Naturally sweet: 4 Health benefits of maple syrup
05/29/2021 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
Naturally sweet: 4 Health benefits of maple syrup

Having a sweet tooth can be difficult if you’re trying to avoid sugary foods and drinks. To keep your sugar intake in check, try replacing refined sugar with a natural alternative like maple syrup.

Maple syrup is a good replacement for other sweeteners since this antioxidant-rich superfood offers several benefits, like boosting your heart health and immune system.

Where does maple syrup come from?

Maple syrup is made from the sap of sugar maple trees. More than 80 percent of the world’s supply of maple syrup comes from Quebec in eastern Canada.

Brighteon.TV

Maple syrup is produced in two main steps:

  1. During spring, sugar rises in maple trees and mixes with water to form sap. Because the sap has a high water content, it’s processed to allow the water to evaporate, which leaves behind the concentrated, thick syrup. Holes are drilled in maple trees until the sap pours into a container.
  2. The sap is boiled until most of the water evaporates. The thick, sugary syrup left behind is filtered to remove impurities and produce maple syrup. The whole process doesn’t use any chemical additives, preservatives or chemical agents.

Compared to honey, maple syrup has a lower calorie count. It is believed that the Native Americans were the first to discover that the sap from maple trees can be processed to make maple syrup.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), maple syrup contains trace amounts of these nutrients:

  • Calcium
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fat
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Niacin
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Riboflavin
  • Sodium
  • Sugars
  • Thiamine
  • Vitamin B6
  • Zinc

4 Reasons to use maple syrup

Here are four amazing health benefits of maple syrup.

It’s full of antioxidants

Maple syrup contains at least 24 antioxidants that help prevent various health conditions. These antioxidants neutralize free radicals that can cause various diseases.

Research has found that darker types of maple syrup contain more antioxidants than lighter ones.

It can boost your heart health

Your heart is prone to different kinds of diseases like atherosclerosis, stroke and other cardiovascular conditions. Incorporating maple syrup into a balanced diet can help boost your heart health because it contains zinc that can help prevent various heart disorders.

Zinc can also boost the performance of endothelial cells — the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels — by protecting them from damage caused by excess cholesterol and oxidized lipids. Not getting enough zinc exposes your blood vessels to injuries, which can then affect the normal functioning of your heart.

It can help boost your immune system

Having low levels of manganese and zinc can reduce the number of white blood cells inside your body. This can affect your immune function. Adopt a well-balanced diet and boost your intake of these minerals to support a healthy immune system.

Since maple syrup is a good source of manganese and zinc, consuming it moderately can help strengthen your immune system.

It can boost male reproductive health

The zinc in maple syrup can also help support male reproductive health, especially the prostate gland.

Men need zinc because it makes up much of the seminal fluid that activates the sperm. The mineral is essential for sperm motility and protects them from bacteria and chromosomal damage. Zinc also acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, helping sperm survive until they reach the egg.

Men also need zinc for their gonads at an early age. Not getting enough zinc during childhood can delay sexual development and affect testosterone levels, prostate gland function and sperm production.

Tips for buying and storing maple syrup

Maple syrup is available in different grades and is categorized by color, but classification can vary between countries. In America, maple syrup is classified as either Grade A or B.

Grade A is further categorized into three groups: Light amber, medium amber and dark amber. Lightly flavored syrups are best used while eating ice cream or pancakes.

Grade B is the darkest available syrup. The darker syrups are made from sap extracted later in the harvest season. Darker syrups have a stronger maple flavor and are usually used for baking or for waffles. You can use grade B maple syrup as a healthy alternative to chocolate sauce.

Inspect labels carefully when buying maple syrup. You don’t want to get maple-flavored syrup, which can be full of refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Once you open a container of maple syrup, keep it refrigerated. Discard the syrup if you see any mold in it.

Cooking with maple syrup

Here are several ways to incorporate maple syrup into your regular diet.

  • Use it to add flavor to ice cream, fritters or fresh fruit.
  • Top French toast, pancakes, plain toast or waffles with maple syrup.
  • Use it as a sweetener for baked beans, bread, cakes or granola.
  • Add maple syrup as a sweetener for tea or coffee.
  • Coat popcorn with a light drizzle of maple syrup.
  • Glaze apples, pecans or pumpkins with maple syrup before baking.
  • Use maple syrup as a marinade for roast pork.
  • Make salad dressing with maple syrup, Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar.
  • Take a spoonful of maple syrup to soothe a sore throat.

Remember that like other superfoods, maple syrup isn’t a silver bullet. While maple syrup is healthier than white sugar and other sweeteners, you still need to consume it in moderation.

Sources:

OrganicFacts.net

Healthline.com

Livestrong.com

AllRecipes.com

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Related Articles
Comments
comments powered by Disqus

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Popular articles