Too much sugar can cause a number of health problems. Swap your table sugar with molasses, particularly blackstrap molasses. So, what is blackstrap molasses and is it truly a healthier alternative compared to sugar? Here’s everything there is to know.
What Are Molasses?
Molasses come from the process of sugar cane production. It is actually a by-product that’s thick and syrupy in appearance. Depending on the substance from which sugar is extracted from, molasses come in various forms. Sugar beets and sugar cane usually produce this as a by-product.
Types of Molasses
- Cane Molasses: A by-product of sugar produced from sugar cane.
- Sulfured Molasses: This comes from the extraction of sugar from sugar cane that is young. It is then preserved with sulfur dioxide.
- Unsulfured Molasses: This version no longer needs sulfur and is rich in flavor.
- Hydrol: These are molasses that are obtained from the hydrolysis of starch.
- Pomegranate Molasses: As named, this comes from the pomegranate fruit.
- Blackstrap Molasses: This is also called final molasses. It is a by-product of canned sugar refinement and raw cane sugar.
What Are Blackstrap Molasses?
As mentioned, this type of molasses is a by-product of sugar production from sugar cane. Sugar cane is first mashed. The juice from the mashed product is boiled to create the syrup. It is then boiled a second time which creates the molasses.
By the third time, it is boiled, dark syrup emerges which is what is called blackstrap molasses. In comparison to other sugar cane products, this type has the lowest amount of sugar. Moreover, it contains numerous minerals and vitamins.
This type of molasses ranks 55 on the glycemic index, which makes it a healthier choice for diabetics compared to white sugar. For every 100 grams of blackstrap molasses, it contains the following nutrients:
|Calories: 290||Niacin: 0.9 mg|
|Cholesterol: 0||Protein: 0|
|Carbohydrate: 75 gm||Pantothenic Acid: 0.8 mg|
|Calcium: 205 mg||Phosphorus: 31 mg|
|Copper: 0.5 mg||Potassium: 1,464 mg|
|Dietary Fiber: 0||Selenium: 17 micrograms|
|Fat: 0||Sodium: 37 mg|
|Iron: 4.7 mg||Sugar: 55 grams|
|Manganese: 1.5 mg||Thiamine: 0.1 mg|
|Magnesium: 242 mg||Vitamin B6: 0.7|
Despite it being moderate on the glycemic index, molasses are still sugars. Consume them in small amounts. It is recommended to use blackstrap molasses as an all-natural sweetener.
What Are The Health Benefits?
Promotes Healthy Skin
Due to its lactic acid content, this type of molasses helps treat acne as well as other skin problems. Moreover, it aids in promoting the growth of tissues. So, it works wonders as an all-natural wound healing agent. Add this type of molasses to your diet to accelerate wound healing of acne, burns, wounds, and cuts. Plus, it helps maintain healthy and clear skin.
Relieves Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Compared to white sugar, this molasses is rich in iron. For women, they need more iron, especially since they experience menstruation once a month and lose iron in the process. A deficiency in iron leads to a bad mood, feelings of anxiety or depression, and low levels of energy.
Fight the symptoms of PMS by consuming this type of molasses. Apart from its iron content, it is rich in calcium, manganese, and magnesium. These nutrients are vital in maintaining the health of muscles in the uterus, relieving menstrual cramps, and preventing blood clots.
Regulates Blood Glucose Levels
As mentioned, this variety of molasses rank low on the glycemic index. This means it slows glucose and carbohydrate metabolism which results in low production of insulin. Thus, blood glucose levels are regulated and stabilized.
Apart from the minerals and vitamins that are vital to one’s health, this variety of molasses are high in antioxidants. These substances fight against the damaging effects of unstable molecules also known as free radicals.
Promotes Bone Health
Thanks to its high calcium content, this variety of molasses help in improving bone strength and health. In addition to calcium, it’s copper and iron content helps in reducing the risk for brittle and weak bones and in healing broken bones.
Magnesium, calcium and B vitamins combat the effects of stress. Luckily, blackstrap molasses is rich in all these nutrients. The vitamin B content, particularly B6, raises the levels of serotonin in one’s brain. It is this hormone that prevents pain and fatigue as well as controls mood. Add it to your diet to fight stress.
Natural Tonic for ADHD or ADD
People who have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD are deficient in iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Rather than depend on prescription medications to normalize the levels of the aforementioned nutrients, opt for this type of molasses. These nutrients serve as a natural remedy for ADHD or ADD.
Potassium keeps one’s cardiovascular system healthy by lowering cholesterol and systolic blood pressure. Moreover, this nutrient is vital in keeping you well hydrated. Along with sodium, potassium supports the cellular functions, particularly the sodium-potassium pump. So, two teaspoons of this type of molasses can fulfill 10 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI).
Relieves Pain Caused by Arthritis
Arthritis is characterized by inflammation and pain in the joints. It can be differentiated as either rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Fight the pain and swelling caused by arthritis with the help of this molasses type. It has anti-inflammatory properties to relieve swelling as well as pain in the joints. Compared to other treatments, using molasses is all-natural.
The consumption of molasses in this variety is deemed safe. However, some individuals may manifest an allergic reaction. This is due to the sulfite content in molasses. If you feel an allergic reaction, then discontinue use or opt to use unsulfured blackstrap molasses.
The bottom line is that blackstrap molasses are indeed a healthier alternative to white sugar. It is also more nutritious compared to other sweeteners, such as honey. Again, it is not meant to be eaten in large amounts and self-control on the use of this sweetener should still be practiced.