The Health Benefits of Pure Maple Syrup

7 Reasons Why It Beats White Table Sugar PLUS Maple Breakfast Bar Recipe

Pure maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees early in the spring. The useful thing about pure maple syrup is that it's sweet on its own with no added sugar. If you want the health benefits of pure maple syrup, you must read labels and ignore the syrup with sugar added. It's not going to be good for you!
I recently gave our pantry a make-over and made it sugar-free to discover what would happen when we quit. My goal was to wean off sugar long enough to feel more energy and focus and maybe even lose a pound or two. The next step was after four weeks I would reintroduce naturally occurring sugars from natural sources. As you may already know, pure maple syrup contains higher levels of beneficial nutrients than table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Nutrients in Pure Maple Syrup

One of the reasons pure maple syrup has health benefits is due to its unique nutrients. While it can vary, maple syrup has higher levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals that white table sugar. It also has minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, and zinc.
But a word of caution, it does contain some sucrose, which is like table sugar, so you still want to eat it in small quantities.

Keep reading if you want to learn about the health benefits of pure maple syrup and how it can be nutritious for you.

The Health Benefits of Pure Maple Syrup

1. Alternative to Sugar

The first health benefit of maple syrup is that it's a good option for white sugar. While you are still getting sucrose with maple syrup, it is more of natural sugar. This means that it impacts your blood sugar levels a bit less drastically than white table sugar.
It's like when you eat fruit and certain vegetables… You get a satisfying sweet fix, but it's better for you with more nutrients than regular table sugar.

How to Use Pure Maple Syrup as an Alternative to Sugar

So, how do you replace sugar with maple syrup? It's a lot easier than you might think, but the quantities are a little different.
You don’t just use a cup of maple syrup to replace a cup of sugar in a baked recipe. Instead, you want to use about 2/3 cup of syrup for every cup of sugar in the recipe. This is because you are using liquid instead of dry, and maple syrup has a strong concentration of sweetness. You should also lower the baking temperature slightly.

Recipes That Work Great with Maple Syrup

If you want to replace sugar with maple syrup, think healthy snacks. This is where you can reduce the sugar content and increase health benefits at the same time.
Replace white sugar with pure maple syrup in recipes for:
Sweet Breads

Other Alternatives to Sugar

Maple syrup is a fantastic choice when you want to replace table sugar with something more natural, but it isn’t your only option. Here are some other options to consider:
Raw Honey 
Coconut Sugar

2. Pure Maple Syrup is an Antioxidant

Pure maple syrup is impressive when it comes to antioxidants. In fact, one study by the Canadian Government found up to 24 different antioxidants in pure maple syrup.
Antioxidants protect your immune system from the damage of free radicals. As you may already know, free radicals weaken your immune system and can lead cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
In maple syrup, the antioxidants are varied, but often include polyphenols. These are the same antioxidants you will find in foods like blueberries and green tea.
When looking for maple syrup that contains a healthy amount of antioxidants, you want to look for the darker color. These are usually more nutrient-rich than light-colored syrups.
As long as you choose pure maple syrup, there are loads of antioxidants. Maple syrup has to have at least 67% sugar to be called pure maple syrup.
You definitely don't want Mrs. Butterworth's (fake) syrup or other syrups with these ingredients:
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Corn Syrup
  • Artificial flavors
  • Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)
  • Sodium Hexametaphosphate
  • Caramel coloring
  • Polysorbate

3. It's Better For Your Immune System than White Sugar

Not only does maple syrup have antioxidants, but it can also boost your immune system. Pure maple syrup has minerals like zinc and manganese, which support your immune cells.
As you may know, if you don’t have a strong immune system, you are susceptible to illnesses and diseases. This means you're more likely to catch colds and flu, as well as a heightened risk of infections and diseases.
Try a little maple syrup in your diet if you are looking to boost your immune system and fight illnesses with something sweet and delicious.

4. It has Male Reproductive System Benefits

One of the more surprising health benefits of maple syrup is that it is good for male reproductive health.
So, how does maple syrup help with male sexual health? It is due to the high levels of zinc and other minerals located in maple syrup. That is to say; it contributes to increased testosterone levels, especially in males that are deficient in the mineral.
Aside from that, zinc can also help to fight the cold and reduce inflammation in your body.

5. It's Healthier For Your Heart than White Sugar

No matter what your current health status is, you should always be focusing on having a healthy heart. Many heart-related conditions like high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease show little warning. It's not until you see your doctor for a routine visit when they discover you have high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Pure maple syrup supports heart health by providing nutrients like antioxidants and zinc. These are good for fighting free radicals that could damage your membranes. These nutrients also help to boost the good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease the bad cholesterol (LDL). Additionally, you're using a natural sweetener instead of table sugar, which is never good for heart health.

