You’ve probably used it numerous times as your go-to topping on pancakes or waffles. However, if you’re not aware of all of the potential health benefits of maple syrup, you’re in for a real treat.
Besides being an excellent condiment for both sweet and savoury foods, maple syrup can fight inflammation, boost your energy, and alleviate many diseases. So, can substituting this popular natural sweetener for table sugar actually be good for you?
Let’s find out!
Benefits of Maple Syrup
What is maple syrup, and what makes it so unique? Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees. This sugary sap is boiled and filtered in the spring season after long accumulation.
When it comes to the benefits of pure maple syrup, Indigenous communities in North America have used it for centuries to fight infections.
This “golden liquid” contains minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, and manganese. To be more precise, a quarter-cup of maple syrup has:
- 100% of the daily value of manganese
- 37% of the daily value of riboflavin
- 18% of the daily value of zinc
Now, let’s get into more detail about its many benefits.
Health Benefits of Maple Syrup
To get the most health benefits, make sure to purchase pure maple syrup. In the following section, you’ll discover that this condiment enhances the flavour of your food, but it can also enrich your life.
So, what are the health benefits of maple syrup exactly?
First, it has anti-inflammatory properties because pure maple syrup contains a compound called quebecol.
It can help with conditions like psoriasis, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as reduce oxidative stress and neutralize free radicals in your body.
Among the many pros of maple syrup, the most important one is that it can potentially prevent tumour growth. In fact, the University of Rhode Island conducted a study that suggests quebecol can potentially be used as a cancer prevention drug.
Source of Essential Minerals
Maple syrup is rich in minerals. It contains manganese, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and iron.
By making maple syrup part of your regular diet, you’ll receive the recommended daily intake of these minerals that are vital for metabolism, bone health, and nerve function.
Additionally, maple syrup contains vitamins B2, B5, B6, biotin, niacin, and folic acid.
Health Benefits of Real Maple Syrup While Taking Antibiotics
Although helpful in treating many disorders, antibiotics can also cause damage to our bodies by attacking healthy cells. Moreover, if overused, they can create “superbugs.”
So, how can this syrup help? Scientists have been working on a maple syrup extract that enhances antibiotic action. That means you’ll need to take fewer antibiotics if taken along with the extract.
Benefits of Real Maple Syrup for Men’s Reproductive Health
Maple syrup is excellent in supporting men’s reproductive health. Thanks to its zinc content, it can help with balancing hormones while boosting fertility. On top of that, maple syrup is said to even protect against the enlargement of the prostate.
Boosting Good Cholesterol Levels in the Blood
Zinc is a mineral that also protects artery walls from free radical damage and keeps your white blood cells at optimal levels. At the same time, manganese boosts good cholesterol levels in the blood.
Plus, maple syrup boasts antioxidant properties. In other words, it can decrease the progression of atherosclerosis (the buildup of fats and cholesterol on the artery walls). Owing to its total antioxidant content, this syrup will also help you have a healthier heart.
Health Benefits of Maple Syrup for Digestion
Maple syrup contains inulin, a starchy substance found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Inulin offers many digestive benefits. For example, it can reduce discomfort and help with constipation, also potentially lowering glucose and insulin levels after meals.
Since artificial sweeteners often cause digestive tract problems (cramps, gas, bloating, constipation), you can use maple syrup for baked goods or smoothies.
Maple Syrup Benefits for Hair
Maple syrup is also known for its natural humectant properties as a moisturizing agent. Therefore, because it can help your hair stay hydrated, many hair masks include maple syrup.
What’s best is that you can easily make one at home. Just pour five tablespoons of maple syrup onto your hair while it’s wet. Then, massage the scalp and add coconut or almond oil. Let the mixture soak in for 10–15 minutes and wash your hair. You can use this trick once or twice a week.
Benefits of Maple Syrup for Skin
Some studies suggest that red maple leaf extract can prevent wrinkles and inflammation, lighten dark spots, and protect the skin’s elasticity. Applying maple syrup extract directly to the skin can also help treat skin redness and dryness.
Here are some DIY recipes you can try out.
To make a maple syrup face mask, you’ll need:
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp jojoba oil or aloe vera juice
Apply the mixture to your face and let it sit for 10–15 minutes to reap all the benefits of maple syrup. Then, wash your face with cold water.
For skin prone to acne, you need to apply this thick syrup directly to acne spots. Let it absorb into the skin for 10 minutes, and wash your face with warm water.
For a body and facial scrub, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp milk or yogurt
- 3 tbsp dry oats
Mix the ingredients and apply the mixture to your body or face. Wait for 10–15 minutes and wash with warm water. To get the best results, use these techniques once a week.
Nutritional Value of Maple Syrup
According to the USDA, 1/4 cup serving of maple syrup contains:
- 216 calories
- 0.05 g fat
- 10 mg sodium
- 55.6 g carbohydrates
- 0 g fibre
- 50.2 g sugars
- 0.03 g protein
In terms of the nutritional value of pure maple syrup, we mustn’t forget vitamins and minerals. Nutrition facts for one serving of maple syrup are as follows:
- 2.41 mg of the micronutrient
- 1.05 mg riboflavin
- 22 mg zinc
- Calcium (6% of the daily value)
- Magnesium (4.1% of the daily value)
- RDI Potassium (3.7%).
We also feel it’s worth mentioning that the grades you see on syrup bottles have nothing to do with the nutritional value of real maple syrup. They only determine its flavour and colour.
