The Good Life

Maple Syrup

Good news just in time for sugaring off season. That sticky syrup you love to pour on French toast and pancakes may actually be good for you, too.

Sure, it’s full of sugar and calories. But according to a research from the University of Rhode Island real maple syrup is also full of compounds touted for their health benefits. A pharmacy professor specializing in medicinal plants found 20 antioxidants in 20 litres of the sweet stuff from Quebec, including 13 never before found in maple syrup.

According to findings presented at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting, the newly-discovered compounds include lignans, also found in flax seed and whole wheat, a stilbene, which is in the same chemical class as the red wine extract resveratrol, and flavonoids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. The syrup also contained phenolic acids, commonly found in berries and coffee.

Although more research is needed to determine whether people can actually benefit from maple syrup, the researchers recommend using it as a sweetener and in cooking. But as with everything else, not too much. And there’s another caveat: make sure it’s the real stuff not commercial syrups with maple flavouring.

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