The health benefits of maple syrup are going unnoticed because who cares anyway? Most people eat so much sugar — in fact, so much more than they do need. So, before looking at the remarkable contributions of maple syrup to health, the question is, “who cares about it”?
Well, maybe no one, but you should. Except you’re willing to continue eating this artificial sweetener that will only lead to various damages in your body. I hope that sounds scary to you as it does to me. If yes, then in comes maple syrup, which is a better alternative to cane sugar when moderately used.
6 Impressive Health Benefits of Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is gotten by boiling the sap of the sugar maple tree (Acer saccharum). Maple does a lot more than sweetening the taste of your pancakes. A lot that stretches to the health department. Like whole & refined grains, unrefined natural sweeteners are richer in helpful nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants than high fructose corn syrups and white sugar. When its use is regulated, maple syrup can help to tackle inflammation, manage blood sugar, and prevent chronic diseases, while never failing to sweeten your recipes.
Let us look at six remarkable ways through which maple syrup nutrition can benefit your health. Off we go.
Very Rich Source of Antioxidants
This may be your strongest reason to use maple syrup. According to Pharmaceutical Biology, pure maple syrup offers 24 different antioxidants! That’s a huge count for any food, much more a sweetener. Several studies have established the gaping differences between maple syrup and corn syrup, refined sugar, and agave nectar. Whereas the artificial, processed sweeteners had scanty antioxidant properties, maple syrup posted excellent results that sit alongside foods like raw honey, brown sugar, and blackstrap molasses.
Maple syrup antioxidants are chiefly available as phenolic compounds, which are considered essential in preventing several chronic illnesses, for example, cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. Phenolic compounds have the power to limit the growth and spread of free radicals, which are modified cells that cause inflammation and are a precursor for numerous chronic diseases.
Common antioxidants in maple syrup are quercetin, rutin, catechin and other flavonols, benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, and gallic acid. That’s something white sugar does not offer.
May Combat Inflammatory & Degenerative Diseases
Maple syrup offers polyphenol antioxidants, which are potent in tackling inflammation. Therefore, it is considered a crucial part of any diet prepared towards the prevention of specific health conditions, such as arthritis, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Several researchers have reported that natural products containing phenolic, for example, berries, fruits, green tea, nuts, olive oil, and of course, maple syrup, have neuroprotective qualities. Maple syrup possesses plant compounds, which can improve the brain by managing oxidative stress better. Mind you; oxidative stress is culpable for faster aging symptoms.
Studies have proven that increased consumption of phenolic foods will inhibit the secretion of inflammatory markers and limit the risk for brain cell death, neurotoxicity & neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Has The Potential To Prevent Cancer
Whereas there is some evidence that added sugar could at least contribute to cancer (if not cause it directly), maple syrup has a much more beneficial composition. This is attributed to antioxidants' presence, which can suppress the mutation of cells and DNA damage. Some researchers have even established that dark maple syrup has displayed inhibitory influences on colorectal cancer cell growth & invasion.
Further studies have suggested that dark maple syrup can suppress AKT activation, thus inhibiting cell proliferation. As a result of this, there are considerations that concentrated maple syrup is a “phytomedicine” to be potentially useful in treating gastrointestinal cancer.
However, even if syrup's sole consumption does not reduce cancer risk, it is a better alternative to sugar due to its healthier composition.
Helps To Protect The Skin
There are several cases of people swearing that by the topical use of maple syrup, i.e., on their skin directly, they were able to report lower skin redness, dryness, blemishes, and inflammation. This is much like the effects of raw honey, and when the two are mixed, the mixture can be worn as a mask to hydrate skin, reduce bacteria, and irritation. These effects will remain if maple syrup is mixed with yogurt, raw milk, and rolled oats.
Continuous, unreasonably high consumption of refined sugars is a contributor (directly or indirectly) to IBS, candida, autoimmune deficiencies, and leaky gut syndrome. One of the most emphasized advice in the treatment of leaky gut is the reduction or total disuse of refined sugars while you switch to natural sweeteners instead.
About 90% of artificial sweeteners are partly responsible for indigestion symptoms, such as constipation, cramping, gas, and bloating. To improve your digestive health by getting rid of toxic chemicals & damages caused by sugar-filled foods, substitute with maple syrup, either as a direct sweetener or in smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods & yogurt.
There are even talks that maple syrup is a laxative, although evidence is still scanty on this. The suggestion is that a mixture of maple syrup, lemon juice & cayenne pepper will serve as an appetite suppressant, diuretic, or laxative. As I said, there isn’t sufficient evidence, but should maple syrup relieve constipation (which it does), it may truly help to increase water retention and reduce bloating.
Rich Source Of Essential Vitamins & Minerals
Maple syrup is truly a reservoir of nutrients, as it offers different polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, amino acids, organic acids, and vitamins & minerals. These include potassium, calcium, manganese, and zinc in sizable amounts. All these nutrients play crucial roles in the body.
For example, manganese is important in calcium absorption, brain & nerve function, carbohydrate & fat metabolism; zinc improves the immune function, and calcium fortifies the bones.
Concluding The Health Benefits Of Maple Syrup
For a sweetener, the health benefits of maple syrup are unarguably remarkable. There is even more to gain from this great taste, including the improvement of antibiotic effects and having a low glycemic index score. From all indications, maple syrup is a much better alternative to every artificial sweetener, and it tastes just as sweet!