Blackstrap molasses is a dark, viscous syrup which is the byproduct of the sugarcane refining process. This thick, bittersweet liquid has the lowest sugar content of any sugar cane product and unlike refined sugar, is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Blackstrap molasses offers numerous health benefits such as naturally reducing the symptoms of PMS, ADHD as well as boosting bone and skin health.
About Blackstrap Molasses
This dark sugar alternative has been imported from the Caribbean since the first settlers. As a much more affordable alternative to sugar, blackstrap molasses was a popular ingredient of rum and spirits until the 19th century and the American Revolution.
Blackstrap molasses has made a comeback in recent years due to the health food movement seen in today’s society which promotes meals of vitamin-filled superfoods.
Blackstrap molasses is made worldwide with the largest producers being the United States, India, Taiwan, Brazil and the Philippines.
Blackstrap molasses is available in most local markets and health food stores and is often used as a sweetener in health food bars.
Nutritional Content of Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses has a lower glycemic load than refined sugar, which makes it a much better choice, especially for those with diabetes. It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals absorbed from the sugarcane plant including:
● Vitamin B6
Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses
Helps Prevent Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, free radicals are formed naturally by the body and are important to many cellular processes. However, at high levels they can be hazardous to the body and arethought to be the primary cause of cancer (source).
A study in the Journal of the American Diabetic Association shows that blackstrap molasses is an excellent alternative to refined sugar due to its antioxidant activity (source). Antioxidants keep free radicals at bay and can help prevent a number of conditions and diseases including cancer.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Blackstrap molasses contains lactic acid (source). According to studies published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, lactic acid can act as a solution to acne (source). Blackstrap molasses also promotes growth of healthy tissue meaning it can help wounds heal faster. Consuming blackstrap molasses can also reduce signs of acne, promoting clear, healthy skin.
Promotes Bone Health
Blackstrap molasses is packed with calcium. Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body which is stored largely in bones and teeth. However, as we age, our natural calcium stores are depleted. This can lead to conditions such as osteopenia, osteoporosis and hypocalcemia. The high levels of calcium in blackstrap molasses make it an undoubtedly positive diet addition for bone health, preventing weak and brittle bones.
Naturally Aids the Symptoms of ADD and ADHD
Research has shown that the symptoms so often seen in children with ADD and ADHD are mirrored in people with deficiencies in zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron (source).
Due to the high content of these minerals in blackstrap molasses, it serves as a natural remedy for ADD and ADHD. These minerals also serve to improve brain function and the nervous system which can naturally improve focus. The low glycemic load in blackstrap molasses prevents sugar spikes, lowering levels of hyperactivity.
Prevents Anemia and PMS
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “Iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world” (source). Iron deficiency anemia is the most common cause of anemia globally (source).
Blackstrap molasses contains an incredibly high dose of iron (source) meaning that it can help prevent iron deficiency. This is particularly important for women. According for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women need more iron than men as they lose a significant amount of iron during the menstrual cycle each month, (source).
Moreover, iron can improve your mood which is why many people with iron deficiency experience symptoms of depression or anxiety. This along with its high content of manganese and magnesium (which can relieve menstrual cramps) make blackstrap molasses a natural remedy for PMS.