Thursday, March 28, 2013

Maple Syrup – The Sweet Liquid Gold

A few days after my husband, Gary cut a branch from a tree that was hanging over our driveway, the weather warmed up and sap began to flow from the wound in the tree!  We hadn’t really thought about what kind of tree this is; the branch simply needed to be cut.  When the temperatures dipped again that night, the dripping sap formed an “icicle”.  Not only did it look pretty, but much to our surprise it was a sweet delight to our taste buds!  We kinda reacted like Jed Clampett strikin’ oil when we realized this big ol’ maple tree was dripping sweet “liquid gold”!  While it won’t fetch us a mansion in Beverly Hills, I must learn how to tap this tree!

I have two friends who tap maple trees and it is obvious from their stories that “sugaring” is not an easy chore.  But… they both return to it year after year because the rewards are worth their effort and challenges.  Why don’t they just purchase some good ol’ Aunt Jemima and be done with it?

It is my assumption that most hard working “sappers” realize something that many consumers do not.  We don’t have to look too far to learn the difference between the nutritional value of imitation maple syrup and the real stuff.

Pure Maple syrup contains a single ingredient – pure maple;
table syrup contains more than 10 chemical and artificial ingredients.
– Get Real Maple

The main ingredient in fake syrup (often referred to as “table syrup”) is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  While I’ve written about this harmful FDA approved commodity in other articles, I’ll summarize a few of the risks here:

·        Obesity - Rats fed HFCS gained fat 300% more quickly than those fed equal doses of fruit-derived sugar. [1].

·        Diabetes – HFCS significantly increases the risk of developing Diabetes. [2] 

·        Heart Disease – There is a strong link between HFCS consumption and high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. [3] 

·        Liver Damage – HFCS can cause liver scarring which diminishes the organ’s ability to process toxins [4] and may also cause fatty liver. [5]

·        Nervous System injury – Alarmingly high levels of mercury are often found in HFCS which can result in irreversible brain and nervous system damage. [6] 

Maple syrup’s nutritional value has been found to be superior to other sweeteners such as honey, brown sugar and corn syrup?  This sweet treat, gifted to us from the Creator of this world:
  • is an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important role in energy production and antioxidant defenses.  Manganese is necessary for normal brain and nerve function.  A ¼ cup portion contains 100% of the Daily Value of manganese.
  • provides 37% of the Daily Value of riboflavin, which aids in the metabolic process.
  • offers 18% of the recommended Daily Value of zinc, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
  • supplies magnesium, calcium and potassium, decreasing the risk of hypertension which can lead to strokes.
  • is lower in calories than honey and corn syrup, averaging about 50 calories per tablespoon.

I read an article in Science Daily which explains that plants have strong antioxidant mechanisms because of their ongoing exposure to the sun.  In studying sugar maple trees, scientists have found that when the tree is wounded by a tap, it secretes an antioxidant as a defense mechanism!  Research shows that when consumed in its concentrated form, maple syrup is more potent than maple sap.  How interesting!

To reinforce my interest even more, according to an article published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, studies have demonstrated that maple syrup has many health benefits, including anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties!  (Reference: Journal of Medicinal Food 01/02/2010; ISSN: 1557-7600, OI: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0029)

Given all these wonderful health benefits of pure maple syrup, why are the grocery store shelves lined with the debilitating qualities of imitation syrup?  It isn’t too difficult to figure out, is it?  It is disappointing to learn of the extent to which companies will lower themselves in order to make a buck. 

The first band of “breakfast syrup” was marketed in 1887,
and at the time it contained 45% maple syrup.
Its most expensive product today contains a mere 4% –
and virtually no maple syrup nutrition.
        Get Real Maple

Isn’t it reassuring to know that our Creator is not interested in a dollar!  He gives gifts freely to everyone and maple syrup, the sweet liquid gold is not the least of them!


P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:
             Bonnie Jaeckle
             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
             Diagonal Progress
             505 Jefferson St.
             Diagonal, IA 50845

The author of this article does not endorse everything represented on/in suggested links, books, etc.  Each of us is accountable to God to weigh everything according to His Word.

All content of this article is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. The author sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. The information herein is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.  This is best left to the Creator of the universe.  In all health-related situations, “qualified healthcare professionals” should always be consulted.  The author deems THE GREAT PHYSICIAN to be most qualified.  The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material.

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