Do all of you have a sweet tooth? Then it's inevitable that you don't know about maple syrup. Natural maple syrup can be considered one of the best naturally made sweeteners available, and we do not have many things that are as sweet and natural as maple syrup.
Maple syrup is usually derived from the xylem sap of sugar maple and red/black maple trees. These trees usually grow in cold climates, and they are known to store starch in their roots and trunks before winter arrives.
Maple syrup is usually produced in some areas of North America, some parts of Canada, the East Coast, and the Midwest. It is one of the most popular and highly used sweeteners in the states. It is used as a condiment for famous cuisines like waffles, porridge, oatmeal, and pancakes.
History of Maple Syrup
We are the not only ones who love the lip-smacking taste of maple syrup. The first humans known to produce maple syrup were the indigenous people of northeastern North America hundreds of years ago, and these native Americans also made maple sugar.
These people first collected this syrup and then introduced it to the early settlers of Europe. The Europeans then figured out ways to improve the quality through specific methods.
Although we have no authenticated evidence of how its consumption and production began, different legends tell different stories about it.
Some say that the maple sap was used instead of water to cook a dish for some chief. Some believe that these indigenous tribes developed certain rituals about sugar-making. They celebrated festivals like "Sugar -Moon" with a maple dance.
How is Maple Syrup Made?
So, now you will be thinking about how is this delicious syrup made? Of course, we know!!
With certain advancements in technology, the manufacturing process of maple syrup has undergone a few changes over the years. The core or the primary function of extracting and making maple syrup is almost the same as centuries ago.
The process involves these steps.
- A hole is made in the maple tree to extract the sap into a container.
- The sap is then boiled till most of the water is evaporated. This leaves us with a thick, sugary syrup.
- This thick syrup is then processed using advanced technologies to remove the impurities.
And that's it. Mouthwatering maple syrup is ready.
These maple trees are usually tapped between 30 to 40 years of age. Generally, close to one and three taps are made into trees depending upon the size of the trunk. On average, a maple tree produces around 35 to 50 liters of sap every season.
Maple Syrup Nutrition Information
Of course, all of us know how delicious maple syrup tastes. But what about the nutritional information? It is one of the sweetest naturally available substances we have, and we should not be surprised that it is a high-calorie food.
On average, 100 grams of maple syrup contains 66 grams of sugar. Let us find out what else this has:
- Per 100 Gm of Serving - Maple Syrup
- Energy (calories) - 252
- Fat (gm) - Zero
- Sodium (mg) -12
- Carbs(gm) - 66
- Protein (gm) - Zero
- Potassium(mg) - 200
- Calcium (mg) - 70
- Magnesium (mg) - 20
- Phenolic compounds(mg) - 1
Health Benefits of Maple Syrup :
As we can see, maple syrup is rich in natural minerals like Potassium, Carbs, and Calcium. Let us discuss some of the surprising health benefits of maple syrup.
Rich in Antioxidants
Natural maple syrup contains around twenty-four antioxidants. Also, it has different other compounds that help in promoting overall health. Maple syrup includes elements like benzoic acid, which is vital for healthy skin), and it contains gallic acid, which helps prevent gastrointestinal, metabolic, cardiovascular, and neuropsychological disorders.
Besides this, the amber-brown colored liquid also contains powerful flavonols. These include catechin, which helps in cell damage; epicatechin, which helps in reducing blood glucose levels; and rutin, which comes in handy in preventing blood clots and high cholesterol.
Boosts Energy Levels
Pure and natural maple syrup is a phenomenal energy source, in case you are low. The sweet syrup aids the body in producing fatty acids—this helps boost the body's energy reserves.
Maple syrup is a rich source of manganese, a trace mineral and vital in energy production inside the body. So, next time you feel down on energy, don't forget to take a tablespoon of maple syrup.
Boosts your Libido
Natural maple syrup is wonderfully rich in zinc too. Zinc is an exceptional mineral and plays a vital role in men's reproductive health. Also, it helps to prevent prostate enlargement.
When combined with manganese, this rich amount of zinc becomes an essential contributor to the sexual health of both men and women, and it helps in the production of sex hormones for both genders.
Naturally-made maple syrup is potent enough to get relief from inflammation, redness, pimples, and blemishes on your skin. Just like honey, specific varieties of maple syrup can also be applied directly to your skin.
Mix some maple syrup with raw milk, put some rolled oats into it, and add some raw honey. You have a soothing and natural skin mask ready to cure bacterial inflammation and prevent irritation.
Low Score on Glycemic Index
The glycemic index of naturally made maple syrup is around fifty-four, and when compared with refined white sugar, it is tremendously low. This lower glycemic index score shows that your body metabolizes pure maple syrup at a significantly lower rate in the liver than other available sweeteners.
