Maple syrup: useful properties and contraindications
Maple syrup is hugely popular in North America for the past few centuries. It is used for the preparation of many dishes and drinks, which is easily explained by the striking similarity of this sweetener to refined sugar. However, the home of this syrup is Canada. It is this country that produces more than 80% of the world's volume, earning fabulous sums on exports.
- What maple syrup is made of
- Types of
- Composition and calories
- What is maple syrup good for?
- General benefits
- For Women
- For Men
- While pregnant
- For children
- When losing weight
- Medical Uses of Maple Syrup
- Maple syrup in cosmetology
- For Face
- For Hair
- Cooking Usage
- Maple Chocolate Muffin
- What can be used as a substitute for maple syrup
- Harms and contraindications
- How to choose and store maple syrup
- How to make maple syrup at home
- Interesting facts about maple syrup
Maple syrup is considered one of the most useful natural sweeteners. It has unique properties and is able to have a beneficial effect on the human body, saturating it with all the necessary microelements and vitamins. And if many people know about its unique features and rich composition, not everyone still knows the peculiarities of its production and origin of the raw materials used for it.
What is maple syrup made of?
Maple syrup is made by a technology that has remained unchanged for several centuries and has a direct resemblance to the extraction of sap from the trunk of the birch. However, not all trees are suitable for the extraction of maple sap. Only the sap that has been extracted in early spring from the trunk of certain maple varieties is used, viz:
- sugar maple;
- The spiky-leaved maple.
Only those trees that have reached the age of forty years are suitable for harvesting sap.
The collection of maple sap consists of several stages:
- In the trunk of a suitable tree, a hole is made, the size of which can vary from 2 to 5 cm.
- A tube is placed in this hole, through which the sap will flow out. After a while, the container will be filled with liquid.
- The incision on the trunk of the tree is treated and covered, so as not to provoke the death of the plant.
Large plantations of trees are used to collect maple sap, because to make 1 liter of sweetener it is necessary to collect at least 40 liters of liquid. The process of making this unique product also takes a lot of time and lasts about a day.
Maple syrup is divided into several varieties, which differ from each other in color, odor and saturation of taste:
- Amber Light. This type of maple syrup is characterized by a delicate flavor and light aroma. It has a light shade of golden color and lets in 75% of the light.
- Amber Medium. This variety is characterized by a rich, amber color and mild, pleasant flavor characteristics.
- Amber-Dark. This type of maple syrup is more common than the others, which is due to its rich flavor and aroma.
- Dark. The smell and taste of this variety of sweetener is very pungent and rich, and light transmission is minimized.
Composition and calories
Maple syrup is not a high calorie product and contains only 261 calories, 67.09 g of carbohydrates and only 0.2 g of fat. This sweetener is characterized by the content of a large number of useful vitamins, micro- and macronutrients.
Per 100 g of the product there are:
- 59.52 g di- and monosaccharides.
- 0.036 g of saturated fatty acids.
- 0.064 g of monounsaturated fatty acids.
- 0.1 g of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
- 9 mg of sodium.
- 204 mg of potassium.
- 102 mg calcium.
- 21 mg magnesium.
- 2 mg phosphorus.
- 0.11 mg of iron.
- 2.908 mg of manganese.
- 18 µg copper.
- 1.47 mg zinc.
- 0.6 µg selenium.
- 0.066 mg of vitamin B1.
- 1.27 mg of vitamin B2.
- 1.6 mg of vitamin B4.
- 0.036 mg of vitamin B5.
- 0.002 mg of vitamin B6.
- 0.81 RR.
In addition, the syrup contains very small amounts of oxalates and purines, which is one of the most important benefits and differentiates it from brown sugar, honey and even agave syrup.
What are the benefits of maple syrup
The rich composition of the syrup is able to have a beneficial effect on the human body. It has antibacterial effects, has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and can prevent the development of cancer.
Regular consumption of maple syrup will help:
- Stop the development of atherosclerosis. This is possible thanks to the presence of zinc in the syrup, which, in turn, prevents damage to the inner layer of blood vessels.
- Reduce the level of cholesterol. Regular consumption of maple syrup provides the necessary amount of manganese, which can control and reduce the level of bad cholesterol.
