You probably already love maple syrup: on pancakes or waffles, maybe as a marinade for bacon or ham. But did you know that maple syrup (natural and organic maple syrup, that is) actually has a surprising handful of health benefits. Keep in mind that to reap these benefits, you have to acquire Exo Fruits all-natural and unrefined maple syrup; not the high-fructose corn syrup synthetic topping that is common to grocery store shelves and diners across North America.
BASIC MAPLE SYRUP NUTRITION
Before we get into the specific health benefits of unrefined, organic maple syrup, lets take a quick look at the its basic nutrition:
BENEFIT #1: Maple Syrup is Antioxidant-Rich
Unrefined sugars (which includes not only maple syrup but also blackstrap molasses and raw honey) are high in antioxidants, in the form of phenolic compounds. Antioxidants, of course, reduce inflammation and damage from free radicals. Maple syrup antioxidants include:
Maple syrup is also rich in these flavanols:
BENEFIT #2: Fights Inflammation
Maple syrup is rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which is not surprising since it is plant-based. Polyphenol antioxidants are widely celebrated as inflammation fighters. Thus, consuming foods that are high in polyphenols—like natural and unrefined maple syrup—can actually reduce risk for certain inflammatory diseases like arthritis, heart disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.
BENEFIT #3: Fights Cancer
In addition to reducing risk for inflammatory conditions, maple syrup could, in fact, help reduce your risk for developing cancer. And since refined sugars can more readily contribute to metabolic diseases (including some cancers), the unrefined sugars in maple syrup provide you with an all-natural sweetener that will not increase your risk for these metabolic diseases.
BENEFIT #4: Protect Your Skin
Perhaps the most surprising benefit of unrefined maple syrup is that you can use to protect your skin. Similar to the way that you can apply raw honey to the skin to lower skin inflammation and reduce redness, dryness, and blemishes, so can you apply maple syrup. Of course, experts will advise that you mix the maple syrup with raw milk or yogurt and rolled oats (and honey, too, of course). When applied to the face as a mask it can also reduce bacteria and even some signs of inflammation.