Want some maple syrup with your breakfast but are concerned about what it will do to your waistline? Pour it on, say researchers at the University of Rhode Island. Compounds have been found in maple syrup that raise it to the same ranks as green tea and blueberries as a “superfood”.
“In our laboratory research we found that several of these compounds possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to fight cancer, diabetes and bacterial illnesses,” said lead researcher Navindra Seeram, assistant professor of pharmacognosy at the University.
54 of the compounds, including five not seen before in nature, were identified in maple syrup. One of the new compounds has named “quebecol”, after the province in Canada that produces the most maple syrup in the world.
This doesn’t mean open season on the stuff; the sugars contained in maple syrup are still quite high, meaning that it should be used sparingly for those with a propensity to diabetes. Maple syrup is also frequently used for carb-heavy items like French toast and pancakes, which aren’t the best obesity-fighting foods. Where maple syrup does taste completely awesome is on salmon; check this recipe or just throw a maple glaze on it the next time you bake it in the oven to experience what maple does for salmon.
Be careful that your favourite breakfast restaurant chain is serving you real maple syrup if you choose to pour it on when you are eating out. The cost is preventatively high for most chains, such as IHOP and Cora’s. At Cora’s, you can purchase real maple syrup if you ask for it, but the stuff on the table is high-fructose corn syrup. I’m not sure what’s in the IHOP syrups, and neither was our waiter when we were there two weeks ago, which is usually a bad sign. According to their Wikipedia page, they serve maple-flavoured corn syrup, which makes you think you’re eating the real stuff, but you’re not. You may have to bring your own syrup the next time you have breakfast outside of the home – which for most maple syrup lovers is a strong argument for making their own brekkie.