Sticky, oozy, golden, sweet syrup derived from the sap of maple trees. In spring these saps are cut and they seep out the delicious healthy sweetener we use. After doing heaps of research and noticing that the recipes I used opted for maple as opposed to other refined sugars, and honey, I realised how amazing this natural source of sweetening really was.

The question many ask is why maple over honey? Well besides the fact that this product is vegan, derived from trees as opposed to bees extracting honey from flowers, maple syrup also has less calories. Specifically maple syrup has 52 calories in comparison to honey which has 64. There is also a difference in their sugar levels, honey having 17.4 grams of carbohydrates and of those 17.3 are fructose, where as maple syrup which has 13.5 grams of carbs and 12.4 of those are sucrose. Of the two sugars fructose sugar is known to have damaging effects on one's health. Not to mention the glycemic index is also higher in honey as opposed to maple syrup. Importantly, it can help digestion. Maple syrup has also got more potassium, iron, zinc and calcium then honey (Hashempour, 2018).

Studies have shown that Maple Syrup far exceeds just the above, but it is also a powerful antioxidant. It has been found to have 24 diverse types of antioxidants, which are supreme in lessening free radical damage, known causes of chronic diseases and inflammatory conditions (such as heart disease, arthritis and inflammation of the bowels). In fact, the darker the maple syrup the more antioxidants it contains. For those of us interested in eternal youth, maple syrup is known to help reduce oxidative stress, plainly, it fights the process of lowering immunity as well as ageing. On the topic of "looks" when maple syrup is applied topically, it helps make the skin rehydrated, clear whilst also reducing blemishes, inflammation and redness. In home made masks this would be deliciously effective (MMPA, 2017).

Interestingly, Maple Syrup has also been found to be very effective in aiding antibiotics to help them work better in the human body (Levvy, 2018). This fact is quite important to note particularly because we have all had to take antibiotics at one point in our lives.

For those like me who are trying to cut out refined sugars, this is a great way to make healthy treats! It should be stated that although maple syrup, granted is natural and healthy, it is still a sweetener thus should be used in small amounts.

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