Maple syrup- the new superfood?
Welcome to the super food team, Maple Syrup.
Many of us have used syrup for years in our coffee and as a sweetener in our baking, but science is now showing maple syrup (made by boiling sap from the maple tree) to be high in antioxidants that boost the immune system and compounds that could, “help manage Type 2 diabetes, as well as acting as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents.”, according to the Daily Mail.
Identifying 54 compounds, which is twice as many as they previously thought- including 5 that are unique to maple syrup- some of their polyphenol compounds are found to inhibit enzymes that convert carbohydrates to sugars.
From Global Healing Center:
“Polyphenol is a generic term for the several thousand plant-based molecules that have antioxidant properties. The health benefits of antioxidants are well known and polyphenols are also helpful for regulating enzyme function and stimulating cell receptors. Polyphenols are divided into four primary groups: phenolic acids, lignans, stilbenes, and flavonoids.”
Even further, the compounds that precent the oxidation and aging of a body’s cells aren’t found in other natural sweeteners like maple syrup. Dr. Navindra Seeram, who led the research at the University of Rhode Island, explained the science behind his team’s findings, saying: ‘We found a wide variety of polyphenols in maple syrup. We discovered that the polyphenols in maple syrup inhibit enzymes that are involved in the conversion of carbohydrate to sugar. In fact, in preliminary studies, maple syrup had a greater enzyme-inhibiting effect compared to several other healthy plant foods such as berries.’
Does that mean you should cover any carbs you want to chow down on, in syrup? No. Everything in moderation. However, it does mean that you should feel free to continue to, or start to, use it and enjoy its light and sweet flavor. Can’t you just imagine your next stack of flax seed/gluten free, Saturday morning pancakes covered in lovely amber maple syrup? I know I can!
I’ve also used it during the Master Cleanse diet back in the days of living in California. It’s a perfect natural sweetener for Vegans too!