The Maple Syrup Solution

Don't be a sap--enjoy a little of the brown goodness for a health and flavor boost

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The health benefits of maple syrup
A spoonful of sugar maple syrup makes the medicine go down!

Sweet news: A spoonful of maple syrup is good for you.

This natural sweetener contains antioxidants galore. So far, studies have uncovered 54 beneficial antioxidant compounds in maple syrup, which help fight inflammatory diseases like osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s.

These beneficial compounds also act as natural skincare, helping to repair free radical damage. Maple syrup surpasses other sweeteners with its high levels of energy- and immune-boosting minerals like manganese and zinc.

Watch how maple syrup is made.

New research also reports that the syrup is an able warrior in the fight against drug-resistant germs. Lab tests found a concentrated extract of real maple syrup combined with antibiotics is effective at destroying bacteria called biofilms, which are commonly found in difficult-to-treat infections.

Scientists don’t recommend pouring the stuff over everything just yet, but rather using it as a sweetener when you can, perhaps to enhance a bowl of oatmeal or dress up butternut squash. You can try it in more savory applications, too, such as this maple pumpkin risotto or salmon glaze.

Just don’t use any old “syrup” (sorry, Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Butterworth). Only “pure maple syrup” produced without additives like high-fructose corn syrup and caramel coloring will give you the nutritional benefit.

Even with all the goodness in this syrup, remember to pair sweets with a fat or protein when you can, and don’t overdo it. Try a dab of grass-fed butter on your pancakes to slow down your glycemic response and get the most out of these vitamins without the sugar crash.