Most of us consume a lot of sugar in the foods that we eat. As a matter of fact, some of us consume even more than what their body actually needs. That having said, the maple syrup is one of the sweeteners that you must use in moderation. Don’t worry, the maple syrup could be a good help for you. As a matter of fact, it can be a good substitute for cane sugar when you use it in moderation. There are lots of health benefits of maple syrup as well. This includes its ability to reduce or lower the inflammation, supply essential nutrients, as well as the better management of the blood sugar.
The same as the disparity between the refined and whole grains, the unrefined sweeteners like the maple syrup possess much higher levels of essential nutrients, phytochemicals, and antioxidants than the white sugar.
Maple Syrup: Defined
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The maple syrup is actually on one of the ancient forms of sweeteners available in this world. It was first used by various indigenous people before introducing to the early settlers in Europe. These settlers are the ones who figured out the ways on how to rapidly improve the technology necessary to gather more information.
Due to its natural method of harvesting and its history being a sweetener and healer, many people choose the maple syrup as their choice for a sweetener. Even those who are into the paleo diet, they opt for maple syrup than the usual refined sugar.
The maple syrup has been in use for over centuries. As a matter of fact, long before the European settlers even reach America, the sap from certain maple trees have already been processed into syrup. Furthermore, the Native Americans had their own theory on the impact of the nutrition of maple syrup even before.
Maple syrup has a cultural significance to lots and lots of aboriginal tribes. In fact, they celebrate the Sugar Moon or the first full moon of the spring season with the Maple Dance. They believe that the maple syrup is their source of energy and nutrition.
Maple Syrup: How is it made?
In all plants, there is a kind of sugar, which is naturally present. As a matter of fact, the main sugar of the plant is the product of photosynthesis. The sucrose is the most predominant kind of sugar available in the maple syrup.
The sugar that comes from the plants is used as a good source of energy, essential for the growth. It is also stored all over the plant, commonly in the roots. In most of the plants, sugar is not easily taken out from the plant without going through chemical and mechanical processes. Nevertheless, in the case of the maple tree, it is easy to gather the sap or the syrup.
The sugar that is made by the leaves of the maple tree throughout summer is actually stored as a starch in the roots. During the winter, harvesters insert ‘taps’ in the trees. After drilling the taphole, a spout with a bucket and tube or hook is put.
When the spring season comes, the temperature gets warmer and warmer. A pattern of thawing and freezing builds up the pressure in the trees. This may cause the sap to flow from the tap holes in the buckets. The buckets with sap are being collected using the hand and put in a large container where they evaporate some of the water to produce much richer maple syrup. That’s it, the process of making maple syrup is very simple. Usually, the sugaring season may last for about 4 to 6 weeks.
Nutritional Value of Maple Syrup
One tablespoon of the maple syrup may approximately contain:
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Health Benefits of Maple Syrup
Here are some of the most fascinating health benefits of maple syrup:
- Helps in protecting the skin health. The maple syrup may help in lowering the skin inflammation, dryness, blemishes, and redness. When you combine maple syrup with raw yogurt or milk and put it in your face, it will hydrate your skin while reducing bacteria and skin irritation.
- May help in protecting against cancer. Evidence shows that various degree of sugar may cause some kind of cancer or contribute to the onset of it. But, the maple syrup is far way different. It has rich antioxidant properties, which is beneficial for giving protection against the condition. This is one of the best health benefits of maple syrup.
- Helps in fighting inflammatory conditions. The polyphenol antioxidants in the maple syrup is a great part for the healthy diet. This is beneficial in preventing various diseases like heart illnesses, an inflammatory bowel condition, and arthritis.
- Has a low glycemic index score. Even though it is still high in sugar, the maple syrup is lower in glycemic index than the refined sugars.
- Possesses antioxidant properties. There are about 24 antioxidant compounds in the raw maple syrup. This is beneficial in protecting against the harmful effect of free radicals, and various chronic conditions.