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Hair, Skin, Nails : Healing Foods: Maple Syrup

Posted October 30, 2014

By Michael T. Murray, ND

As the months grow cooler, a whole new flavor pallet is in season. One of many people's fall favorites is maple syrup. Made by tapping the bark of trees, maple syrup is a product of sugar and black maple trees.

It is thought that Natives Americans discovered maple syrup, and valued it for medicinal properties. Early American Colonists learned about maple syrup's sweet taste from the Native Americans, and soon began making it as a sweetener. The trees that produce maple syrup are only located in certain regions in North America, because of this, the world's largest producer of maple syrup is Quebec Canada.

Nutritional Highlights:
  • Maple syrup is a very good source of the trace mineral manganese as well as zinc.
  • A tablespoon serving of maple syrup contains of 52 calories and 11.9 grams of sugar.
Health Benefits:
  • Maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese, important in energy production and antioxidant defenses.
  • Only 2 tablespoons of maple syrup provides approximately 37 percent of our daily value of manganese.
  • Because maple syrup is also a source of zinc, it can help decrease the progression of atherosclerosis, help with skin problems such as acne, and help support a healthier prostate and immune system.
Maple syrup is, of course, traditionally served with pancakes and waffles in America. For other breakfast uses, try pouring maple syrup on tope of oatmeal with cinnamon, walnuts, and raisins. Adding maple syrup, instead of sugar, in your coffee, creates a richer flavor. Another great use for maple syrup is combining it with cinnamon and pureeing it with cooked sweet potatoes. Is maple syrup one of your favorite fall flavors? What are your favorite maple syrup recipes?


Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the world's leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

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