How Sweet It Is

As I was driving about on Friday, I heard a report that maple syrup has health benefits. It sounded too good to be true, so I decided to verify the claim.

First, the disclaimer. Maple syrup is still sugar, so it falls in the same category as cane syrup, corn syrup, and honey. It does however have more nutrients than the others. And the number of nutrients just got bigger.

The findings come from a study conducted for the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers and the Canadian maple syrup industry. A professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Rhode Island discovered thirteen new compounds in maple syrup during the two year study.

Dr. Navindra Seeram discovered compounds that could help fight cancer, bacterial infections and diabetes. It seems counterintuitive that sugar could combat diabetes but that‘s what the report said. His explanation about the sap’s being close the bark and therefore exposed to the sun doesn’t make much sense. Guess we’ll have to wait till August for the full results. In the meantime, pass the syrup, please.

Earlier studies have listed certain benefits because the pure syrup contains trace minerals that promote health. According to WHFoods, the first of the three main minerals is manganese, which fights free radicals in our bodies, and promotes bone health and helps maintain blood sugar levels. Of course I’d probably choose to get this mineral from brown rice or romaine lettuce instead of maple syrup.

Zinc makes less of an appearance but is still significant. Many claims have been made over the years about the benefits of this mineral, but there seems to be general agreement now that it will help maintain a healthy immune system and help keep blood sugar balance. Other sources of zinc are calf’s liver, beef tenderloin, lamb and venison. Pass the syrup, please. But I do get it from sesame seeds and yogurt.

And the third is calcium. As one who is on the warpath against osteoporosis, I’ll eat this one wherever I find it. So, pass the syrup, again, please.

I don’t like syrup on pancakes but I put a bit on yogurt or on a rice cake. The challenge in the latter case is to eat it quick before the syrup leaks through.

The sad part is that the maple run was terrible this year. We did not have the warm days, cold night cycle long enough to really get the sap running. Instead we had cold and snow and then warm. The crop is awful, so please pass a small amount of the very expensive syrup.


One Response to “How Sweet It Is”

  1. Maple Fest « Lizr128′s Blog Says:

    […] didn’t attend the fest last year but it wasn’t great, either (See “How Sweet It Is”) because we went from freezing to hot. Maple trees need daytime temps in the 40s and nights […]

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