Blackstrap Molasses and Its Bitter-Sweet Benefits
Blackstrap molasses is a product obtained through sugarcane. It is a bitter, thick concoction obtained by extracting sugarcane juice by smashing and shredding a cane. Then the sap gets boiled, which then turns into a syrup-like consistency. Later, the obtained syrup further boils to a level that it turns black. This thick black syrup is called blackstrap molasses, and you can extract blackstrap molasses only at the 3rd stage of boiling. The stage is also known as grade C molasses.
Molasses covers a surprising history underneath as it has bought a revolution. Back in the 1600s, human cargo was sold for molasses from Africa to the Caribbean. Molasses was part of the Triangular Trade “rum, slaves, and molasses”. The British Parliament in 1733 imposed a stiff tax on molasses imported to British colonies from the French West Indies. The British parliament tried to elevate its market share through this molasses act. This whole phenomenon resulted in an ultimate revolution.
Blackstrap Molasses is a superfood that can replace sugar with a healthy version. Blackstrap molasses contains vital nutrients like vitamin B-12, B6, manganese, iron, carbohydrate, selenium, potassium, calcium, and copper. In addition, it is beneficial for skin and hair, acts as a laxative that improves digestion, improves bone health, helps cure anaemia and reduces PMS related issues.
Types of Blackstrap Molasses Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses
Unsulphured blackstrap molasses is the chemical-free version of blackstrap molasses. It uses grown and naturally ripened sugarcane to produce blackstrap molasses without any chemicals. It may also provide a distinctive flavour to the dishes. Foods prepared with unsulphured blackstrap molasses taste better than those with sulfured blackstrap molasses.
Sulphured Blackstrap Molasses
Sulphured Blackstrap Molasses contain certain chemicals. It uses sugarcane ripened using sulphur dioxide that helps ripen sugarcane without reaching maturity. Sulfured blackstrap molasses taste different because of the chemical content. As a result, it may have some adverse reactions for people allergic to sulphur.
Nutritional Value of Blackstrap Molasses
One hundred ml of blackstrap molasses contains:
- Calories- 400kCal
- Protein – 6.67g
- Total Fat – 0g
- Total sugar – 60g
- Carbohydrates – 86.67g
- Fibre – 0g
- Calcium – 1333mg
- Iron – 4.8mg
- Magnesium – 667mg
- Potassium – 3000mg
- Sodium – 200mg
Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses 1. Storehouse of Antioxidants
Blackstrap Molasses is a storehouse of antioxidants. It contains a higher content of antioxidants than that of honey, maple syrup, molasses, and agave nectar. In addition, blackstrap molasses contains vital antioxidants like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B6.
A study shows that sugar cane molasses contain higher antioxidants than sugar beet molasses. Antioxidants present in blackstrap molasses help reduce oxidative damage in the body by fighting against the free radicals. It also helps in reducing the risks of chronic illnesses.
2. Helps Cure Anaemia
Anaemia is a blood-related disease that occurs when there’s a deficiency of haemoglobin and red blood cells in the blood. It results from low iron levels in the body, which may cause fatigue, weakness, and tiredness. However, consuming one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses can give you 20% of the required daily iron intake.
Blackstrap molasses contain a good amount of iron, which helps combat iron deficiency. According to researchers, blackstrap molasses have plenty of iron content and “absorption enhancers” such as sulfur, copper, and fructose, which helps cure anaemia.
3. Blackstrap Molasses Improves Bone Health
Blackstrap molasses contains calcium, manganese, potassium, copper, and magnesium. These are vital minerals responsible for healthy bones. Blackstrap molasses helps in healing a broken bone, reduces the risk of brittle and weak bones, and improves overall bone health. In addition, it contains a high amount of magnesium, which helps absorb calcium in the body, eventually resulting in better bone health.
Consuming one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides 8% of the required daily calcium intake and 10% magnesium. As a result, daily consumption of blackstrap molasses can substantially reduce the risk of bone diseases like osteoporosis.
4. Improves Hair Health
Blackstrap molasses contain a rich amount of iron, copper, and magnesium. These minerals help maintain the healthy growth of hair and help strengthen hair.
It contains copper, whose peptides help recondition the skin structure that supports healthy hair. Therefore, consuming blackstrap molasses daily in the required quantity can be very fruitful in restoring hair health, colour and reducing hair loss and breakage.
You can also apply blackstrap molasses on hair to nourish the hair. Mix one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in a cup of lukewarm water and apply the liquid elixir to your hair. Wait for 15 mins and rinse off.
5. Alleviate PMS Symptoms
Three out of every four women suffer from PMS. PMS refers to a premenstrual syndrome that may cause mood swings, menstrual cramps, depression, anxiety, low energy, and interrupted sleep quality.
Blackstrap molasses is rich in iron which helps in relieving pain and regulating hormones affecting mood. In addition, molasses contain beneficial minerals such as manganese and magnesium to help ease out menstrual cramps.
