Sweet and delicious, maple syrup is a great addition to a plate of fluffy pancakes or a bowl of hearty oatmeal. But maple syrup isn’t just for breakfast. This golden syrup can be used for much more than just flavoring your morning carbohydrates. Maple syrup has many hidden benefits that make it a great go-to sweetener for just about anything you currently use cane sugar or artificial sweeteners for. Here are 10 sweet reasons that may make you want to switch to maple syrup as your sweetener of choice.
10. Antioxidant Properties
Maple syrup doesn’t just taste sweet, it contains multiple antioxidants that protect the body against the damaging effects of free radicals. A study by researchers at the University of Rhode Island discovered 54 useful plant compounds in maple syrup, many of them plant phenols, which act as antioxidants in the body. By comparison, refined sugar, corn syrup, and agave nectar have little antioxidant activity. Darker syrups such as blackstrap molasses have the highest levels of antioxidants. Honey, brown sugar and maple syrup have intermediate activity. Antioxidants are noted for their ability to help prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease, inflammatory conditions, and infection.
9. Lower Glycemic Index Score
The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates in order of their effect on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates with a GI of 55 or less cause a slower rise in blood glucose levels. They tend to be more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized by the body. The Glycemic Index Foundation suggests a daily goal of 45 for a low GI diet. While the natural sugars in maple syrup are still sugars, the glycemic index for maple syrup is around 54. Refined table sugar, or sucrose, comes in at 65 on the glycemic index. This means that swapping maple syrup for table sugar can result in a reduced effect on your blood sugar levels.