|Blackstrap Molasses Quick Facts|
|Taste||Bitter, sweet, malty|
|Major nutrients||Vitamin B-12 (112.50%)
|Health benefits||Anemia cure, Skin and hair health, Lower PMS, Acts as a laxative, Bone health|
It has low content of sugar, molasses or cane syrup leaving more of bittersweet taste because majority of sugar crystals have been discarded. It is widely used as traditional medicine or culinary applications in various parts of world.
It is a byproduct of sugar refining industry and its availability is ruled by world sugar production. Beet and cane molasses are end products of sugar manufacturing process and no more sugar are crystallized from raw crop, left over product is molasses. Cane molasses are the product of tropical agriculture and more commonly known as blackstrap molasses which is a term derived from Dutch word “stroop” which means syrup. Beet molasses occur from temperate crop & in northern hemisphere. The production of sugar beet is concentrated mainly in North America and Northern Europe.
Sugar, in specific sucrose is a major component of molasses. In fact, molasses is a solution of sucrose in addition to fructose, glucose and other organic or inorganic matter in water. Sucrose is distributed widely throughout plant kingdom. As a product of photosynthesis, the plant green cells use energy of sunrays for converting atmospheric carbon dioxide and water into sugar.
Some plants store its energy for future growth or flowering in the sap as sucrose or concentrations could be high as 20%. Sugar cane is such plant whereas sugar beet stores sucrose in juice which is contained in its bulbous roots. Both plants serve the basis for world’s commercial production of sugar.
Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses
Here are the health benefits discussed about Blackstrap Molasses:
- Anemia cure
Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia which is characterized by paleness, fatigue, feeling cold, cracking at corners of mouth, dizziness, hair loss and anxiety. It is caused with body is not able to produce enough healthy red blood cells that transport oxygen around the body successfully. Blackstrap molasses is a great source of iron. It is recommended to use a tablespoon stirred into hot water for those with anemia related problems. Often this tonic is known as pregnancy tea and is frequently advised for pregnant women who are at high chances of developing anemia which is caused due to iron deficiency.
- Skin and hair health
The deficiency of iron results cracking and pale skin and also affecting health of nails and hair. Iron deficiency is closely associated to hair loss than we realize. Low iron content affect nails causing nail bed to be thin or concave with raised ridges. Blackstrap molasses has high content of magnesium which is a vital mineral contributing healthy skin by counteracting acne, eczema, wrinkles and prevent nail breakage and hair loss. The prolonged use of Blackstrap is associated to improvement in skin and hair quality, less gray hairs and hair regrowth.
- Lower PMS
For the centuries, Blackstrap molasses are used as a home remedy for preventing or easing PMS which is a condition affecting 3 out of every 4 women. Intake molasses combined with warm water which could offset some symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, depression, acne and irritability. This tonic has high iron content replacing some iron levels that are lost naturally through menstruation and its content of calcium have greater effect. Studies have shown that PMS patients have altered calcium balance and associated the adequate intake of calcium with lowering PMS symptoms. Molasses have some minerals such as manganese and magnesium that helps to prevent menstrual cramps.
- Acts as a laxative
Due to the high content of nutrients, Blackstrap molasses provide relief from constipation. Magnesium is helpful in treating constipation by soothing muscles and drawing water into stool making it easier to pass. Intake 1 to 2 tablespoons regularly in warm water in order to maintain the digestive health.
- Bone health
Magnesium or calcium with Vitamin D is essential for maintaining strong bones which are the most vital nutrients that we could get. Blackstrap molasses is a great source of calcium which could be consumed regularly for maintaining healthy and strong bones. The high content of magnesium found in Blackstrap molasses helps to facilitate absorption or metabolism of calcium. It’s also high in magnesium which plays an important role in bone health by facilitating the absorption and metabolism of calcium.
- Lower stress
Blackstrap molasses tea helps to combat anxiety and stress. Vitamin B6 helps to promote serotonin levels in brain. Serotonin is vital neurotransmitter which affects brain cells associated to mood, appetite, sexual desire, learning, sleep and memory. A lack of serotonin is associated with compulsive behavior, depression, panic, anxiety and anger. Researches have shown the connection between low level of Vitamin B6 and depression. Magnesium is an old cure for apathy, anxiety, headaches, depression, insecurity, headaches, restlessness, stress and irritability.
- Prevent inflammation
Blackstrap molasses have high content of antioxidant properties in comparison to refined sugar, corn syrup, raw cane sugar, agave nectar, brown sugar, maple syrup and honey. Antioxidants combat oxidative damage which is responsible for cognitive impairment, liver damage, cancer, premature aging and high cholesterol. Those who counteract oxidative damage are regarded to be anti-inflammatory so it is helpful for patients suffering inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Reduction in blood pressure
The diet containing potassium is essential for those suffering high blood pressure as potassium helps to lower the sodium effects which contributes to hypertension. Two tablespoons offer 16% of daily recommended intake of potassium. So take blackstrap molasses regularly. Both calcium and magnesium helps to reduce hypertension as per the conducted research. Study shows that people with magnesium supplements have significant lower in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
- Balance blood sugar
Blackstrap molasses offer high level of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants so it is a better alternative to refined sugar. It is helpful for those who want to have little added sweetness without peaks and dips related with refined sugar. It is not as sweet as other alternatives of sugar.
- Cancer prevention
It is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which assist the body to counteract cancer development. It helps to prevent cancer cells growth and in fact used for treating various cancers.
- Natural treatment of ADHD
This condition is suffered due to mineral deficiencies. The addition of B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium to the diet provides leveling and calming effect. This nutrient is beneficial for central nervous system, promote mood stability, enhance brain function and improve focusing ability.
- Relaxes nerves
Molasses have magnesium which soothes blood vessels or nerves. It assists blood circulation and facilitates calcium distribution to central nervous system. Healthy blood circulation helps to maintain emotional equilibrium and avoid hypertension and anxiety.
- Form new cells
Blackstrap molasses contain B vitamins which assist the body in building and regenerating new cells. So it is considered as a good healer. It is also considered as a tonic during pregnancy. Its regular use helps the growing baby in building strong bones, central nervous system and muscles.
- Use 1 to 2 teaspoon helps to get rid of acute and chronic constipation.
- Consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of Blackstrap molasses to prevent anemic problems for pregnant women and other girls.
- For hair health, consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of Blackstrap molasses.
- Make a nourishing face wash by diluting it with water and apply to the skin. Let it remain on face for five minutes then rinse with warm water.
- For menstrual pain, drink a cup (or two) of tea or hot water with Blackstrap molasses that helps to ease discomfort within 20-30 minutes. Its regular use helps to lower severity of menstrual issues.
- When consumed in large quantities, it causes constipation due to rich amount of iron.
- Avoid consuming more than one teaspoon per day.
- Side effects such as diarrhea and loose stools might be experienced.
- Though it contains less sugar but still it might be a problem for diabetic patients.
- Use it in moderate amounts.
How to Eat
- Add it to sweet and savory dishes.
- It could be added to the meals and snacks.
- Use molasses and coconut sugar to make delicious cookies.
- Make a smoothie with almond milk, cinnamon, blackstrap molasses, banana, vanilla, ginger and chia seeds.
- Add it to coffee.
- It is also used as a spread or topping on oatmeal, toast and porridges.
- Use a couple tablespoons of Blackstrap molasses as meat marinade.
- Add teaspoon of Blackstrap molasses to teas or mug of hot water.
- Use it in sauces, salad dressings and glazes.