This means that using good-quality maple syrup will not spike your blood sugar levels. Also, it helps in keeping you satiated for more extended periods, and it also doesn't cause a lower insulin response when consumed in the long run.
May Help Against Cancer
Using sugar for a long time can cause cancer or contribute to it. But maple syrup is a comparatively less harmful sweetener.
This is possible because maple syrup is rich in antioxidants. This means that having maple syrup will protect your body cells against any DNA mutation or damage.
Using white maple syrup alone would not directly lower the cancer risk. But it is a much safer option for incorporating high levels of refined sugar into your diet.
So, the next time you want to use any artificial sweetener or refined sugar in your diet, please consider having fresh maple syrup instead.
Provides essential Vitamins and Minerals
Maple syrup has high contents of zinc and manganese. Also, it is rich in essential nutrients like potassium and calcium.
Zinc helps build immunity and fight illness by keeping your white blood cell level up. Manganese is vital for carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body.
Potassium helps regulate fluid balance, nerve signals, and water retention in the body. Also, it reduces blood pressure. Calcium is necessary for the good teeth and bone health of the body.
So, the next time you have maple syrup. Feel good, and remember that you give your body the nutrients it needs.
Maple syrup contains polyphenol and hence prevents inflammatory diseases. You can keep at bay the ailments like inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and other cardiovascular disorders, by including maple syrup in your diet.
The plant-based compounds found in maple syrup help in reducing oxidative stress. This stress is responsible for aging us faster, and it weakens our immune system.
That is why it is recommended to make maple syrup part of your healthy diet, especially if you are suffering from or are prone to any of these disorders.
Is Maple Syrup a better alternative to sugar?
A big question that arises in our minds daily is substituting sugar with maple syrup. Of all the sweeteners available today, maple syrup contains the most nutrients. Also, it becomes even healthier due to its low glycemic index score than sugar.
As Maple syrup tends to be sweeter than table sugar, you would also tend to use it a bit less than your regular table sugar. But as with everything, moderation is the key here.
All in all, we can say that maple syrup is a better alternative to table sugar because of its minerals and nutrients. But it is still high in sugar, and all sugar in your body is converted into glucose before going into the blood.
So, using maple syrup in high quantities is not recommended, but you can substitute it for refined sugar to do some damage control.
How to identify real maple syrup?
The market is replete with companies that are selling fake maple syrups. So, how can you identify the real maple syrup? Don't worry; we have it sorted for you.
A significant thing to consider while buying original maple syrup is the cost. Natural maple sap is not cheap and requires effort, processing, and precision to make.
Fake maple syrups are available in the market with a price tag of around $4 for a small bottle. At the same time, real maple syrup will cost you no less than $8 for a twelve-and-a-half-ounce bottle. So, don't fall into the trap of buying cheap and fake maple syrup for the price.
Another important thing is the appearance and texture of the maple syrup. The real maple syrup comes in a variety of colors, like amber or golden, while fake ones come in only one hue.
Also, the texture of real maple syrup is much thinner than that of fake maple syrups.
So, keep these things in mind to buy the original maple syrup, and don't waste your money on fake products.
5 Best Recipes that can be made using Maple Syrup
We all know the mouthwatering taste, flavor, and smell of pure maple syrup. Here is a list of some lip-smacking dishes that can be made using it.
- French toast stuffed with fruits & Maple Syrup
- Pancakes with a topping of maple syrup and cinnamon flavor
- Roast chicken breasts and maple syrup vinaigrette
- Sticky maple roots
- Granola baked with maple syrup
Make these recipes for a delicious and healthy eating experience.
Is it wrong to eat maple syrup every day?
Of course, maple syrup is a better alternative to table sugar that we frequently use in our daily lives. But it still has a very high sugar content. So, eating maple syrup in high quantities or every day is not recommended.
It has many health benefits and consists of many essential nutrients and minerals. But a high use of it can lead to high glucose levels in the body, which can cause severe damage to your mental and physical health.
Which is healthier, honey or maple syrup?
Honey and maple syrup have been a long debate among health-conscious people. Like maple syrup, honey is also high in antioxidants and other energy-enhancing minerals.
A single teaspoon of honey has 17.3 gms of sugar and 64 calories. At the same time, a single teaspoon of maple syrup contains 13.5 grams of sugar and 52 calories.
So, all in all, for keeping sugar content low and to have better energy levels, maple syrup is a better option.
Is Maple syrup a superfood?
Yes, pure maple syrup is a superfood, and the reason for this is that it is plant-based and delicious.
Of all the natural sweeteners available, it has the least sugar content and the highest value of nutrients and minerals.
It protects us from fatal diseases like cancer, improves sexual health, strengthens the bones, and has many other health benefits.
Scientists are researching more benefits that maple syrup may have. And for now, we can say that it indeed is a superfood.