- Grade A Golden, delicate taste
- Grade A Amber, rich taste
- Grade A Dark, robust taste
- Grade A Very dark, strong taste
What Are the Health Benefits of Using Maple Syrup Instead of Sugar
When comparing the health benefits of maple syrup to sugar, we can conclude that maple syrup is less processed and no chemical additives are used when various types of syrup undergo processing. Furthermore, it contains more antioxidants and minerals and has a lower glycemic index. In order to understand the main difference between the two, let’s make a comparison:
- A tablespoon of sugar has a glycemic index (GI) of 65, while maple syrup is 54.2.
- A tablespoon of sugar contains 48.9 calories, while maple syrup contains 52 calories.
- A tablespoon of sugar contains 12.6 grams of carbohydrates, while maple syrup contains 13.4 grams of carbohydrates.
- A tablespoon of sugar contains 12.6 grams of sugar, while maple syrup contains 12.1 grams of sugar.
Another benefit of taking maple syrup is getting to enjoy its taste. Namely, maple syrup is sweeter than refined sugar, which means you don’t need to use as much of it. As such, it might even lead to weight loss.
Many athletes consume pure maple syrup before a workout. That’s because the syrup’s ingredients, like zinc and manganese, play a crucial role in muscle recovery. Plus, consuming maple syrup before exercising can protect the cells from oxidative damage.
Health Benefits of Maple Syrup vs. Honey
Raw honey alleviates many health conditions, and like maple syrup, it has been used as a remedy for centuries. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties and can reduce infections, thus boosting the immune system. Additionally, honey is also a good source of beneficial antioxidants.
However, one tablespoon contains 17 grams of sugar and 64 calories. In contrast, the same amount of maple syrup contains only 12.1 g of sugar and 52 calories. Therefore, maple syrup could be a slightly better option than honey.
How Much Maple Syrup to Consume for Health Benefits
Following the World Health Organization’s recommendations, you should consume about two tbsp of maple syrup daily (37.5 ml).
While maple syrup is a better option than refined white sugar, you should still be careful not to overdo it. Because for every 100 grams of maple syrup you eat, you’re still getting 60 grams of sugar — which is more than the recommended amount.
Maple Syrup Pros and Cons
Should you consider introducing this delicious syrup into your diet, choose only the best maple syrup brands. Now, let’s take a look at its advantages and disadvantages.
- It’s gluten-free.
- Maple syrup is not a common allergen.
- It’s a vegan product.
- It has a low water footprint (the amount of water used for production).
- It boasts anti-inflammatory properties (one of the most important nutritional and health benefits of maple syrup).
- Maple syrup can temporarily increase energy levels.
- It can potentially prevent tumour growth.
- Maple Syrup is rich in minerals.
- It can improve the effectiveness of antibiotics.
- It protects against prostate enlargement.
- Maple syrup can decrease the progression of atherosclerosis.
- It has natural humectant properties. It helps dry hair stay hydrated.
- Red maple leaf extract can prevent wrinkles and inflammation.
- Maple syrup is an excellent alternative to sugar.
As you can see, there are many benefits of maple syrup. However, you still need to be aware that it contains a high amount of sugar and consuming it in large doses can cause health issues and side effects.
- When consumed excessively, maple syrup can increase the risk of diabetes.
- Insulin levels sometimes oscillate and blood sugar rises after consuming maple syrup.
- It can cause tooth decay and diabetes complications.
From keeping your hair hydrated to making your pancakes tasty and protecting your body from inflammation, maple syrup does it all.
This natural treat obtained from the maple tree is an excellent alternative to other natural sweeteners. Although it contains sugars and calories, it also has beneficial substances. Moreover, it’s a gluten-free and vegan product that rarely causes allergies.
However, please remember to consume maple syrup in moderation, as too much sugar can cause health problems.
What are the health benefits of organic maple syrup?
Maple syrup offers many health benefits when consumed correctly. For example, it has anti-inflammatory properties, helping you fight conditions such as arthritis and psoriasis.
Plus, it can boost your energy, is an antioxidant, and also provides hydration, to name a few more. However, please feel free to review this guide to learn about more health benefits of organic maple syrup.
What are the benefits of the maple syrup diet?
The maple syrup diet, also known as the lemon detox diet, was created in 1941 by Stanley Burroughs. It can help our bodies become energized and clean of toxins, as well as stay in good health. And, let’s not forget that you might lose a kilo or two.
The diet became popular in 2004 and was promoted by Beyonce, who used it to lose weight for her role in the movie Dreamgirls. Its main ingredients include lemon juice, maple syrup (Grade A Dark, robust), cayenne pepper, and filtered water.
However, to attain maximum results with this diet, you need to follow the instructions carefully. This healthy diet should last for three to 10 days. Once completed, you must wait for 60 days before starting again.
What are the benefits of pure maple syrup for Parkinson’s?
According to some studies, maple syrup could potentially protect our brains from degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. How? Scientists discovered that it prevents beta-amyloid from sticking together in the brain.
Why is this important? When beta-amyloid clumps together, it forms plaques that can cause brain inflammation leading to Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
However, it’s necessary to warn you that consuming large amounts of sugar can increase one’s chances of suffering from chronic (diabetes) or neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s).
Therefore, if you want to reap the benefits of maple syrup, make sure you use it moderately.