Diabetes? Weight Loss? You may have heard of Xylitol, a low glycemic natural sugar alcohol. Did you know when you use it as part of a low-carb and vegetable-rich diet, it can help boost your immune responses and reduce your chances of experiencing diabetic complications?
How about Jaggery Palm or Beta Glucan?
Even if you don't have any problems with sugars or have a risk of diabetes, keeping your intake of refined sugars down helps your immune system and may help prevent many more issues.
The fact is: much of the excess weight, little irritations, and mucus dripping from your nose may come from too many refined sugars. Switching over to an alternative natural sweetener can help lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and may even help your dental health, breath problems, and optimal acid/alkaline balance within the body.
Do you think that sounds like a lot of benefits for a little change?
How Xylitol Differs
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, and it is not metabolized using insulin. It's absorbed much slower than regular sugar from your digestive system, which means you get all the taste with less impact on your body. One fun fact is that humans produce small quantities of this sweet little molecule on an everyday basis.
It tastes incredibly similar to regular sugar. It has the same sweetness as sugar, and you'll find that you can use it exactly as you would regular sugar. It's stable enough to use in your baking. The only downside is that it does not caramelize so, no golden crust.
Aside from the sugar regulation benefits, ear doctors and dentists promote the use of Xylitol. You'll find it reduces your chances of ear infections by about 25% and reduces dental problems and cavities. Some studies have even noted that it can help reduce the Candida albicans infection, reducing the yeast ability to colonize surfaces.
Here's the thing about Xylitol and Immunity:
Xylitol, by itself, is not directly involved with increasing your immune response. What it does is helps provide a slippery surface for bacteria and yeasts to slide off. It makes a hostile environment for certain types of bacteria, such as those that create ear infections.
You'll even find that it helps increase the amount of glutathione in your body, which is a potent antioxidant. Basically, it helps your body when used correctly.
As published in the 2019 Nutrients Journal, "Xylitol also modulates the immune system, which, together with its antimicrobial activity, contributes to a reduced respiratory tract infection, sinusitis, and otitis media risk. As a low caloric sweetener, Xylitol may contribute to weight management… Additional health benefits of Xylitol have thus been reported and indicate further opportunities, but need to be confirmed in human studies."
Jaggery Palm Benefits
Believed to be one of the healthiest palm sugars on the market, palm jaggery, also known commonly as palm sugar, has become widely available. This fantastic substitute is often unrefined and unbleached, letting it retain a tremendous amount of nutrients and a sweet flavor. This type of sugar makes up most of the sugar in Southwest Asian countries.
Aside from being a great sugar substitute, jaggery is loaded with antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium. These nutrients help our immune system to be more actively engaged. Additionally, the fibers and other nutrients can help influence proper digestion and feed the healthy probiotics in our gut.
Beta Glucan – The Next Step in Immunity
A terrific heart-healthy fiber, beta-glucan is a type of soluble dietary fiber that has been linked to improving cholesterol and improving your heart. Additionally, although more research is necessary, researchers have found that beta-glucan can help stimulate your immune system and help you fight diseases more effectively. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to influence our immune system directly, yet it helps keep people from getting sick.
If you're wondering how to use these sugar substitutes effectively and help boost your immune system, here's a great fall recipe that can help you feel healthier while it helps your digestive system, helps your immune system, and may even help fight off the cold and flu.
Chocolate Pumpkin Homemade Protein Bars
Makes 16 Pieces = approximate 150 calories each
1/2 cup Sweetener
1/2 cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
2 cups oat flour
2 scoops cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk (nut milk substitutes work well – do not use rice or skim milk, it makes the dough too soft)
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a glass 9 X 13 baking pan.
Combine Batch A ingredients – mix well.
Combine Batch B ingredients and mix with Batch A ingredients until a thick dough is formed.
Spread batter into the baking dish and bake for 35-40 min.