Three cheers for canadian-made maple syrup. It has reached superfood status, is rich in minerals and is the lower calorie option for natural sweetness. Here’s the lowdown:
Scientists from the University of Rhode Island have discovered Canadian maple syrup may have similar health benefits of superfoods, like berries, tea, red wine and flax seeds.The researchers found 54 compounds in the sweet stuff, five unique to maple syrup and many of these compounds have antioxidant properties, which act as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents.
Quebecol: A polyphenol specific to maple
Among the five new compounds, one polyphenol is of particular interest, Quebecol, in honor of the province of Quebec, this compound is created during the process of boiling down maple sap into maple syrup. We do know that the sheer quantity and variety of identified compounds with documented health benefits qualifies maple syrup as a superfood Journal of Functional Foods.
Food that undergoes little to no processing provides greater health benefits. 100% pure maple syrup is a natural, non-refined product, which gives it an edge over other sweetening agents.
Lower calorie sweetener
Maple is considered the best sweetener compared to white sugar and honey as it contains the least calories. Maple syrup has 202 Calories per ¼ cup serving, where as corn syrup has 246, and honey 260.
Maple syrup, compared to refined sugars, is the easiest for our metabolism to digest. The natural sugar is produced during the growing season by photosynthesis and stored as starch in the inner bark. With the spring thaw, enzymes change this starch into sugar which mixes with water absorbed through the roots, imparting a slightly sweet taste.
Rich in Minerals
Maple syrup is rich in essential minerals: 1/4 cup maple syrup covers 100% of our daily needs of Manganese, an important mineral for bone formation that also acts as antioxidant. This same amount also contributes to 37% of our daily needs in Riboflavin, 18% in Zinc, 7% in Magnesium and 5% in Calcium and Potassium. Interestingly, No.3 Dark, or D Grade has the highest mineral content.