- Improve the functioning of the immune system. The large amount of vitamins and minerals that are included in this sweetener can improve a person's immune system.
- Prevent the development of Alzheimer's disease. This feature is due to the large amount of calcium in the composition of maple syrup.
Maple syrup is an indispensable product for the preservation of women's beauty and health. It has many useful properties and will help:
- maintain the healthy appearance of the skin;
- Prevent the formation of cancerous tumors;
- improve reproductive function;
- prevent the development of avitaminosis;
- cope with depression;
- Improve immunity, preventing the development of many diseases.
According to many physicians, maple syrup should be part of every man's daily diet. The systematic use of this natural sweetener can help prevent
- prostate cancer;
- Testosterone deficiency;
- a build-up of unhealthy cholesterol;
- Reduced physical activity caused by a lack of vitamins, macro-and micronutrients.
Therapists recommend that pregnant women do not include some products in their daily diet without prior approval from the doctor in charge. This includes maple syrup.
This natural sweetener will manifest all its positive qualities only in the case of a normal course of pregnancy. If during the pregnancy of the baby is diagnosed increase uterine tone and other complications, physicians strongly recommend women to abandon this product.
Maple syrup is not on the list of prohibited products during breastfeeding. The use of this natural sweetener in moderate amounts will help the young mother to recover from childbirth, normalize the work of many organs, increase the immunity of the newborn baby.
However, you can use this product only in limited quantities and after consulting with a pediatrician, who will help to exclude any contraindications and establish an acceptable daily rate.
Include maple syrup in the children's menu can be included only after the child has reached the age of three years. Otherwise, there is a risk of allergic reactions and other unpleasant consequences.
Start introducing maple syrup to children gradually and monitor their condition. In the absence of adverse reactions to this unique product, it can have a positive effect on the baby's body and will help:
- prevent the development of diabetes mellitus;
- maintain muscle tone;
- improve the nervous system;
- improve the immune system;
- Reduce the negative effects of the environment.
When losing weight
According to nutritionists, maple syrup can be included in diet menus. This is easily explained by the fact that 100 g of this product contains only 261 calories and 0.2 g of fat. This unique feature of the natural sweetener allows replacing sugar with it completely and not giving up on sweet dishes.
Maple syrup will have a positive effect on the human body during the diet, the purpose of which is to reduce weight. Its use will help to prevent the development of depression, reduce cholesterol levels and saturate the body with all the necessary vitamins, macro-and micronutrients. However, we should not forget that you should not abuse this product. This will lead to undesirable consequences and can provoke the development of serious diseases.
Application of maple syrup in medicine
Maple syrup is widely used for medical purposes. The rich composition of this sweetener has a positive effect on many processes occurring in the human body, and helps:
- prevent the development of cancer;
- Improve the protective function of the body by adjusting the immune system;
- prevent and cure atherosclerosis;
- Reduce the risk of diabetes;
- purify the liver.
Doctors recommend regular consumption of maple syrup and those patients who suffer from frequent bouts of depression. The components that comprise it have a positive effect on the nervous system and help cope with depression, frequent stress, constant anxiety and nervousness.
Maple syrup in cosmetology
This unique, natural sweetener is beneficial not only for the work of internal organs and systems, but also for the condition of the hair and skin. Many cosmetologists use it to prepare masks that prevent premature aging of the skin, improve its appearance, returning the skin a healthy shine and radiance.
There are many recipes for face masks, the basis of which is maple syrup, but the most popular and effective are considered the following means.
Maple and flax mask
To prepare this cosmetic, you will need:
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup;
- One teaspoon of crushed flax seeds;
- 60 ml purified water.
Mix all the ingredients, distribute the resulting mixture evenly on the skin, massage the face and leave the mask for 20 minutes. After the specified time, rinse it off with warm water and apply a small amount of moisturizing cream.
The mask should be applied regularly, but no more than twice a week. It will help to increase the elasticity of the skin, making it smooth and firm.
Milk Maple Mask
To prepare this rejuvenating remedy, only a few ingredients are needed:
- 10 ml of milk heated to a comfortable temperature;
- 10 ml of maple syrup;
- 30 g of ground oatmeal.
