark beer. So the structure of the hair is nourished with beneficial substances, which will provide shine and strength.
Honey for hands and nails
The skin of the hands is particularly delicate, and given the fact that it is exposed to a lot of stress every day, you need to know how to properly care for it. It is possible to prepare complex home remedies based on honey, which can improve the condition of the skin and nails. Baths based on natural honey have long been a popular cosmetic remedy, so there are many recipes, each of which has its own specific characteristics and rules of application.
- Among the most popular can be noted such a recipe for a bath for hands and nails. Add 3-4 tablespoons of honey to 1 cup of warm water, then mix everything until smooth. It is enough to keep your hands in such a solution for 10-15 minutes. After that, dry your hands slightly with paper towels to allow the honey to soak into the skin. It is recommended to use such a bath at night, so as not to disturb the skin.
- To strengthen your nails, you can use a mask with honey. For its preparation you need 1 tablespoon of olive oil, which can be replaced by almond or peach oil if you want, where additionally add 1/2 tablespoon of white clay and 1 teaspoon of honey. Mix olive oil with clay and honey, and then apply it to the fingertips, which creates a slight enveloping effect. An important advantage of such a mask is considered effective, so for girls who want to improve the condition of their hands and nails in one procedure, this option of means will be the most effective.
Each mask and hand bath has its own positive qualities, so you can alternate them for a comprehensive effect on the skin and nail plate.
Culinary applications of honey
Cooking is the main branch of use of honey of different varieties and types, because of its nutritional value and particularly refined taste allows you to improve the structure of the product. Often honey is used in confectionery and in the preparation of meat products.
A popular recipe is the use of soy sauce and honey to create an Asian marinade for meat. This combination ensures a mild and refined taste, and the structure of the meat product is impregnated with useful substances, which makes it more nutritious and easier to digest.
Harms and contraindications
But despite all the benefits, honey has its own certain contraindications and harms, so it is important to carefully familiarize yourself with such qualities to avoid adverse reactions of the body.
- The main harm is that honey can raise blood sugar levels, so it is important to take the right attitude in the diet of intake to avoid a negative reaction of the body.
- Also, honey should be carefully given to children, as the product can provoke cavities and allergic reactions.
- Since honey is characterized by high calories, the use of the product when losing weight can adversely affect the weight.
- Diseases of the pancreas.
- Gastritis and ulcers during exacerbation.
- Pancreatitis in acute form.
- Allergy to bee products.
How to choose honey
Honey is available in a wide range of types, and there are many manufacturers, so the choice requires special care. The analysis of the market has created a list of tips for choosing the right honey to avoid fakes.
The honey is liquid only for a few months, and some types do not crystallize. Therefore, it is important to consider the variety to avoid buying an expired product that is of little use when used. Remember that many unscrupulous sellers heat honey until it dissolves and produces a viscous substance. But to distinguish such honey from quality honey can also be quickly and easily.
- Honey should always be smelled, if possible. The product should be aromatic, with a characteristic sharp smell, filled with sweetness and caramel notes.
- If you have the opportunity to taste honey, you should definitely do this. This is the only way to determine whether the honey is diluted or pure, without additional impurities in the composition.
- Also you should consider the producer of honey, if you buy a store product, because the quality and taste of the product largely depends on it.
- The expiration date is another quality that should be taken into consideration when choosing honey, so that you do not encounter adverse reactions and poisoning while using it.
The right honey will be useful. And also we must remember that a quality product can not cost very cheap, so you need to pay attention to the price in the first place, because it is the properties and features of the product largely determine it.
How and where to store honey
The rules for storing honey are very important, because this is the only way to extend its shelf life, preserving the taste properties. For proper storage, it is worth adhering to the following recommendations:
- The most important thing to remember: honey does not tolerate direct sunlight, so it must be stored in the dark to avoid dissolving the product and disturbing its chemical composition.
- It is best to choose a dark cool place, where the honey will be as protected as possible.
- A glass jar is the ideal container for storing honey, because this way it preserves its natural aroma and flavor, so you can count on the maximum benefit.
The optimal temperature is from -6 to +20 ° C. If the product is stored for a long time at room temperature above 20 degrees, unfortunately, some of the vitamins that make up its chemical composition will be destroyed.
Honey is an unpretentious product in terms of storage, but you need to pay special attention to the details to avoid adverse reactions of the body, because the spoiled sweet is harmful to health.
What to do if honey has sugared
The process of crystallization of honey is considered natural, as there are varieties that gradually turn into a candied substance after the first months of storage. Crystallization of honey can be easy, simple and fast, if you take into account certain rules and recommendations of experts. Many people think that candied honey is a spoiled product, but in fact, it is a natural process, which should not be feared, as it can be managed independently.
How to melt honey in a glass jar
There are several ways to melt honey in a glass jar, the safest of which is to use a water bath. This changes the consistency of the product by making it more viscous and malleable. This will allow you to extract the right amount of product from the jar for later use.
Often, honey is also melted using a simple but effective method: dissolving the candied parts with the aid of direct sunlight.
Does honey lose its properties when heated?
When heated, honey changes its consistency, so if it is heated, use it as quickly as possible so that it does not harden and change its aroma and flavor properties again.
If honey is heated above +40 ° C, most of its useful properties will be lost.
How to check the naturalness of honey at home
It is easy to check honey for naturalness at home, if you take into account certain recommendations of experts and elaborate methods:
- Checking for viscosity allows you to determine whether honey contains no water and unnecessary impurities. To do this, simply heat the product to 20 degrees, and, stirring with a spoon, try to check the quality of the flow. If the honey drips with uniform sugar threads, then this indicates that there is no water in the composition, that is, the consistency is natural and correct.
- You can check another "grandfatherly", but at the same time the most effective way. You need to drop a small amount of honey on the newspaper. If the paper remains dry, it means that there is no water in the composition, and if a wet spot is formed, it indicates the presence of excess liquid in the honey.
- Another option is to dissolve a spoonful of honey in warm water (in a 250-milliliter mug). Then drop in a couple of drops of iodine. If the water turns blue, it indicates the presence of starch in the composition.
- A simple way: heat a wire and dip it into the honey - it should remain without a sticky mass when you take it out.
The right honey can be stored for a very long time, preserving its naturalness, so it is not unreasonable to check the product for this parameter still when choosing.
Honey can be given to pets
Honey can and should be given to dogs, because it improves the digestive system and strengthens the immune system, so you can count on the good health of the animal. But it is important to remember not to overdo it, so as not to provoke the appearance of diabetes in the pet.
Undemanding breeds of cats are also allowed natural honey in small quantities.
Interesting facts about honey
Honey is an interesting bee product that has a rich and unique history. And so unusual facts about it will be useful to know:
- Honey helps improve memory because it creates new neural connections to stimulate brain activity.
- Honey can replace the refrigerator because it prevents the product from spoiling under the sun's rays. Therefore, in hot countries in ancient times honey was used as a protection for meat.
- Honey is a natural source of happiness that can improve the functioning of the nervous system, so it is recommended to regularly consume such a product in your diet.
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