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Touchpoints at Bloomfield Staff Makes Syrup from the Sap of Trees on Campus

BLOOMFIELD (March 5, 2018) –

Article appears in the Windsor Locks Journal, Windsor Journal and Bloomfield Messenger

If you are out and about, take a look at the Touchpoints at Bloomfield grounds and see what we are up to. 

For the past three years, we have been tapping our trees to make maple syrup from scratch. We are lucky to have our very own Andy Cassasa head of our Maintenance department collect the sap and cook it down to make pure maple syrup.  Andy stated that it could take from 6-8 hours cooking time and a lot of patience.  Once the cooking process is done, Andy bottles up the maple syrup. 

Every year it’s a tradition for the recreation department to make homemade Belgian waffles for our residents with our very own maple syrup.  The residents enjoy this time of the year.  Below I included some health benefits of maple syrup.  So if you are able to purchase homemade maple syrup and support our local farms do it because there are truly some health benefits. 

1. Contains Numerous Antioxidants

According to studies comparing the total antioxidant content of natural sweeteners to refined sugar products like white sugar or corn syrup, substantial differences in total antioxidant content were found. Refined sugar, corn syrup and agave nectar contain minimal antioxidant activity, but maple syrup, dark and blackstrap molasses, brown sugar, and raw honey showed higher antioxidant capacity (with molasses having the highest).

2. Gets a Lower Score on the Glycemic Index

Refined sugar, and refined carbohydrates in general, are known to be rapidly metabolized by the liver — causing a “sugar high,” followed by a quick “sugar crash.” Even worse, consuming too much sugar quickly spikes your blood sugar and raises insulin levels, which over time can lead to lower insulin response and problems managing blood glucose, with is the reason diabetes develops.

However, keep in mind that because consuming too much sugar, from any source, is one of the leading causes of some of the most widespread health problems − like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease − even natural sweeteners like maple syrup should be used in small amounts. When it comes to solutions for reversing diabetes naturally, or other blood-sugar related conditions, it’s best to minimize sugar intake overall and especially to avoid refined sugar.

3. Fights Inflammatory Diseases 

Because maple syrup nutrition supplies inflammation-reducing poly-phenol antioxidants, it can be considered part of a healthy diet that’s helpful in preventing certain diseases like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or heart disease.

4. May Help Protect Against Cancer

While some evidence shows that to a certain degree sugar can cause cancer or at least contribute to it, maple syrup seems to a much less harmful sweetener. This is due to the presence of antioxidants in maple syrup that can protect cells from DNA damage and mutation. While maple syrup alone won’t likely result in a reduced risk for developing cancer, it’s a much safer option than including high levels of refined sugar or artificial sweeteners in your diet.

5. Helps Protect Skin Health

Many people swear by using maple syrup topically, directly on their skin. Similarly to raw honey, maple syrup can help to lower skin inflammation, redness, blemishes and dryness. Combined with raw milk or yogurt, rolled oats and raw honey, this natural mixture applies to the skin as a mask can hydrate skin while reducing bacteria and signs of irritation.

6. Alternative To Sugar For Improved Digestion

Consuming high levels of refined sugar can contribute to candida, IBS, leaky gut syndrome and other digestive system disorders. In fact, one of the biggest steps you can take to heal leaky gut and autoimmune disorders is to reduce refined sugar intake and opt for small amounts of natural sweeteners instead.

Most artificial sweeteners also cause symptoms of indigestion, including gas, bloating, cramping and constipation. To keep the digestive tract in healthier shape, free from chemicals and the damage done by a high-sugar diet, maple syrup can be a much better alternative to use in baked goods, yogurt, oatmeal or smoothies.

7. Supplies Important Vitamins and Minerals

Maple syrup contains zinc and manganese in fairly high amounts, in addition to potassium and calcium. Zinc can help fight illness and improve immunity since it keeps your level of white blood cells up, while manganese plays a role a crucial role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, brain and nerve function.

8. Healthier Alternative to Artificial Sweeteners

If you typically use artificial sweeteners or refined sugar products like dangerous splenda, sucralose, agave, aspartame or sugar, you should think about switching these out for maple syrup and raw honey as soon as possible. Artificial sweeteners, while they may be calorie-free, are tied to numerous health problems including weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, short-term memory loss and much more.

Many existing illnesses can be worsened by repeatedly using artificial sweeteners over time, and they also show unfavorable results when it comes to weight loss, too. It’s very possible to form an addiction to artificial sweeteners used in many diet or light foods, since they affect your food cravings and your ability to manage your body’s signs of hunger and fullness.

Maple syrup isn’t linked to any of those health problems, plus it triggers more satisfaction because of its natural sweet taste.