6. Suppress Stress
Blackstrap molasses contains vitamin B6, which stimulates serotonin levels in the brain. Vitamin B6 helps boost serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that enables brain cells to affect mood, appetite, sleep, sexual desires, and memory.
A lack of vitamin B6 and magnesium may lead to depression, anxiety, stress, and headache. Blackstrap molasses contains a good amount of vitamin B6 and magnesium, which helps improve the functioning of the brain and nervous system. A cup of tea prepared with blackstrap molasses can deliver all these minerals to prevent stress and bodily issues associated with stress.
7. Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Blackstrap molasses helps lower blood pressure because it contains vital nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals help reduce the effect of sodium in the body. Sodium is associated with hypertension. The cause of high blood pressure is the blood passing through arteries with greater speed than usual. In addition, it may cause clogging of arteries with fatty plaques called atherosclerosis.
High blood pressure may lead to the risk of heart strokes, heart attack, death caused by heart diseases. However, consuming two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses can provide 16% of the daily required potassium intake.
8. Helps Maintain Glucose Levels
Blackstrap molasses has a low glycemic index, making it appropriate for people with diabetes to consume. Blackstrap molasses helps in maintaining blood sugar levels in the body. It has a low glycemic index which helps in slowing down the digestion of glucose and carbohydrates. In addition, it contains a high amount of chromium, leading to lower insulin levels.
Chromium present in blackstrap molasses also increases glucose tolerance. Chromium acts as a saviour for diabetes and high blood sugar levels. It helps in insulin-signalling pathways that control sugar consumption, resulting in balanced blood glucose levels.
9. Helps Prevent Cancer
Blackstrap molasses is high in antioxidants which help prevent oxidative damage in the body. Oxidative damage in the body can also lead to severe diseases like cancer. Blackstrap molasses contain high antioxidants that may help reduce free radicals, the main reason behind the development of cancer cells in the body.
Free radicals can dangerously affect our body by damaging cells, DNA, protein, and cell membranes. But, according to one study, blackstrap sugar can be a nutritious replacement for refined sugar because it contains vital nutrients and antioxidants that nourish the body.
10. Helps Cure ADD and ADHD
ADD, and ADHD are mental health conditions that may cause disturbed concentration, impulsiveness, restlessness, etc. As a result, people with ADHD face trouble concentrating and may face difficulty sitting still. The causes of ADD and ADHD are excess zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron. In addition, high blood sugar levels lead to hyperactivity, and low blood sugar levels lead to decreased focus. Consuming blackstrap molasses helps relieve all these conditions because of its nutritional content.
Blackstrap molasses contain iron and vitamin B, which help nourish the nervous system and help improve brain functions, which relieves ADD and ADHD.
11. Improves Skin Health
Blackstrap molasses helps in nourishing skin and also helps in treating some skin issues. For example, it contains lactic acid, which helps treat acne-related skin issues effectively. It also helps support the healthy growth of tissues, which makes it significant in healing wounds and increases the healing time of damages to promote healthy and clear skin.
Ways to Consume Blackstrap Molasses
Despite the nutritional benefits of blackstrap molasses, you should strictly consume only the daily recommended quantity of this super beneficial elixir. For example, you can consume 18mg of blackstrap molasses daily, equal to one tablespoon.
Blackstrap molasses can be a nutritious alternative to refined sugar. Using blackstrap molasses in tea and coffee can be a significant step to avoid incorporating the disturbing effects of consuming refined sugar daily.
You can also use blackstrap molasses in making morning tonic drinks. You can do it by adding a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in 240 ml or a glass of water. It can help promote digestion, hormonal balance, and regulating blood sugar levels.
You can also incorporate blackstrap molasses in oatmeal for breakfast. So instead of adding honey or refined sugar to the first meal of your day, add blackstrap molasses. Incorporating blackstrap molasses not just inhibits the adverse effects of refined sugar but also gives a unique tempting flavour to your sweet dishes like cookies, cakes, bread, etc.
It can be a saviour for women undergoing PMS. Women experiencing menstrual cramps can try making a hot tea with a spoon of blackstrap molasses. It can provide comfort within 20-30 minutes.
For Skin and Hair
You can use blackstrap molasses as a mask or natural face wash for skin-related benefits. First, mix one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses with water. Next, apply this mixture on your face, leave it for 5 minutes, and then rinse it off.
For hair conditioning, mix a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in water. Apply this mixture to the hair, leave it for 15 minutes, and then rinse it off. This hair mask will nourish the hair and leave them silky soft.
- Consuming blackstrap molasses is safe for pregnant women. However, you should not consume more than the recommended quantity. Additionally, lactating women should take note of blackstrap molasses consumption. Consuming more than two teaspoons of it can cause loose motion for both mother and baby.
- Anyone experiencing loose motions, irritable bowel syndrome, watery diarrhoea, and dysentery should avoid consuming blackstrap molasses until they recover completely from the issues.