Mix all the ingredients, massage into your face and leave for 20 minutes. At the end of the stated time remove the rest of the mask with a sponge, rinse your face with clean, cool water and apply a nourishing cream.
Maple syrup and yeast mask
To prepare this cosmetic, prepare the following ingredients:
- dried yeast - 1 pack;
- maple syrup - 5 ml;
- A little mineral water.
Mix all the ingredients and let the product stand for 15-20 minutes. Apply the mask on your face, neck, decollete and leave it for 20 minutes. After the stated time, wash off the mask with mineral water and apply the cream you use daily.
Maple syrup not only rejuvenates the skin but also improves the condition of the hair. The following mask will be able to cope with this task.
Restorative cosmetic on the basis of maple syrup
For preparation you will need:
- Syrup from the juice of maple - 30 ml;
- vegetable oil - 20 ml;
- Honey - 5 ml.
Mix the ingredients in the indicated amount and heat in a microwave oven for about 20 seconds. After cooling, apply the resulting mixture to your hair, put on a cap and wrap your head with a terry towel. Wash off the mask with the usual shampoo after 20-25 minutes. If possible, you can keep the composition on the head all night for maximum effect.
Use this natural remedy twice a week. It will help to restore the hair, restore its lost shine and healthy appearance.
If the condition of the hair needs to improve in record time, for example, after a failed coloring, maple syrup should be used as an independent cosmetic. Apply a small amount of it to the hair, leave it for 15-20 minutes and wash out with the usual shampoo. After using this product your hair will look much healthier and more attractive.
Cosmetologists and hairdressers draw the attention of their clients to the fact that the use of natural cosmetics without first checking for allergic reactions is strictly prohibited. Apply a small amount of the mask to the inner side of the elbow bend, wait 5-7 minutes and wash off. If you notice redness, rash, itching and other unpleasant symptoms on the skin after removing the mask, you should stop using it.
Using it in cooking
Maple juice syrup is used for the preparation of many dishes. This unique natural product can be included not only in desserts, but also in meat dishes. Most often it is used for cooking:
Among other things, this natural sweetener can act as an additive in many desserts and completely replace sugar.
There are a huge number of recipes that include maple syrup. However, the simplest is considered oatmeal with maple syrup.
To prepare it, you will need:
- oatmeal - 3 large spoons;
- A small amount of olive oil;
- Boiling water;
- maple syrup.
Oatmeal is brewed in the usual way and syrup is added to it after it is ready. Such a dish would make a great breakfast and help you get a huge energy boost.
Experienced hostesses know that syrup from maple juice can perfectly complement their favorite baked goods, and use it during the preparation of muffins and muffins. One of the most popular recipes is maple-chocolate muffin.
To prepare it, you need to prepare biscuit dough, dark chocolate, maple syrup and chopped walnuts in the amount of 50 g, some powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
Add the nuts to the biscuit dough and bake for 20 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius. After the specified time, the muffins are soaked in syrup and decorated with powdered sugar, cocoa and chocolate.
What can be substituted for the maple syrup?
The flavor characteristics of maple syrup are unique and peculiar to this product. However, if necessary, it can be replaced with sweeteners that are similar in color and texture.
A great substitute for maple sap syrup for baking is light acacia honey, agave essence, or homemade jam with a similar hue. That said, acacia honey can also be consumed during a diet whose goal is weight loss.
Harms and contraindications
Maple syrup contains a huge amount of vitamins and other useful components. Despite this, the excessive use of this sweetener can harm human health. Daily consumption of more than 30 g of maple syrup will lead to the following consequences:
- nausea and vomiting;
- elevated blood sugar levels;
- development of allergic reactions.
Doctors recommend completely eliminating syrup from the daily diet:
- Pregnant women with increased uterine tone. Disregard of these contraindications can lead to premature birth or miscarriage.
- Children who are under the age of three. Consumption of maple syrup by young children can provoke the development of serious allergies, which in turn will lead to the development of dangerous conditions.
- People with high blood pressure. In this case, the excessive use of maple syrup will lead to a deterioration of the general condition and may cause fainting.
- People who have an individual intolerance of maple juice and its derivatives. If an allergic reaction is detected, it is necessary to completely eliminate maple syrup from the daily diet and seek medical attention. Otherwise, the allergy symptoms will intensify and lead to the development of serious complications.
