Not all sweeteners are good for your health but there are some that are indeed fabulous. One of them is Maple Syrup, which besides being sweet, it is packed with a whole lot of health benefits.
Did you know that maple syrup can prevent colorectal cancer, relieves inflammatory diseases, improves digestion, and shows neuroprotective effects? Keep reading to learn the details!
What is Maple syrup?
Maple syrup is a syrup made from the sap (plant juice) of several species of maple trees. These trees are known for their ability to store starch in their roots and trunks to get over the cold winter.
This starch is then transformed into sugar which rises in the sap closer to springtime. Everything that comes next is super simple: drill a hole in the tree and the sap flows out, ready to be turned into syrup!
The next step would be to evaporate the sap until most of the water is removed, thus concentrating the sugar in the mixture. Once the liquid is at least 66 percent sugar, you’ve got yourself some maple syrup! Delicious and sugary, but in an utterly healthy way!
Maple syrup is diabetes friendly
The most problematic aspect of living with diabetes is the dangerous way in which different foods affect your blood glucose level. This depends on the consumed food’s glycemic index (GI). The higher the GI is, the quicker and more intense the changes in your blood glucose will be.
All other foods are classified as having high (70 and up), medium (56-69) or low (up to 55) glycemic index (GI). While most of the super-sweet foods are pretty high in terms of GI, pure maple syrup is actually low GI.
According to Sydney University’s Glycemic Index Research Service, the glycemic index of pure maple syrup is just 54, meaning that it’s the perfect sweetener for people suffering from diabetes.
Health benefits of Maple syrup
1. Inhibits the growth and invasion of colorectal cancer
According to recent studies, maple syrup is able to slow down colorectal cancer growth and invasion, making it a powerful phytomedicine. Similar results were noticed for gastrointestinal cancer.
Keep in mind that darker syrup seems to work better than light-colored ones, meaning that you should aim for an amber or dark-brown shade. We’ll get to the grades shortly.
2. It has neuroprotective effects
Almost all vital nutrients contained in maple syrup. It has several nutrients that can protect cell brain from damage especially by the presence of manganese. Manganese is a mineral which keeps the brain healthy and normal nerve function.
Also, animal trials report that maple syrup extracts reduce inflammation in the nervous system and inhibit aggregation of β-Amyloid, one of the key components in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Enhances the effectiveness of conventional antibiotics
Studies indicate that polyphenol-rich maple syrup extract significantly boosts the power of certain antibiotics, allowing to achieve greater results, using lower doses of antibiotics.
4. Maple syrup contains 23 powerful antioxidants
Antioxidants are incredibly beneficial for your health. They are known to reduce cellular oxidative stress, alleviate age-related damage, and even reduce the risk of cancer. Maple syrup contains at least 23 phenolic compounds with fabulous antioxidative activity and several other substance groups (like coumarins and lignans) with a somewhat milder antioxidative potential.
5. It shows anti-inflammatory properties
One of the polyphenols present in maple syrup, namely quebecol, shows great anti-inflammatory potential. Taking into account that all polyphenols are great antioxidants, it could be that ALL of them actually fight back inflammation.
6. Keeps your skin young
Since it is high in antioxidants, maple syrup can help you to keep beautiful skin. Some people also love to apply maple syrup as a face mask to make the skin look young and fresh. The antioxidant within maple syrup known as aging-fighters that prevent wrinkle and other free radicals damage effect to the skin.
7. Prevents diabetes
Not only maintain healthy blood sugar level, maple syrup also contains other substance such as Abscisic acid that can prevent diabetes especially type 2 diabetes. According to a study by Guri et al which published in Clinical Journal 2007, the abscisic acid content of maple syrup can increase insulin sensitivity and promotes the pancreas cells to produce more insulin.
8. Boosts the immune system
The immune system is the body system which fights diseases and keeps them away from the body. The immune system consists of several organs and cells which work together to protect the body from harmful substances. Consuming maple syrup which is high in antioxidant especially zinc, can help the body to build strong immune system and prevent diseases.
9. Protects the heart
Heart disease is a silent killer. Its the leading cause of mortality around the world. Pure maple syrup contains some amount of zinc and potassium which are important to keep your heart healthy. Potassium is known as essential mineral that can keep normal heartbeat while zinc can protect the heart muscle and blood vessel.
10. Improve reproduction function
Maple syrup supports the healthy reproduction system, especially in men. It is known that zinc is one of mineral which is important in keeping healthy prostate. Lack of zinc may even cause prostate cancer. Maple syrup contains some amount of zinc that can keep the zinc level in the prostate normal. Maple syrup also contains manganese which participates in the production of the sex hormones.