In the midst of Splenda’s downfall, sweet hope lingers on the horizon. Sugars, both natural and artificial, get a lot of bad press. If you’ve lost hope for ever finding a sugar alternative that’s actually good for you, it’s time to celebrate. The American Chemical Society has declared that maple syrup, the real stuff, is a super-protector for your brain.
First off, let’s be clear. We aren’t talking about maple flavored syrup. We’re talking about the real deal, tap a tree, boil it down, all-natural, condensed maple sap. Consuming maple syrup in moderation has long been considered a great natural treat. With over 100 bioactive compounds, pure maple syrup is loaded with incredible anti-inflammatory properties. As with most foods, the darker the syrup, the richer it is in antioxidants.
But, now maple syrup has some new laurels to rest upon. In light of recent research, the ACS added real maple syrup to a prestigious list of brain foods, including but not limited to green tea, the reservatrol in red wine and the powerful curcumin found in turmeric. The group made the announcement at their recent symposium, when they included maple syrup in their list of healthful, Alzheimer-fighting foods for the first time at this event.
One study presented in support of maple syrup’s beneficial properties found that an extract of maple syrup may help to prevent clumping of two types of brain cell proteins. Clumping and misfolding of these proteins is responsible for forming the plaque that’s involved in the development of many brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s. By preventing this, maple syrup may indeed help to stave off or slow the onset of brain-related disease.
Another study showed that maple syrup extract prevented the tangling of brain proteins while exerting neuroprotective effects on rodent brain cells. Of course, additional animal and human studies are needed to confirm these findings in terms of human health. But, in the meantime, the evidence looks promising. Disciplined consumption of delicious maple syrup may support a healthy brain.
This doesn’t mean you should go guzzling maple syrup by the pint. Maple syrup is still sugar, and excessive sugar in the body can have some seriously harmful effects. However, we all indulge in sweet stuff now and again. Aren’t you better off using a sweetener that is not only tasty, but contains healthful benefits?