Health Benefits Of Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses, a byproduct of the sugar-making process, is a nutrient dense sweetener with a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. It’s good for your bones and teeth, helps with constipation, and may up your testosterone levels, iron reserves. To use, feel free to add a little to your pancake or waffle batter, baked goods, salad dressings, sauces, marinades.
If you are looking for a healthier alternative to refined sugar you should try blackstrap molasses. This thick viscous syrup is a byproduct of the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. And not only is it a nutrient dense sweetener which is rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron but it also has a lower glycemic index (which indicates how quickly a food can increase blood sugar) than refined sugar making it a better bet you if you’re trying to control your blood sugar.
Molasses makes for a tasty addition to your diet too. It can impart a deliciously unique flavor to baked goods like cookies or gingerbread, and basting turkey or chicken with it will add a rich color as well as flavor to your dinner. But do keep in mind that it’s probably better to go in for unsulphured blackstrap molasses which is free of processing chemicals and will have a cleaner taste.
Blackstrap molasses has long been hailed as a health food and while some of the benefits attributed to it – like the legend that it can reverse graying of hair – can’t be substantiated it does have several properties that you can take advantage of.1 2 Here are some ways in which blackstrap molasses can help your health:
Health Benefits Of Blackstrap Molasses
1. Great Source Of Iron
Iron is a critical mineral that is needed for the production of blood cells and poor iron levels can result in iron deficiency anemia. But blackstrap molasses can shore up your iron reserves. This can be particularly helpful for women as they lose iron during normal menstruation and are at a higher risk for iron deficiency.Women with fibroids who experience heavy bleeding during their periods because of their condition may benefit too as blackstrap molasses may help replenish their iron stores.3 4
2. Fortifies Your Bones And Teeth
Blackstrap molasses is a really good source of calcium, the mineral that helps to keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy. Of course, calcium also performs other important roles – it helps in the secretion of enzymes, and in the expansion and contraction of blood vessels and muscles.5 So for healthy teeth, bones, and more stock up on some blackstrap molasses.
3. Helps With Constipation
Constipation is a distressing condition and can even be painful at times. But blackstrap molasses may be able to help you out as it’s known to a gentle laxative.6 The magnesium content of this thick syrup could be responsible for its laxative property.7
4. May Up Your Testosterone Levels
Blackstrap molasses may improve your testosterone levels. Testosterone is a male hormone that has an important role to play in maintaining sperm production, libido, male hair patterns as well as bone and muscle mass. And normal testosterone levels are critical for the reproductive health of men. Low testosterone levels are also associated with poor health outcomes like poor memory, osteoporosis, and Type 2 diabetes. And medical conditions like liver disease as well as obesity and aging can cause testosterone levels to drop. However, according to a lab study, extracts from molasses were found to improve testosterone levels. The researchers have suggested that incorporating molasses in the diet can be useful for people who need help with their testosterone levels though further research may be needed to establish this benefit.8
5. Gives You An Antioxidant Boost
Blackstrap molasses can give you a healthy dose of antioxidants. Free radicals produced during the normal functioning of the body can cause oxidative damage which is implicated in a variety of conditions ranging from cancer and cardiovascular disease to degenerative disorders and aging. But antioxidants can protect against the damage caused by these free radicals. And some researchers suggest that substituting refined sugars (assuming an intake of 130 g/day ) with antioxidant rich blackstrap molasses could increase your antioxidant intake per day by an amount similar to that found in a serving of berries.9
Indulge In Some Blackstrap Molasses
If you’re wondering how to incorporate blackstrap molasses into your diet, here are a few ideas:
- You can add a little to your pancake or waffle batter or even porridge to make a healthier breakfast.
- It can also work really well in your salad dressing or barbecue sauce. Basting turkey or chicken with blackstrap molasses will bring in a rich color as well as enhance the flavor of your dinner.
- It can also impart a deliciously unique flavor to baked goods like cookies or gingerbread.
So go ahead, indulge yourself and experiment with a few recipes.10
References [ + ]
|1, 10.||↑||Bowden, Jonny. The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat and Why. Fair Winds Press, 2007.|
|2, 4.||↑||Carter, Azahara. My Journey to the Fountain of Youth. Trafford Publishing, 2012.|
|3.||↑||Uterine fibroids. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.|
|5.||↑||Calcium. National Institutes of Health.|
|6.||↑||Anemia. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|7.||↑||Magnesium. Oregon State University.|
|8.||↑||Rahiman, Farzana, and Edmund John Pool. “Preliminary study on the effect of sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) molasses on steroidogenesis in testicular cell cultures.” (2010).|
|9.||↑||Phillips, Katherine M., Monica H. Carlsen, and Rune Blomhoff. “Total antioxidant content of alternatives to refined sugar.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 109, no. 1 (2009): 64-71.|