Nutrition

Is Maple Syrup Healthy? 5 Top Benefits

Maple syrup is undoubtedly delicious. Originally pioneered in North America and Canada, its popularity is now widespread across the world. But is it good for you? We’ve assessed this sweet treat so you can make confident nutritional choices.

Unprocessed and Organic

A great feature of maple syrup is that it is derived naturally. Choose a syrup with no added sugar or preservatives to ensure you are getting an unprocessed product.

Heavy processing often has a negative effect on the nutritional value of foods. Though there is glucose in maple syrup, it is not as high a content as refined white sugar. The fructose content of maple syrup is broken down in the liver rather than the stomach. This means it does not cause your insulin levels to spike in the same way. This makes them lower on the Glycemic Index than refined sugars.

If you choose organic, that is even better as the trees themselves will not be subject to farming chemicals. This is beneficial for the environment, as it reduces the damage to wildlife and insects that can have a knock-on effect on our ecosystem.

From a physical perspective, organic certification can give you greater confidence that you know exactly what you are eating.

Studies have shown that replacing refined sugars with natural can help to improve digestive issues. This can include bloating, gas and even Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

 

Source of Antioxidants

Raw maple syrup contains 24 different antioxidants. This helps to reduce the damage done by harmful free. These antioxidants also help to combat the harmful effects of too much sugar if you go a bit overboard when you’re drizzling.

The antioxidants found in maple syrup also help to combat inflammation. This can help to prevent arthritis and even heart disease.

Not only that, but the anti-inflammatory properties in maple syrup also help combat skin conditions. For a smooth and even skin tone, add a little syrup to your normal face mask as well as to your dishes.

Vegan Friendly

Unlike natural sugars like honey, maple syrup is vegan-friendly. It is solely derived from maple trees. This can help to support a vegan diet when you want to make sweet but healthy choices.

A Healthy Treat Alternative

When cravings strike, it is so helpful to have a delicious option to satisfy your temptations. Drizzling maple syrup in your overnight oats along with nutmeg and cinnamon creates a sweet treat that will help you swerve those baked breakfast pastries and cinnamon rolls.

Likewise, a little syrup on your protein pancakes will give you a pre-workout boost that can rival any Pancake Day creation.

For dessert fans, mixing a few teaspoons of natural yoghurt alongside some blitzed berries makes a delicious and creamy pudding. Freeze it, and you’ll have healthy semifreddo that you’ll want to eat all night.

Sugar, Sugar

Of course, being a sweet treat does mean that maple syrup is high in sugar. A serving of 15g of maple syrup would be around 50% of your daily sugar intake. So, as with all sugars, go easy on your servings.

However, the strong maple flavour of the syrup does mean you will often not need a full serving size to get the desired sweetness. A teaspoon of maple syrup would only be 4g, so the sugar content would be around 16% of your recommended daily amount.

The natural sugars make for a great energy boost. Incorporate them into your pre-workout snack to turbocharge your exercise plans. Give your energy balls a dose of sweet, fast release energy by combining oats, nut butter and a little maple syrup.

As with everything when you are living a healthy lifestyle, moderation is key. The health benefits of maple syrup certainly make it a healthy sugar source, but not if you overuse it. Stick to your nutritional plan, and enjoy knowing the extra health benefits you get with this natural source of sweetener.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye has a MSc in Sport Physiology and Nutrition, and puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. She enjoys a pun, and in her spare time loves dog walking and eating out.


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