6. It's WAY Better For Your Skin than White Sugar

What you may not realize is that antioxidants are not only good for your internal health but are also excellent for your skin.
Not only will you be getting antioxidants by choosing maple syrup more often, but you can use it on your skin. There are a variety of creams, masks, and scrubs that contain a small amount of syrup to help with anti-aging. Pure maple syrup is also great for moisturizing the skin and offering a glow.
Again, always make sure you are using pure maple syrup, not syrup from the grocery store loaded with preservatives.
For a simple scrub that uses maple syrup, consider combining the syrup with oats. Thin it out with a little warm almond milk or regular milk. Use it like a regular scrub where you rub it on your face gently, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse with warm water.

7. Can Reduce Inflammation

The last health benefit of maple syrup is that it can contribute to reducing inflammation in your body and your skin.
This once again is due to those helpful antioxidants included in maple syrup.
Inflammation is linked to dangerous medical conditions you want to avoid. For example, heart disease, bowel disease, and arthritis and all linked to inflammation.

Healthy Ways to Use Maple Syrup

There are a lot of healthy and nutritious ways to use pure maple syrup. Here are a few ideas to substitute maple sugar for white table sugar… And one of my favorite healthy snack recipes for Breakfast Cookies from Thrive Market: Yes, you can have THESE cookies for breakfast! 🙂

  • Enjoy a little maple syrup in your coffee or tea
  • Have a bowl of fruit with a teaspoon of maple syrup, instead of a bowl of ice cream
  • Top your oats with maple syrup and fresh berries
  • Make a smoothie with greens, fruit, Greek yogurt, almond milk, and maple syrup
  • Put your syrup on 3-ingredient pancakes made with eggs, bananas, and cinnamon

the health benefits of pure maple syrup


This recipe is packed with nutrition and you have my permission to eat them for breakfast!

Yield 18-20 cookies
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup mixed goji berries, mulberries, and golden berries
3 ripe mashed bananas
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a blender or food processor, coarsely grind together pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cashews, and shredded coconut. Pour mixture into a large bowl and mix with coconut flakes, ground ginger, ground flax seeds, salt, almonds, and mixed dried berries.

In a small bowl, whisk together bananas, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Pour mixture into dry nut and seed mixture and mix to thoroughly combine.

With a 2-inch scoop, scoop out cookies and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time. When cookies are golden brown, remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet.

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Conclusion of The Health Benefits of Pure Maple Syrup

If you're trying to clean up your diet by avoiding sugar, finding alternate sources can be tricky. As you just learned pure maple does offer a solution because it has some nutritional benefits while white table sugar should be labeled “toxic”. But, you have to remember it's still mainly sugar and not something you should eat every day. As long as you eat in in moderation, it's not an issue. Just make sure it's pure maple syrup and keep the serving size small. 

I'm so curious… What's your relationship with sugar? Do you attempt to reduce or limit your intake? Please leave me your thoughts or comments in the comment box below.

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Written by Jackie Parker


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  1. Maple syrup contains zinc and manganese in fairly high amounts, in addition to potassium and calcium. Zinc can help fight illness and improve immunity since it keeps your level of white blood cells up, while manganese plays a crucial role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, brain and nerve function. Primary antioxidants include benzoic acid, Gallic acid, cinnamon acid, and various flavones like catching, epicatechin, ruin and quercetin. While most are found at low concentrations, others are present in higher quantities, so it’s possible that the benefits of these antioxidants might counteract some of the downsides to consuming the syrup’s high quantity of sugar. Thank you for sharing your article about The Health Benefits of Pure Maple Syrup.

  2. I love maple syrup with pancakes or waffles.It is not easy to buy pure maple syrup from where I am. Mostly available in gourmet shops which can be pricey. Therefore, I never really have much of opportunities to consume them as I like. Most maple syrups sold at my neighbourhood grocery stores are not pure and tasted only sweetness. Not the mapley sweetness I look for.
    Thanks for sharing the health benefits. I learned more and might buy a bottle of pricey pure maple syrup for my baking. Good Day!

    • Hi Sharon… I’m curious, where do you live? Pure maple syrup should not be that difficult to find. If you live in the U.S. look at Thrive Market! They even have a deal right now to get a bottle for FREE. You can’t find a better deal than that. 🙂

  3. It’s great that you talked about how pure maple syrup is impressive when it comes to antioxidants. My wife is about to cook some pancakes tomorrow and it seems we do not have any maple syrup in our pantry. So with that in mind, I am thinking of getting some from a maple syrup supplier after work.

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