After a long, hard week, nothing’s better than a breakfast of fluffy pancakes showered in maple syrup, a big, steaming mug of coffee, and some fresh berries. However, while many people don’t know this, that sweet golden syrup’s heavenly flavor is not the only reason to pour it on – maple syrup actually has a variety of health benefits that make it one of the best foods you can put in your body.
Of course, not all syrups are created equal. If you’re using sugar-free or lower-sugar syrup, then take a look at the ingredients. You probably can’t pronounce half of them, and that’s because – IT’S NOT REAL SYRUP. The syrup we’re talking about is pure maple syrup, the yummy stuff that you get from trees, not a fake-tasting mix of chemicals. If you’ve never had the real thing, go try it, and you’ll realize the difference – and there’s a HUGE difference, trust me.
Maple syrup is full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help prevent diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s. It also has a high amount of phenolics, which are compounds that keep blood sugar levels balanced in people with diabetes. There are many other nutrients available as well, like zinc, iron, potassium, and calcium. Zinc is very important, as it keeps your white blood cells level up, which fight off colds and viruses.
Real maple syrup also helps with muscle recovery, since it is a great source of manganese. Manganese helps repair cell and muscle damage, and allows bones to stay strong. The syrup is great for digestion, too, especially compared to other sweeteners, as it doesn’t cause gas, bloating, or indigestion.
You don’t even have to take in maple syrup to experience some of its benefits. The antioxidants in it are also great for skin health, working like an anti-aging cream when applied. Just like honey, the syrup can be used in facial scrubs to leave skin smooth, glowing, and wrinkle-free.
There are many ways to add in an appropriate amount of maple syrup into your diet (it is still high in calories and sugar, so you don’t want to over-do it). Try pouring a bit over yogurt, oatmeal, or vanilla ice cream, or even try it as a spread for toast. If a recipe calls for sugar, you can easily replace it with maple syrup, and just reduce the liquid by about half a cup. Real maple syrup is completely unprocessed and great for your health when taken in moderation, so don’t hesitate to give it a try!