Welcome to the topic “MAPLE SYRUP NUTRITION AND HEALTH BENEFITS.”
Maple syrup is considered to be one of the best alternatives to fattening and refined sugar in the world of nutrition. Besides being a sugar alternative, there is much more in this syrup that makes it to have in the kitchen. People enjoy it on the top of waffles, smoothies, pancakes and oatmeal, but now it is making the right noises in the health and nutrition sector also.
Pure maple syrup is not only high in antioxidants, but it also offers different nutrients like zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. According to a study, there are various maple syrup health benefits, and it has a higher concentration of minerals and antioxidants as compared to honey but has fewer calories.
What is Maple Syrup?
Ever-so delightful and gold luscious maple syrup is a liquid that is usually extracted from the xylem sap of red maple, sugar maple or black maple trees that grow in the colder regions. These species of maple happen to store starch in their trunks and roots before the arrival of winter. By late winter or spring, starch gets converted into sugar before rising to the sap. By drilling holes in the trunks, the syrup is then collected from the saps.
Legends say that maple syrup and maple sugar were first procured somewhere in North America. Later, the Europeans arrived and fell for this delightful syrup. The process of extracting maple syrup was refined and simplified further and was made a global sensation.
Maple syrup nutrients and vitamins
Various nutrients are naturally found in pure maple syrup that includes thiamine, zinc, potassium, manganese, calcium, magnesium and Riboflavin. Though zinc is not beneficial to heart health, it is an antioxidant. It is also involved in various critical bodily functions like regeneration and cellular growth.
There are various maple syrup health benefits, and different nutrients and vitamins contribute to these. Manganese aids in energy production, zinc helps with the immune system, calcium is ideal for strengthening bones and teeth, Riboflavin helps in metabolic processes, magnesium lowers the risk of heart diseases, and potassium maintains normal blood pressure.
Maple Syrup Grades
There are two separate grades of maple syrup, Grade A and the Processing Grade. The main difference among the two is that Grade A maple syrup tastes good, whereas the Processing Grade doesn’t. There are four color classes of Grade A maple syrup, i.e. Amber, Golden, Dark and Very Dark. Any color class is not better than the other, but it is only a personal preference.
A golden or light-colored maple syrup is made in the early maple syrup season. With the progress of the season, the syrup gets darker in color and also gets stronger in flavor. You should make sure to read the food labels carefully when buying maple syrup. This way you will get maple syrup and not just any maple-flavor syrup that you can load with refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.
Benefits of Maple Syrup
Maple syrup contains 54 beneficial compounds that make it an alternative to table sugar. It is an alternative source of various essential minerals that include zinc, magnesium and potassium. The following are the benefits of maple syrup.
It contains various Antioxidants
Maple syrup nutrition is very impressive when it is about supplying protective antioxidants. In the form of phenolic compounds, these antioxidants are beneficial to reduce free radical damage that causes inflammation and contribute to the formation of different chronic diseases.
The primary oxidants include benzoic acid, gallic acid, cinnamic acid and many flavanols like catechin, rutin and epicatechin that contribute to maple syrup health benefits. Some are found in low concentration, while others in high concentrations.
It fights inflammatory diseases
There are inflammation-reducing polyphenol antioxidants that are supplied by maple syrup, and this can be considered as part of your healthy diet to prevent diseases like arthritis, heart disease or inflammatory bowel disease.
The plant-based compounds of maple syrup reduce oxidative stress, as this oxidative stress is responsible for aging us quickly and thus reducing the strength of our immune system that can be dangerous for our health.
It may help to protect against cancer
Evidence shows that a certain amount of sugar can cause cancer or else contribute to triggering it, but on the other hand, maple syrup seems to be a less harmful sweetener. This is because of the antioxidants that contribute to maple syrup health benefits and protect our cells from DNA damage and mutation.
Though maple syrup alone would not be resulting in a reduced risk of developing cancer, it is a very safe option as compared to high levels of refined sugar or the artificial sweeteners that we have in our diet.
It helps with skin protection
Many people use maple syrup topically or directly on their skin. Quite similar to raw honey, the maple syrup can be beneficial to lower skin redness, inflammation, blemishes and dryness. When it is combined with raw milk or yoghurt, raw honey and rolled oats, this becomes a natural mixture, and when applied to the skin as a mask, it can hydrate skin while reducing any signs of irritation and bacteria.
It is an alternative to sugar for improved digestion
When we consume high levels of refined sugar, it contributes to the leaky gut syndrome, candida and many other digestive system disorders. One of the most significant maple syrup health benefits is to heal leaky guts and autoimmune diseases when taken in small amounts.
Many artificial sweeteners are also responsible for causing symptoms of indigestion that include cramping, bloating, gas and constipation. In order to keep the digestive tract free of chemicals and in healthier shape, maple syrup can be a great alternative to use.
It supplies essential minerals and vitamins
Maple syrup contains manganese and zinc in high amounts, as well as potassium and calcium. Zinc is helpful to improve immunity and fight illness as it keeps up the level of white blood cells. Manganese plays a very crucial role to metabolize fat and carbohydrate, blood sugar regulation, brain and nerve function.
Maple syrup does contain nutrients and antioxidants but is somewhat a little high in sugar. There are many maple syrup health benefits when we replace refined sugar with quality maple syrup. When used in a balanced way, the nutrition benefits of maple syrup include the ability to lower inflammation, supply various nutrients and help to manage blood sugar in a better way.
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