One of the more health-promoting properties of Agave Syrup is its low glycemic profile.
Although Agave Syrup was used for centuries as a flavoring, native peoples were also aware of its health benefits and used it medicinally. The Aztecs used a mixture of Agave Nectar and salt as a dressing for wounds and a balm for skin infections, and Agave’s use as a folk remedy continues today.
Modern medical study has confirmed Agave’s remedial properties. Agave Syrup has been found effective against pyogenic (pus producing) bacteria such as Staph aureus. Adding salt to the nectar has been found to further boost the anti-microbial properties. Agave Syrup has also been demonstrated as effective against enteric (intestinal) bacteria.
In many ways Agave Syrup can be seen to bridge the gap between real and artificial sweeteners.
Modern health food
Especially in the last century, the western diet has become increasingly comprised of refined sweeteners such as granulated sugar and corn syrup. The problem with these substances is their high glycemic index and glycemic load – both measures of the relative impact that foods have on our blood sugar level. Foods that raise blood sugar quickly trigger the release of the hormone insulin, and excessive releases of insulin and chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels are linked to Metabolic Syndrome (also called Syndrome X) which is associated with a complex of health disorders. Associated ailments include insulin resistance and type II diabetes, abdominal weight gain and obesity, problems with blood lipids (raised triglycerides and cholesterol) and high blood pressure.
One of the more health-promoting properties of Agave Syrup is its glycemic profile. Agave Nectar’s sweetness comes primarily from a complex form of fructose called inulin. Fructose is the sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. The carbohydrate in Agave Syrup has a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without the unpleasant “sugar rush” and unhealthy blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars.
Agave Syrup is a delicious natural sweetener that used moderately – by dieters, some diabetics, and health conscious cooks – is a superb replacement for high-glycemic and refined sugars.
To the rescue!
In many ways Agave Syrup can be seen to bridge the gap between real and artificial sweeteners. While it has all the useful properties of real sugars, its lower glycemic index helps protect against health risks associated with higher glycemic sweeteners.
Since Agave Syrup is composed of real sugars (fructose and glucose) it performs well in cooking and baking. Agave Syrup also matches refined sugars in other qualities, serving well as a browning agent, a humectant, a softener, and a preservative.