A University of Rhode Island study has discovered 34 new healthful compounds in pure maple syrup. Similar research last year found 20 beneficial compounds in the sweet tree sap. This research involves pure maple syrup—not the inexpensive kind normally found in grocery stores that is little more than flavored high fructose corn syrup. Natural maple syrup is slightly thinner but significantly sweeter than its artificial counterpart, and much more healthful.
Most of maple syrup’s goodness is in the form of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, including phenols such as Quebecol, named after the Canadian city of Quebec, which is in an area of high maple syrup production. Researchers say that the antioxidants in maple syrup include some beneficial compounds normally found in berries, tea, and flaxseed.
Many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and bacterial infections, are linked to inflammation. Scientists are looking for ways to extract the healthful components of maple syrup to create new medications for these diseases.