You have enjoyed this on top of your waffles, smoothies, oatmeal and pancakes - now maple is making all the right noises in the health and nutrition circuit too. Gold, luscious and ever-so delightful, maple syrup is a liquid which is typically extracted from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees that grow in cold regions. These maple species store starch in their trunks and roots before winter. By late winter or spring, the starch is converted into sugar before rising to the sap. The syrup is then collected from the sap by drilling holes in the trunks.
Legends say that it was somewhere in North America that maple syrup and maple sugar were first procured. It was much later that the Europeans arrived and fell for the delightful syrup. They refined and simplified the process of extracting maple syrup further and made it a global sensation.
In the world of nutrition maple syrup is hailed as one of the best alternatives to refined and fattening sugar. But there is much more to this syrup that makes it a must have in your kitchen.
1. Maple Syrup Is Good For Men's Health
Here are 6 Maple syrup benefits you may not have known:
Maple syrup is abundantly loaded with zinc. According to the book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing, zinc plays a significant role in supporting men's reproductive health and protects against prostate enlargement. "It's abundant manganese levels also help in production of sex hormones in both men and women."
2. Maple Syrup Helps Boost EnergyThe manganese content in maple syrup helps boost energy production and synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. It is said that just 1/4th cup of maple syrup could fulfil 90-100 percent of your daily requirement of manganese.
3. It Compliments Heart HealthThe natural sweetener does not pose a severe threat to your heart either, as opposed to the refined and processed varieties available in market. Maple syrup has decent quantum of zinc. This mineral helps protect artery walls from free radical damage, and prevents arteries from hardening. The manganese content in maple syrup also helps boost good cholesterol levels in the blood.
4. Maple Syrup Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Maple syrup may help ensure better blood sugar control. Now that does not mean you finish off the jar in two days! But it may prove to be a healthier switch. According to 'Healing Foods', "its antioxidant polephenols, combined with its plant hormone, abscisic acid, have been shown to improve the body's sensitivity to the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin."(Also Read: How To Control Diabetes Naturally: 5 Remedies To Manage Your Sugar Levels)
5. Loaded With AntioxidantsTurns out that maple syrup is not just another sugar alternative but a very healthy food too, "It has around 56 vital antioxidants", says Bangalore-based nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood. Several studies have also claimed that maple syrup has good amounts of antioxidant polyphenols which have strong anticancer properties.
6. Ideal For SummersMaple syrup could help replenish your body with vital nutrients and antioxidants this summer. According to Bangalore based nutritionist Dr.Anju Sood, "One of the biggest challenges in summers is of dehydration. Many people don't understand what dehydration really is. Dehydration is not just the loss of fluid, but a state when you are depleted of many other vital nutrients too. Maple syrup, in my view could help you hydrate very well. Swap refined sugar with maple syrup, add it to your glass of nimbu paani, and hydrate and revitalise your system. Sugar tends to dehydrate you of all essential nutrients, which is why maple syrup is such an ideal bet. Make sure the maple syrup you use is pure. It's extensive range of antioxidants would help replenish your body with several lost nutrients and minerals"(Also Read: 10 Amazing Summer Foods for Kids to Keep Them Energetic)
Top your healthy pancakes, smoothie and drinks with maple syrup and see how just a dash of it could lift your sweet and savoury dishes to new heights of flavour.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.