This viscous amber liquid with its characteristic earthy sweet taste is made from the sap of either the sugar, black or red maple tree. The process of creating maple syrup begins with tapping (piercing) the tree, which allows the sap to run out freely. The collected clear, almost tasteless sap is then condensed by boiling, a process that helps to concentrate its initial single digit sugar content to more than 60%. This process also creates the characteristic flavor and deep color of the syrup.
Maple Syrup is a much healthier alternative to refined sugar and contains fewer calories and a higher concentration of minerals than honey.
Maple syrup, as an excellent source of manganese (The trace mineral that is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses) and, a good source of zinc. Zinc and Manganese are important allies in the immune system. Many types of immune cells appear to depend upon zinc for optimal function. Particularly in children, researchers have studied the effects of zinc deficiency (and zinc supplementation) on immune response and the number of white blood cells, including specific studies on T lymphocytes, macrophages, and B cells (all types of white blood cells important for immune defenses). In these studies, zinc deficiency has been shown to compromise numbers of white blood cell and immune response, while zinc supplementation has been shown to restore conditions to normal. In addition to the role played by zinc, the manganese in maple syrup is important since, as a component of the antioxidant SOD, it helps lessen inflammation, thus supporting healing.