New research suggests that pouring pure maple syrup on your next order of pancakes will do much more than just give you a sugar high.
University of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram, who specializes in medicinal plant research, has found more than 20 compounds in maple syrup from Canada that have been linked to human health, 13 of which are newly discovered in maple syrup.
During his maple syrup research, Seeram and his research team found phenolics, the beneficial class of antioxidant compounds also found in berries. These antioxidants are known to have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-diabetic properties.
“We know that plants must have strong antioxidant mechanisms because they are in the sun throughout their lives,” Seeram said. “We already know that berries, because of their bright colors, are high in anti-oxidants. Now we are looking at maple syrup, which comes from the sap located just inside the bark, which is constantly exposed to the sun.”
Previous research has found that maple syrup is full of naturally occurring minerals such as zinc, thiamine and calcium.
“Maple syrup is unique in that it is the only commercial product in our diet that comes from a plant’s sap. Canada is the biggest producer of maple syrup and the U.S. is the biggest consumer,” Seeram said.