Discover the 9 shocking health benefits of maple syrup.
Most people already consume a lot of sugar, probably even a lot more than they need.
That being said, maple syrup is one of the sweeteners that you should use in small amounts and a good alternative to cane sugar when used in moderation.
Do you love maple syrup? See all the nutritional benefits in this guide.
Like the contrast between whole and refined grains, unrefined natural sweeteners like maple syrup contain higher levels of beneficial nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals than white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
This is also why we see the many health benefits of raw honey. When used in appropriate amounts, the nutritional health benefits of maple syrup may include the ability to reduce inflammation, supply nutrients, and better manage blood sugar.
Maple tree syrup, or more accurately sap, has been used for centuries.
The sap from various maple trees began to be processed into syrup long before European settlers arrived in America.
Native Americans had theories about the nutritional impact of maple syrup even back then, and the sweetener had cultural significance for many Aboriginal tribes.
They even celebrated the sugar moon (the first full moon of spring) with a maple dance and saw maple sap as a source of energy and nutrition.
Compared to refined (or “table”) cane sugar that offers absolutely no nutrients, maple syrup contains some important antioxidants and minerals like zinc and manganese.
When we do a side-by-side comparison of sugar nutrition and maple syrup nutrition, we see that they have some things in common, but also some things that make maple syrup more favorable.
Because maple syrup is better than sugar
Both are made from about two-thirds sucrose, but maple syrup provides less sugar overall to your diet and more nutrients.
The glycemic index score for maple syrup is around 54, compared to a score of around 65 for regular cane sugar.
This means that one of the benefits of maple syrup nutrition is that it affects your blood sugar levels a little less dramatically than table sugar. Maple syrup also provides some minerals and antioxidants, while sugar lacks both.
Another factor that makes these two sweeteners very different is how they are made. Maple syrup is derived from the sap of maple trees.
Unlike refined cane sugar, which undergoes a long and complex process to be condensed into crystallized sugar, maple syrup is a relatively more natural and unrefined product.
And as you probably know, high fructose corn syrup is not natural or a healthy option, and neither are artificial sweeteners (hence their name).
For example, sugarcane stalks and beets are mechanically harvested, cleaned, washed, ground, extracted, squeezed, filtered, purified, vacuumed, and condensed, even before they become! sugar crystals!
1 tablespoon of maple syrup contains approximately:
• 7 milligrams manganese (33 percent recommended daily value or DV)
• 0.8 milligrams zinc (6 percent DV)
• 13.4 milligrams calcium (1 percent DV)
• 8 milligrams potassium (1 percent DV)
• 0.2-milligram iron (1 percent DV)
• 8 milligrams magnesium (1 percent DV)
• According to studies comparing the total antioxidant content of natural sweeteners with refined sugar products such as white sugar or corn syrup, substantial differences were found in the total antioxidant content.
• Refined sugar, corn syrup, and agave nectar contain the least antioxidant activity, but maple syrup, black and black molasses, brown sugar, and raw honey showed the highest antioxidant capacity (with the highest molasses).
• A good reason to change your sweetener? Maple syrup nutrition is impressive when it comes to supplying protective antioxidants.
The medical journal Pharmaceutical Biology revealed that pure maple syrup contains up to 24 different antioxidants.
• These antioxidants, in the form of phenolic compounds, are beneficial in reducing free radical damage that can cause inflammation and contribute to the formation of various chronic diseases.
Whenever possible, select darker grade B maple syrups as these contain more beneficial antioxidants than lighter syrups.
• Some of the main antioxidants found in maple syrup include benzoic acid, gallic acid, cinnamic acid, and various flavonoids such as catechin, epicatechin, rutin, and quercetin.
While most are found in low concentrations, others are present in higher amounts, so the benefits of these antioxidants may outweigh some of the disadvantages of consuming the high amount of sugar in the syrup.
• The liver refines the rapid metabolism of refined sugar and refined carbohydrates in general, causing a “sugar spike” followed by a “sugar rush.” Even worse, consuming too much sugar quickly raises blood sugar levels and increases insulin levels, which over time can lead to a decreased insulin response and problems controlling blood glucose, and is the reason why develops diabetes.
