Maple water is pure maple sap, the clear and nourishing liquid that flows from maple trees for a short time in early spring. Maple water goes through a natural process that infuses it with nutrients that have been stored in the tree all winter. Hence, not only does it taste great, maple water offers an array of health benefits.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Maple Water?
Maple sap contains, on average, 95% to 97.5% water. Apart from sucrose which is its major sugar, the natural sap contains minerals, oligosaccharides, amino acids, organic acids, and phenolic compounds. Maple water contains 46 unique bio-active compounds, some of which have antioxidant properties. Among them, you will find minerals like potassium and zinc as well as calcium and manganese, which are good for your bones.
The plant derived compounds, such as phenolics, have immense biological effects and potential human health benefits. The mix of vitamins, nutrients, and polyphenols may even be useful in promoting thyroid and bone health along with a diabetic preventive diet.
Health Benefits Of Maple Water
1. Good for digestion – Maple sap is a good source of oligosaccharides and can be used as a good carbon source for the good bacteria (eg-lactobacilli) in our gut that help digest our food and strengthen our digestive system.2
2. Stabilizes blood sugar – A new study found that maple sap contains Abscisic Acid (ABA). ABA works to help control blood sugar and is especially helpful for people with type-2 diabetes and obesity-related inflammation.3
3. Potential cancer chemo-preventive effects – Polyphenols are bio-active compounds found in plant foods. Ginnalins A-C are polyphenols present in the sap and other parts of the sugar, and red maple species. Research studies show that maple polyphenols may have potential cancer chemo-preventive effects mediated through cell cycle arrest.
4. Fights inflammatory diseases – The Maple water contains up to 24 different antioxidants. The antioxidants, in the form of phenolic compounds in maple water, are beneficial for reducing free radical damage that can cause inflammation and contribute to the formation of various chronic diseases such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or heart disease.
5. Full of electrolytes – Maple water also contains electrolytes, similar to coconut water. Maple water is believed to be extremely hydrating for the body and contains electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and calcium.
6. Low in natural sugars and calories – Maple water has a low calorie count of only 45cal to a 500mL serving, less than half the calories of other mineral waters such as coconut water. With only two percent sugar and low calorie content, maple water is a healthy alternative to sugary beverage like fruit juices or sports drinks.
How Does Maple Water Differ From Maple Syrup?
Maple water is the maple sap that flows directly from a maple tree. Maple water is not like maple syrup, although they are derived from the same place. Maple syrup is made by boiling maple sap. Since the sap contains a high water ratio, it has to undergo processing in order for the water to evaporate, leaving behind the concentrated or thick maple syrup. The concentration of maple sugar in Maple water is approximately 2%, compared to 66% concentration in maple syrup.
Though drinking maple water is considered to be beneficial, you need to make sure it is certified organic. Maple water certainly does have a lot of healthy attributes, which is one of the many reasons to drink maple water. However, more studies need to be done to back its claimed health benefits.