Research involving cane sugar at the University of California-San Francisco reports that sugar is essentially a toxin that causes all sorts of lifestyle diseases, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
Sugar is just about in every day foods bought. Such as bread, low-fat yogurt, soy milk, bbq sauce, tomato sauce, chocolate milk, cereals, smoothies, cookies, and muffins among many other foods.
If you were to have just one serving of each of the foods in the above image, you would have consumed about 13 tablespoons of sugar or 37 – 40 teaspoons.
There is an alternative sweetener, and what most people don’t know is that it beats out all the others.
What is the alternative? Maple syrup. Maples taste profile is even better than sugar.
Maple Syrup Flavor
Maple syrup has caramel notes along with the woodsy maple flavor that you might expect from a maple syrup product.
Maple syrup can have a complex flavor with notes of vanilla, cinnamon and even hazelnut.
Cane sugar tastes highly refined and incredibly sweet.
Maple Syrup Health Benefits
Maple syrup contains 100 essential nutritional compounds including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, phytohormones, and 67 polyphenols.
A study done by the University of Rhode Island – The College of Pharmacy, reported that maple syrup has antioxidants and minerals that deem this syrup a superfood (Study Source).
The researchers said that in their laboratory research they found several compounds that possessed anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to fight cancer, diabetes and bacterial illnesses.
When examining other sweeteners, real maple is higher in – magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, and potassium than honey, brown sugar, and white sugar.
The USDA Nutritional Database, says a 1/4 cup serving of Real Maple Syrup supplies 95% of our daily intake of manganese, 37% of riboflavin, 7% of magnesium, 6% of zinc, 5% of calcium and 5% of potassium.
The database also reports maple syrup is higher in antioxidants than cabbage, tomatoes, and cantaloupe.
Real Maple Syrup has a glycemic index of 54, and is defined as having a “medium” index.
Cane Sugar on the other hand, has a glycemic index of 68 and is defined as having a “high” index.
Honey has a glycemic index of 60 – Brown sugar has a glycemic index of 70.
If your vegan, maple syrup is an alternative to honey. It is also fat-free.
Eating and Cooking With Maple Syrup
Maple syrup can be used for more than just pancakes.
It can be used as an easy replacement for sugar in coffee, tea, and lemonade, as a homemade salad dressing, in baking, in marinades, and on roasted vegetables.
One of the major mechanisms of probiotic action is through the regulation of host immune response.
Research has reported that probiotics showed therapeutic potential for diseases, including several immune response-related diseases, such as allergy, eczema, viral infection, and potentiating vaccination responses.
Eat probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and yogurt.
You Could Make Your Own Yogurt – Very Easy To Do and NO Yogurt Making Machine Needed.
Bob Jones University says that depending on the exercise intensity and duration, the number of circulating immune cells can increase by 50% to 400%.
However, this exercise-induced increase in immune cells is transient, as the immune system returns to pre-exercise levels within three hours.
Consequently, sustained and regular moderate exercise is key to improving the immune system’s response to pathogens and reducing the risk of infection long-term.
Go for a brisk walk (your heart should beat faster than normal) a swim, or a bike ride.
You can also work out in the comfort of your living room by trying out some online streaming workouts.
Eat More Fiber
According to the National Library of Medicine, dietary fiber, fermented by the gut microbiota into short-chain fatty acids, has also been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects, thereby strengthening the immune response.
It’s recommended by the Institute of Medicine that men eat 38 grams of fiber per day and women eat 25 grams of fiber per day, yet most Americans only get 16 grams of fiber per day.
High fiber foods include, Chia seeds, popcorn, oats, lentils, Brussels sprouts, apples, walnuts, almonds, leafy greens among others.
To think about cooking as purely functional would be to look at just one aspect of it. When in fact there are several reasons why we cook.
Cooking makes food more edible and in doing so cuts down on the time it takes to digest it.
Some foods we can eat raw, but there are others that need to be cooked, like meat or eggs for example.
Humankind has been on the earth for thousands of years and throughout the centuries we have learned the art of cooking.
Yes cooking is an art. If you are a professional-cook or not – when you put together different flavors you are creating a dish to satisfy your taste and hunger.
The More You Know
We spend just five percent (5%) of our day eating. So make the food you eat count towards a healthier you. Read more here: First Step To Being Healthy
The bottom line is, we have learned through trial and error that some foods need to be cooked.
So again, ever thought while you are preparing something to eat, why you cook it?
Why We Cook
It makes eating food safe, as cooking destroys bacteria, and the toxins they produce.
The food flavors multiple with using heat to cook. The heat browns meat, vegetables, breads, and cakes.
Cooking caramelizes sugar and helps herbs and spices to release their locked in flavors in a process known as the Maillard reaction.
Read More Here About Cooking With Herbs – Spices – and Caramelizing Sugar
Food that has been cooked helps with your digestion as it softens starches and releases foods nutrients.
Cooked food tastes delicious and brings new textures to food.
Cooking To Gather Family and Friends
You may have heard the expression, make friends by “breaking bread together.”
Research has shown that the ritual of cooking and sharing your cooked food with others is entrenched in our psyche, and it brings family and friends together.
Regularly eating cooked food with others also improves our well-being.
Cooking Supports A Healthy Life Style
Here’s a great response to why we cook.
Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, lead author of a study on home cooking and weight lossat the John Hopkins Center, says if you are trying to lose weight or not, people who cook most of their meals at home, consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all (Study Suggests Home Cooking is a Main Ingredient in Healthier Diet).
According to Civil Eats – The power of a communal meal, or eating together – either it be a Thanksgiving feast, a community potluck, or a dinner-table gathering can build cultural ties and tear down political walls.
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and variety is as important as how many servings you eat every day.
No single fruit or vegetable will provide all of the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy body.
A diet filled with plenty of different fruits and vegetables can help to reduce your risk for major disease.
Such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, just to mention a few.
All fruits and vegetables contribute to a healthy heart, though green leafy vegetables, like lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens, have shown to be strongly associated with decreased risk of heart disease.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale – and citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (including their juices) also contribute to a health vascular system (BMJ).
Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits like apples, pears, and green leafy vegetables may even promote a healthy body weight (PLOS Medicine).