- People allergic to sugarcane should avoid consuming blackstrap molasses as it can cause adverse effects.
- Anyone who goes through diarrhoea after consuming blackstrap molasses should stop its consumption to avoid further issues. Diarrhoea is one of the common symptoms of blackstrap molasses intolerance.
- Anything more than the recommended quantity can cause adverse effects. For example, in the case of blackstrap molasses, you can notice side effects such as diarrhoea, weight gain, cramps, cravings for sugar, and a rise in blood sugar.
- People facing kidney diseases should consult their doctor before consuming blackstrap molasses. People facing increased potassium and phosphorus levels should consume blackstrap molasses in moderation or altogether avoid it.
Blackstrap Molasses is a golden elixir and is a superfood because of its nutritional content. Blackstrap molasses are sugarcane’s byproduct, and preparation includes boiling sugarcane juice at different stages. The extraction of blackstrap molasses occurs at the 3rd stage of boiling. Blackstrap molasses has a thick syrup-like consistency and has a dark blackish colour with a bitter-sweet taste.
There are two types of blackstrap molasses; sulfured molasses and unsulfured molasses. Blackstrap contains many vital nutrients such as vitamin B-12, B6, manganese, iron, carbohydrate, selenium, potassium, calcium, and copper, which helps improve digestion, improves bone health, and helps cure anaemia and lower PMS.
Despite many significant benefits, it also has side effects such as diarrhoea, weight gain, cramps, cravings for sugar, and a rise in blood sugar when consumed in excess. Therefore, you should always keep track of the consumption and follow the recommended quantity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Q. What are blackstrap molasses good for?
A. Blackstrap molasses is a healthy alternative to sugar. It has several health advantages. For example, it helps cure anaemia, improves bone health, conditions hair, and relieves PMS symptoms. Furthermore, it is rich in nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B-12, 6.
Q. What are the side effects of black molasses?
A. Although black molasses is healthy food to have, consuming large portions of blackstrap molasses can cause loose stools or diarrhoea. In addition, pregnant women should avoid blackstrap molasses as it can cause loose motions in the baby. It also leads to adverse effects in people allergic to sugarcane.
Q. Does blackstrap molasses reverse grey hair?
A. There is no clear evidence to prove that blackstrap molasses reverses grey hair. However, the high copper levels help repigment and darken hair by stimulating melanin production. In addition, blackstrap molasses is rich in vitamins and minerals that improve hair condition and prevent hair loss.
Q. Who should not take molasses?
A. Pregnant women or lactating women should avoid consuming blackstrap molasses because it can cause loose motions in the baby and the mother. In addition, people with irritable bowel syndrome, kidney issues, and people facing increased potassium and phosphorus levels need to avoid blackstrap molasses. It can also cause adverse effects in people who are allergic to sugar cane.
Q. Is molasses good for your face?
A. Yes, blackstrap molasses is a great skin-softening agent. It helps reduce acne, eczema, and rosacea. You can use blackstrap molasses on your face through a very simple process. First, dilute the molasses syrup with water, apply it to the skin and wait 5 minutes before rinsing. It helps balance the electrolytes in the skin.
Q. Is molasses anti-inflammatory?
A. Yes, blackstrap molasses is anti-inflammatory. As a result, it helps relieve joint pains and control blood sugar levels. It also has antioxidant properties.
Q. Does molasses boost the immune system?
A. Yes, blackstrap molasses helps strengthen the immune system. In addition, it promotes the formation of new cells and maintains healthy haemoglobin levels in the body. As a result, it helps in the overall well being.
Q. Is molasses good for weight loss?
A. Molasses is an excellent alternative to white sugar as it contains more nutrients than white sugar. However, there is no clear evidence to prove that blackstrap molasses helps in weight loss. But, one tablespoon of molasses syrup contains 60 calories. So, cutting down on your calories may help you lose weight. In addition, it is a health supplement with many health benefits.
Q. Is molasses good for diabetes?
A. No. Although blackstrap molasses contains fewer calories than refined sugar, it can still raise blood sugar levels. Therefore, people with diabetes should moderately consume or avoid molasses.
Q. Does black molasses make you gain weight?
A. Yes, excessive consumption of blackstrap molasses will result in weight gain. Although it has fewer calories, excess consumption may increase your calorie consumption, leading to weight gain. Therefore, you should take a moderate amount of molasses to maintain weight and get the nutrients.
Q. Is molasses good for kidney patients?
A. No. People with kidney issues should always consult their doctor before consuming molasses. It has a high potassium content that can affect the health of kidney patients.
Q. How much blackstrap molasses should I take daily?
A. The ideal intake of molasses is one tablespoon or 20 grams per day. Though blackstrap molasses is rich in iron, vitamins, and copper, you should consume it in moderation each day to avoid side effects like diarrhoea.
Q. Can I take blackstrap molasses every day?
A. Yes, you can take molasses every day. However, you should consume it in moderation. Molasses helps reduce stress, anxiety and cure acne when consumed daily.