Right up there with Poutine and Ketchup chips is Maple Syrup for things that are truly Canadian. While some of the upper states produce this delicious sweet nectar, Canadians look forward to the spring thaw for the ability to collect and create this delicious commodity that serves as a significant income source for some areas.
Whether you love to top your breakfast or bake something delicious, it may be time to trade in refined sugar and corn syrup for this natural sugar, because the health benefits are too good to ignore.
1. It contains antioxidants.
In a study comparing the antioxidant capacity of natural sweeteners, pure maple syrup is shown to have intermediate antioxidant capacity, where as white refined sugar, corn syrup and agave syrup all show minimal antioxidant activity.
2. It contains manganese.
With soil mineral loss as a result of high tech farming, it has become harder for us to obtain this important mineral. Manganese is vital for our enzymatic systems to carry out energy production, bone formation and protein metabolism.
3. Fights inflammatory diseases.
Maple syrup provides polyphenol antioxidants which helps to reduce inflammation. Regularly consuming maple syrup can be considered part of a healthy diet to help prevent certain diseases like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or heart disease.
4. Healthier alternative to artificial sweeteners.
The natural sweet taste of maple syrup will curb your desire for a treat without the risk of the health concerns associated with typical artificial sweeteners or refined sugar products. Common sweeteners like suralose, agave, aspartame and sugar have been linked to health problems such as weight gain, fatigue, anxiety and more.
5. Lower sugar content.
Refined sugars are known for rapidly being metabolized by the liver, which causes the sugar high and crash that we all dread. While maple syrup is still high in sugar it gets a lower score on the Glycemic Index.
Maple sap can only be collected at the end of winter/beginning of spring. It takes about 40 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.
The province of Quebec alone, produces 2/3 of the world's maple syrup. It's no surprise the authentic maple syrup can be pretty pricey.
Be sure when you are buying your maple syrup that you aren't taking home an impostor. Many maple syrups sold in stores are maple flavored sugars that are highly refined. Carefully check the labels on the bottle to ensure you are buying the real deal!
I have already swapped out maple syrup in my coffee instead of refined sugar. Will you be making any changes?