Maple Syrup from The Root Seller (1)

Courtesy photo from Susan Comte, Comte Family Farm N.H.


Article & Photos By Jacqueline Bennett


What better time to sing the praises of maple syrup than March when the cold nights and warm days in New England have maple tree sap flowing. In most New England states March is considered Maple Month. Transformed from sap to syrup, this sweet delight joyfully tops waffles, French toast and pancakes. Thumb through “The Official Vermont Maple Cookbook” and it appears maple syrup can be used to enhance virtually every recipe known.


Often something that tastes so pleasurable is frowned upon for healthy diets. Au contraire when it comes to maple. Surprising information discovered for the recent newsandviewsjb post “New England Maple Excursions On Tap” revealed that when consumed in moderation, maple syrup holds multiple health benefits. Among the benefits are a healthy heart, healthier immune system and antioxidant properties, notes


With a lower measure on the glycemic index which indicates blood sugar impact – respectively 54 versus 65 – pure, high quality maple syrup is recommended by health experts such as Dr. Josh Axe, as a wiser alternative to cane sugar. More natural than its common counterpart, maple syrup is said to impact blood sugar “less dramatically than table sugar”. Plus it contains the nutrients of zinc, which fights illness by improving immunity, and manganese, which helps metabolize fat and carbohydrates. Overall, maple syrup is said to be easier on the digestive tract.


Not only enabling better management of blood sugar due to its better glycemic index rating, antioxidant and phytochemicals properties of maple syrup are credited with reducing inflammation in the body. More and more folks in the medical field are blaming inflammation for all kinds of ailments. Antioxidants are credited with fighting the inflammation associated with arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, and some cancers by protecting cells from DNA damage and mutation.


If nothing else catches one’s attention, however, here are a couple more benefits sure to do so. Reduced inflammation has been connected to reduction in “oxidative stress” which is responsible for aging at a faster rate. As well, maple syrup can be added to health and beauty regiments; a face mask cited by Dr. Oxe combines maple syrup with raw milk, yogurt and rolled oats aimed at improved skin hydration, bacteria and irritation reduction.


As Dr. Axe points out, with concerns about refined sugar being tied to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, tooth decay and “poor cognitive functioning”, and, though FDA approved – questions tied to artificial sweeteners and headaches, migraines, shrunken thymus glands, impairment of liver and kidney function and mood disorder, use of sweetening alternatives has appeal. Quality maple syrup (grade A or B) has joined raw honey, Blackstrap molasses, dates and real fruit jam on that list of alternatives.


It bears repeating, however, this is NOT meant to give license to pouring gobs and gobs of maple syrup on those waffles, or to encourage daily consumption of maple syrup. Rather, the idea is to enjoy maple syrup as an alternative for sweetening and consume it in small amounts.


001Whether it is in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Vermont, how sweet it is for New England maple producers to have maple syrup praised as a healthy choice.


Enjoy in moderation!