(NaturalNews) It's no secret that added or unhealthy sugars can wreak havoc on the body. For example, the large quantities of sugar in sodas contribute to the obesity epidemic and throw blood sugar levels out of whack. Plus, the dangerous ingredients in artificial sweeteners are toxic to the body and can negatively impact mental and physical health.
However, that doesn't mean sugar cravings can't be satisfied. In fact, eating the right kind of sweetener not only tastes great but can help health immensely.
Pure, organic maple syrup has many health benefits.
How maple syrup helps overall health
1) Weight control
For those watching their weight, maple syrup is lower in calories than honey (1), and it's much safer to eat than artificial sweeteners. In fact, not only do artificial sweeteners expose the body to toxins such as formaldehyde and wood alcohols such as methanol, (2) but studies show that, despite the lure of having no calories, they can actually get in the way of weight loss.
Researchers said, "The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with a higher-calorie sugar." (3)
2) Fights free radicals
Maple syrup is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that fight damaging free radicals, which in turn, helps keep the body running optimally.
The University of Rhode Island found that maple syrup can help ward off a variety of health conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, ranging from cancer and osteoporosis to Alzheimer's and diabetes (4).
In particular, manganese is a mineral in maple syrup that is especially effective in banishing free radicals so that the body's metabolic functions can run at optimal levels (1). It's also known to help repair muscle, as well as cell damage.
3) Boosts the immune system
The levels of zinc in maple syrup contribute to keeping the white blood cell count up (4), which is important to keep colds and certain illnesses at bay.
Zinc has also been shown to play a role in men's reproductive health, as it is important for the health of the prostate gland.
About the author: A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.