• However, keep in mind that consuming too much sugar, from any source, is a leading cause of some of the most widespread health problems, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease – even natural sweeteners should be used like maple syrup in small amounts.
• When it comes to solutions to naturally reverse diabetes or other conditions related to blood sugar, it is best to minimize your sugar intake in general and especially avoid refined sugar.
• Because maple syrup nutrition supplies polyphenolic antioxidants that reduce inflammation, it can be considered part of a healthy diet that helps prevent certain diseases such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, or heart disease.
• Maple syrup plant-based compounds reduce oxidative stress, which is responsible for aging at a faster rate and reducing the strength of our immune system.
• While some evidence shows that, to some extent, sugar can cause or at least contribute to cancer, maple syrup appears to be a much less harmful sweetener.
• This is due to the presence of antioxidants in maple syrup that can protect cells from DNA damage and mutation.
While maple syrup alone will not reduce your risk of developing cancer, it is a much safer option than including high levels of refined sugar or artificial sweeteners in your diet.
• Many people swear by using maple syrup topically, directly on their skin.
• Similar to raw honey, maple syrup can help reduce inflammation, redness, blemishes, and dry skin.
• Combined with raw milk or yogurt, rolled oats, and raw honey, this natural blend is applied to the skin as a mask that can hydrate the skin while reducing bacteria and signs of irritation.
• Consuming high levels of refined sugar can contribute to yeast infection, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, and other digestive system disorders.
• In fact, one of the most important steps you can take to heal leaky gut and autoimmune disorders is to cut back on refined sugar and opt for small amounts of natural sweeteners instead.
• Most artificial sweeteners also cause indigestion symptoms, such as gas, bloating, cramps, and constipation.
• To keep the digestive tract in a healthier shape, free of chemicals and the damage caused by a high-sugar diet, maple syrup can be a much better alternative to use in baked goods, yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies.
• Maple syrup contains fairly high amounts of zinc and manganese, in addition to potassium and calcium.
• Zinc can help fight disease and improve immunity as it maintains the level of white blood cells, while manganese plays a crucial role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, brain function, and the nervous.
• If you normally use artificial sweeteners or refined sugar products like dangerous Splenda, sucralose, agave, aspartame, or sugar, you should think about swapping them for maple syrup and raw honey asap.
• Artificial sweeteners, while they may be calorie-free, are linked to numerous health problems including weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, short-term memory loss, and much more.
• Many existing diseases can be made worse by using artificial sweeteners repeatedly, and they also show unfavorable results when it comes to losing weight.
• It is very possible to become addicted to artificial sweeteners used in many diets or light meals, as they affect food cravings and your ability to control your body’s signs of hunger and fullness.
• Maple syrup is not linked to any of these health problems, plus it is more satisfying due to its naturally sweet taste.
• Antibiotics may seem like a quick and easy fix for several different illnesses, but as new research is published, it’s more difficult to ignore the dangers and downsides of antibiotic use.
• While targeting bad bacteria, antibiotics can also attack healthy cells, while overuse of antibiotics results in the creation of “superbugs” that no longer respond to antibiotic treatment.
• When researcher Nathalie Tufenkji and her team investigated maple syrup extracts along with the antibiotics ciprofloxacin and carbenicillin, they observed the same antimicrobial effect with more than 90 percent fewer antibiotics.
• In other words, the maple syrup extract helped the antibiotics work better. How? The researchers discovered that the extract increases the permeability of bacteria, helping the antibiotics inside the bacterial cells.
• “There are other products that increase resistance to antibiotics, but this may be the only one that comes from nature,” says Tufenkji. More research and testing of allergic reactions is still needed before this can become part of a medical protocol, but Tufenkji’s research suggests hope against antibiotic resistance in the future.
Maple syrup is one of the oldest forms of sweetener out there, having been eaten by Native Americans who lived in North America hundreds of years ago.
Maple syrup was first collected and used by indigenous peoples before it was introduced to the first European settlers, who discovered ways to quickly improve the technology needed to gather more.
Due to its natural harvesting method and history as a healing sweetener, this is one of the reasons why many people choose maple syrup and raw honey as their sweeteners of choice – even those on the Paleolithic diet, for example.
Today, Canada supplies more than 80 percent of the world’s maple syrup. In the United States, the largest maple syrup producing state is Vermont.
