SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 29 (UPI) -- North American Indians always used maple syrup as a medicine but today's doctors are catching up, a U.S. expert says.
Phil Lempert -- food industry analyst, trend-watcher and creator of the Web site supermarketguru.com -- says maple syrup is running in the Northeast United States and Canada. He says when the Indians discovered sap in trees and boiled it down to syrup it was used as an all-purpose seasoning much the way salt is used today and as a medicine.
Maple syrup has about three times the sweetening power of cane sugar and only 40 calories per tablespoon, but unlike any other sweetener, maple syrup is a great source of manganese and a good source of zinc," Lempert says in a statement.
"Manganese protects your cells from free radicals, keeps bones strong, promotes optimal thyroid function, helps maintain blood sugar levels, and more. Zinc also helps balance blood sugar, supports the immune system as well as optimal smell and taste."
University of Rhode Island researchers found more than 20 compounds in maple syrup have been linked to human health --13 of which are newly discovered in maple syrup.