Health benefits of maple syrup include healthy heart and healthy immune system. It has antioxidant properties which protects our body from free radicals.
There are several natural sweeteners that are preferred for use instead of the chemically prepared sugar that is common in most homes. There are those who prefer using honey instead of any other natural products of the same products. But it is considered to be a better option given the low calorie count as compared to honey.
Common uses of maple syrup
The use of maple syrup is common and is incorporated in different meals and again it is also considered as a key cooking ingredient for some food items. This syrup adds flavor to sausages, ice cream, different types of fritters and fresh fruit among others. It can also be traced in pancakes where it is used as toppings, French toast and waffles which are common delicacies in some States in America. Due to its flavor and sweetness it can be used as a sweetener that is used in baked beans, cakes, breads and granola among others. Some wine manufacturers also consider using it in the wine making process instead of honey
How to prepare maple syrup
The Native Americans are said to have discovered that sap from maple tree could be processed to make maple syrup. Maple syrup is prepared from using the sap of sugar, maple tree. The preparation involves a tapping or piercing of tree to obtain sap. These trees accumulate starch in their roots and trunks especially in the period that precedes winter. The long accumulation of this starch makes it easy for it to convert from its original state to sugar. During the spring season the sugar rises and mixes with water to form maple that is ready for collection or harvesting. Since the sap contains high water ratio it has to undergo processing in order for the water to evaporate leaving behind the concentrated or thick syrup. This final product is arrived at through heating process. This entire process does not involve the use of any chemical additives, preservatives or agents.
So far Canada is the largest producer of maple syrup followed by the United States. The main advantage is that one does not necessarily have to reside in these areas in order to buy this syrup. It is stocked in uncountable stores all over the world.
Select and store- Maple syrup
Maple syrup is easily available in stores all over the world. Store maple syrup at a cool place before opening and after opening it can be kept in the refrigerator. Discard the maple syrup if you see any mold in the syrup.
Nutritional value- Maple syrup
The nutrients found in maple syrup include energy, water, protein, fat, carbohydrate and sugars. Amongst minerals it contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium and zinc. Vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6 are also found in maple syrup.
The various health benefits of maple syrup can be attributed to the presence of various vitamins and minerals that are present in it.
Health benefits of maple syrup
Antioxidants: Maple syrup has antioxidant properties which are quintessential for healthy living. Antioxidants are important for the body as they neutralize free radicals which may cause various health ailments. . Mitochondria are one of the cells that are responsible for energy production and during this process free radicals get produced within the mitochondria. . This function requires enzymes which are prone to damage or harm by other microorganisms in the body. It is the function of the manganese mineral that is present in the maple syrup to supply the superoxide dismutase which is an oxidative enzyme. This enzyme helps in disarming of free radicals that is produced by the mitochondria when performing its functions.
Healthy heart: Health benefits of maple syrup include healthy heart. It is one of the body organs that are susceptible to different kinds of diseases such as stroke, atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular medical conditions. The presence of zinc in the body is one of the best ways that has been proven to protect the heart against such diseases. Maple syrup contains zinc and its consumption may protect and prevent against the various cardiovascular disorders. Zinc also enhances the performance of the endothelial cells by protecting them against damage due to existence of excess cholesterol together with other oxidized lipids. The blood vessels comprises of different components among the endothelial cells which forms the inner lining of these vessels. Low level of zinc exposes the linings to injuries which in return affects the normal operations of the heart.
Men’s Health: Consumption of maple syrup may also help in maintaining men’s health. There are certain minerals such as zinc found in maple syrup which are useful for healthy reproductive system and particularly prostate gland. Reduction in the levels of the minerals increases risk of disorders such as prostate cancer. This is why it is advisable for men to always strive to consume foods that contain the right amount of this mineral. Maple syrup is one of such foods that are easy to acquire, readily available and enjoyable as well
Immune system: Studies carried over years have confirmed the importance of the presence of zinc and manganese in the body. Lack of these minerals could easily lead to reduction in the number of white blood cells that affects the response of the immune system. Supplementing these minerals is the only way known to restore their levels to the right state. Maple syrup is a good source of zinc and magnesium which both play a key role in strengthening the immune system.
Quick serving ideas:
Sweetener: Use maple syrup as a sweetener for tea or coffee.
Sweet toast: Toast wheat breads and place cut fruits such as banana and apple. Sprinkle cinnamon powder and drizzle some syrup on it.