Maple syrup has been made in Vermont for hundreds of years; in fact, some large maples in Vermont that are still purveyors of sap today are over 200 years old.
Most maple trees are between 10 and 12 inches in diameter and are generally around 40 years old.
In all plants, one class of sugar is naturally present. The primary sugar in plants is a product of photosynthesis that occurs when sunlight comes into contact with the leaves of the plant.
Sucrose is the most prevalent type of sugar found in maple syrup (at least 66 percent of the sugar in maple syrup must be sucrose to be considered pure).
The sugar synthesized in plants is used as an energy source for their growth and is stored throughout the plant, usually in the roots.
In most plants, sugar is not easily extracted from plant roots, stems, or leaves (as in sugarcane plants) without undergoing mechanical and chemical processes, but in the case of maples, the sap is easily collected.
According to the makers of Vermont maple syrup, “a tree that produces sap is like a person who donates blood.” They both have something to spare.
The sugar produced by the leaves of the maple tree during the summer is stored as starch in the roots, then during the winter months “taps” are inserted into the trees. After drilling the plug, a spout is connected with a bucket and a hook or tube.
Then, when spring arrives and the temperature warms, a pattern of freezing and thawing temperatures increases the pressure inside the trees, causing the sap to flow from the holes in the buckets.
The cubes are collected by hand and added to large tanks where some of the water evaporates and is removed to produce a richer syrup.
And that’s it, the process is that simple. A typical “sugar” season lasts 4-6 weeks, and it takes 40 gallons of sap to make every gallon of maple syrup!
To get all of these maple syrup nutrition benefits, you will have to be careful to buy the correct kind.
Many maple syrups sold in stores are imposters or maple syrup “flavored” sugars that are highly refined.
Check the ingredient label carefully to make sure pure maple syrup is the only (or main) ingredient, not refined cane/beet sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
It is also smart to buy organic maple syrup whenever possible, which ensures that the trees are not treated with any chemicals.
All types of pure maple syrup are classified as “grade A” or “grade B”. Both grade A and grade B maple syrups can be good choices, as long as they are pure and free of preservatives, artificial colors, and flavors.
The biggest difference is that Grade B syrups are darker in color and more concentrated, so they are generally used for cooking rather than drizzling over food.
Some research also shows that grade B syrup tends to be higher in antioxidants than grade A.
Most store-bought maple syrups are grade A, the lightest type used to sweeten pancakes.
There are also several different types of Grade A syrups, ranging in color from light to dark amber.
The darker the syrup, the later it is harvested in the year and the stronger the flavor will be.
When using maple syrup in place of table sugar in baked goods, replace the regular sugar content with the same amount of maple syrup but reduce the amount of liquid the recipe calls for by about half a cup.
This will give you enough sweet flavor without adding too much moisture and diminishing the texture you are looking for.
In smoothies, salad dressings, or other liquids, you can replace the sugar or agave nectar with maple syrup.
Maple syrup is a heat-stable sweetener that works well in many types of recipes, so you can use it in many ways, including in marinades, dressings, glazes, baked recipes, or just on its own. It’s even a good alternative to white sugar in morning coffee or tea.
• Total time: 25 minutes
• For 4 people
• 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
• 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• 2 tablespoons ghee
• In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients.
• Place a skillet over low heat and add the butter.
• Form meat into the sausage links and place in the skillet.
• Cook with the lid on for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
• You can also try this Maple Glazed Carrots Recipe.
Maple Syrup Consumption Concerns
• As mentioned above, maple syrup can be a good natural sweetener option when the serving size is kept small and eaten in combination with other whole foods.
• While maple syrup contains some nutrients and benefits over white sugar, it does not provide a very high level of important vitamins or minerals compared to other whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, and high-quality proteins and fats.
• As a result, it might be better to think of it as a better alternative to sugar, but not necessarily something that you should strive to include in your diet every day.
As long as you have maple syrup in moderation, it shouldn’t create a problem, just make sure you buy the best kind possible and watch your serving!
From the looks of it, you may think that a leaky gut only affects the digestive system, but it can affect more.
Because Leaky Gut is so common, and that conundrum, I am offering a free webinar on All Things Drip Issues.
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