Maple Syrup: Benefits beyond a pancake topping
Updated: Dec 18, 2022
As far back as the 1500's the Indigenous People of North America have been producing Sinzibuckwud, the Algonquin term for maple syrup, which translates to "drawn from wood." Although it wasn't until the 1950's when this sweet syrup appeared on the store shelves, and according to the National Institute of Food and Agricultural Statistical Service the United States production in 2019 alone was 4.24 million gallons.
So, should you consume this sweet syrup? Our opinion is that as with many things the key is to consuming maple syrup is moderation. In addition to this, it is critical to consume pure maple syrup without additives and read the label of whichever brand and grade you select. Be aware of the carbs and sugar you are consuming in addition to knowing what the serving size is. And, while drowning your pancakes or peach cobbler in maple syrup is not recommended, drizzling it on your breakfast can certainly be an option.
Maple syrup has many beneficial nutritional components
The darker the grade the more antioxidants you will find. One of the most pronounced antioxidants are the phenolic compounds. These types of compounds are also found in a variety of nuts, berries, and whole grains.
Calcium & Potassium
A 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup contains more calcium then milk of the same portion size.
Helps support our bones, nerves, blood vessels, immune functions, and iron absorption.
Supporting bone health is often why we try to increase our intake of manganese in our diets, one serving of maple syrup includes 33% of our daily value of manganese.
The mineral that we often look to because of it's powerful antimicrobial properties. On average you will find about 11% of your daily value of Zinc in a serving of maple syrup.
Portion Control and Moderation
Enjoying some maple syrup is okay for our health, however over-indulging in this sweet syrup can also make your sugar levels soar. Here are our recommendations for portion control since a serving size is only 1/4 cup. Our first recommendation is to avoid pouring from the bottle to plate, instead go from bottle to a separate measuring cup and then try one of the following options:
After you measure out 1/4 of a cup, use a dessert spoon or spatula to lightly spread it on top of each of your pancakes or waffles
Keep your 1/4 of a cup of syrup in your measuring cup and just dip your fork into it before taking each bite of your pancake or waffle
Measure out a serving of butter and a serving of maple syrup and stir them together then add cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger and spread those on your pancakes or waffle
Dec. 17: National Maple Syrup Day. National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Published December 17, 2021. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://www.nifa.usda.gov/about-nifa/blogs/dec-17-national-maple-syrup-day
Nutrition Facts and Benefits of Maple Syrup. Maple from Canada. Published 2018. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://maplefromcanada.ca/benefits-of-maple/nutritional-value/