Therapists also recommend with caution the use of syrup for those patients who suffer from diabetes or obesity. In moderate amounts, this sweetener will only bring benefits to the body. However, its excessive use will lead to the development of the disease and deterioration of the overall condition.
How to choose and store maple syrup
Beneficial effect on the human body can manifest only natural maple syrup. In order not to buy a fake or low quality product, you should pay attention to the following characteristics:
- The cost of the syrup. Real maple sap syrup will not cost too cheap. The peculiarities of production and the use of a large amount of juice during the manufacture of this sweetener force manufacturers to set high prices. 1 liter of natural maple syrup, which is made without the use of sugar, will cost at least $40.
- Manufacturer. 80% of maple syrup is made in Canada. However, this does not mean that it cannot be made in other countries. Pay attention to where the product is made and ask for certificates confirming its quality.
- Composition. A natural sweetener made from maple juice does not contain sugar, corn syrup or other additives. A quality product is made of 100% maple juice.
- Packaging. Purchase the sweetener in glass containers. Only through glass can you evaluate the consistency and color of the syrup.
To preserve all the nutrients and useful properties of maple syrup, it is necessary to observe all the norms of its storage. Experts advise not to leave an open bottle of this sweetener under direct sunlight. It is better to place it in a cool, dark place.
Syrup from maple juice is allowed to store no more than 12 months. However, you should also refuse to use it in case:
- The appearance of an unpleasant odor;
- changes in its consistency;
- Change of color.
If you notice one or more signs of spoilage, you should refrain from eating the product. Consumption of tainted maple syrup will lead to undesirable consequences, including bouts of nausea, vomiting and other unpleasant symptoms of poisoning.
How to make maple syrup at home
To judge the quality of the consumed product with one hundred percent confidence is possible only if it is prepared by yourself. Contrary to the popular opinion, maple syrup can be made at home. In this case, the finished product will be no worse than the purchased in the store.
Stages of preparation of maple syrup:
- Harvesting the sap. The taste of maple syrup depends directly on when the sap is harvested. Gather it in early spring, then the flavor and aroma of the finished product will be rich. The process of collecting maple sap is no different from birch sap. Make a hole in the trunk of the tree, insert a tube into it and wait until the container fills with liquid.
- Evaporation. Evaporation time depends on the amount of juice. Three to four liters of boiling for 1.5-2 hours, over a high heat. During this time, all the water evaporates, the juice will get a thick consistency and turn into syrup.
- Aging. Leave the finished product for several hours. During this time it will cool down completely and become transparent.
- Remove the sediment. Pour the syrup into another container so that it does not contain sediment, which is not suitable for use.
Serve the syrup with pancakes or cupcakes, add it to meat, fish dishes and use it in a variety of baked goods.
Interesting facts about maple syrup
Maple sap syrup is a unique, useful product that is extremely popular around the world. However, not many people are aware of the fact that:
- It is the national pride of Canadians and is made from the sap of the sugar, black, red or spiky maple.
- Its high cost is due to the fact that it takes at least 40 litres of maple juice to make 1 liter.
- The sap of sugar maple, which grows only in North America, including Canada, is most often used to make this sweetener.
- Most of the syrup is produced in the province of Quebec, which is in Canada.
- Maple sap contains more than 90% water. Most of the liquid is evaporated during the making of the syrup.
- The Indians made maple syrup on hot rocks.
- Natural syrup contains no sugars, dyes, or preservatives. It is made from maple sap by evaporating water from it.
- The first mention of this product dates back to 1760, but it was made much earlier.
- In Russia, maple syrup became known only in the 20th century.
- Aged maple syrup not only changes its consistency and color, but also its taste. Over time, it darkens and becomes tart.
- Maple syrup is widely used not only in cooking but also in cosmetology. It has unique rejuvenating properties, cleanses and saturates the skin with moisture.
- This product is an effective tool for weight loss. Developed entire programs and diets based on maple syrup.
Maple syrup can have a unique effect on the human body, revitalizing and rejuvenating it from the inside. However, this is only possible if you consume it in the right amounts and do not ignore the contraindications.
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