Cold and flu season is upon us and you may not feel comfortable about taking too many over-the-counter medicines. There are natural alternatives to build your immune system which are readily available. One of those alternatives, maple syrup, is sweet and healthy.
Most people don’t realize how good maple syrup is for them. It has fewer calories than honey. It also has high concentrations of manganese and zinc which are both trace minerals your body needs to maintain health.
Manganese is essential for energy production. It is also an antioxidant which neutralizes the free radicals in your system. If you’re concerned about not getting enough manganese in your diet, one ounce of maple syrup will provide 22 percent of your daily need of this mineral.
Zinc is an antioxidant which research shows may help reduces the development of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. It is also needed to prevent damage to the arteries caused by LDL and oxidized fats. Between the manganese and zinc found in maple syrup, the level of HDL (good cholesterol) might also increase.
Manganese and zinc also boost your immune system. Deficiencies in these two minerals can lead to reduced white blood cell counts. Manganese may also reduce inflammation and act as an immunostimulant.
Other reports suggest maple syrup supports reproductive health, especially for men. In fact, having low levels of zinc may be partially responsible for the development of prostate cancer. Zinc has been used therapeutically to reduce prostate size. Manganese may also help in the production of sex hormones which means both are necessary for men’s reproductive health.
How can you use maple syrup other than on pancakes? Here are a few ideas:
* Make a peanut butter and banana open-face sandwich. Then drizzle a little maple syrup over it for a scrumptious sweet treat.
* Add maple syrup to baked beans for a unique and delicious difference.
* Use maple syrup in place of other sweeteners in hot tea or coffee.
* Maple syrup will also add a different twist to treats such as pies, cookies or cakes.
For the difference in taste, maple syrup is a great alternative to sugar, corn syrup or honey. One tablespoon of maple syrup has 50 calories where the same amount of corn syrup and honey will have 60 calories. Granulated sugar has only 45 calories per tablespoon but it has no nutritional value, nor does it have any health benefits.
There are many ways to sweeten your foods. Some of them aren’t very good for you but maple syrup is one you can feel good about using. Maple syrup is a sweet and healthy alternative that you may want to use more often. And with the great taste it is something your whole family can enjoy.