Blackstrap molasses are a byproduct of sugar cane refining. Though they contain sugar, the benefits of blackstrap molasses are many. Their benefits primarily depend on the extraction methods followed and the age of the plant.
This article discusses what you need to know about blackstrap molasses and the health benefits it offers. Consuming it regularly may even aid in the treatment of certain health ailments. Continue reading to know more.
In This Article
What Is Blackstrap Molasses Called In Different Indian Languages
India is home to a large number of naturally available remedies, and blackstrap molasses is one of those.
Yes, we know India is a home to a large number of naturally available remedies. And blackstrap molasses is one of those. This is what it is called in a few Indian languages:
- In Hindi – Sheera
- In Tamil – Vellappaaku
- In Malayalam – Karimbin paavu
Blackstrap Molasses Benefits
1.Good For The Hair
Of course, you are what your hair looks like, right? At least most of the times.
A single serving of blackstrap molasses has about 14 percent of your RDI of copper, an important mineral that contributes to healthy hair. Prolonged consumption of blackstrap molasses can also improve hair quality. Replacing the sugar in your diet with blackstrap molasses can also go a long way in improving your hair health (1).
Blackstrap molasses can also be beneficial in removing hair frizz.
Since it is a rich source of antioxidants, blackstrap molasses fights free radical activity, thereby reducing gray hair and preventing hair loss.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, blackstrap molasses is a good source of calcium that can treat hair loss caused by hyperparathyroidism (2).
Iron is another nutrient that is key for hair growth, and according to the Oregon State University, blackstrap molasses is a good source of non-heme iron (3).
2. Can Help Treat Anemia
As per a report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, blackstrap molasses is a good source of iron that can help prevent iron-deficiency anemia in infants and young children (5).
Blackstrap molasses, in addition to other B vitamins, also contains folate – all of which promote the production of red blood cells. This can also treat megaloblastic anemia.
3. Can Aid In The Treatment And Prevention Of Cancer
According to an American study, blackstrap molasses was found to be effective in the treatment of diseases like cancer (6). It is rich in minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and other B complex vitamins, the deficiencies of which can pose a serious cancer risk.
In another American study, blackstrap molasses was found to have a higher level of antioxidants, which could be beneficial in the treatment of cancer (7).
According to a report published by the Harvard Medical School, intake of calcium is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Blackstrap molasses, being a good source of calcium, can play a role in this regard (8).
Though the evidence is not clear, preliminary research suggests that there could be an association between iron and cancer (especially breast cancer). Hence, consuming blackstrap molasses (it being a good source of iron) with regard to cancer must be considered only after consulting your doctor (9). It is worthwhile to request a lab panel including iron, Hgb, Hct, ferritin, and TIBC. These values can help in deciding if additional iron is warranted.
4. Beneficial For The Skin
Blackstrap molasses is found to contain lactic acid, which can play the role of a natural acne treatment. The consumption of blackstrap molasses also accelerated the healing time of wounds – this ultimately helps your skin become fresh and clear.
The molasses can also act as a wonderful skin softener (11).
5. Good Source Of Iron For Pregnant Women
Just two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contain about 13.2 percent of our RDA of iron, which is required by our bodies to carry oxygen to the blood cells. This is a great benefit for pregnant women. Also, many women have low iron levels during pregnancy, thus increasing the risk for preterm delivery or low birthweight.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, daily intake of iron reduces the risk of low birth weight (12). More research throws light on how important iron is for pregnant women, as the nutrient is supplied to the growing fetus and placenta, and is also beneficial in increasing the maternal red blood cell mass (13).
Calcium is also another important nutrient necessary for pregnant women , and here is when blackstrap molasses can be beneficial as it is rich in calcium (14), (15). This may also help to reduce leg cramps, which are common during pregnancy.
6. Can Ease Menstrual Pain
Blackstrap molasses has certain nutrients that can help reduce muscle cramps. These include iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and vitamin B6. Since the uterus is also a muscle, these nutrients can help reduce menstrual cramps.
Since blackstrap molasses, as already discussed, is rich in iron, it also helps women replenish iron levels, which otherwise go down due to blood loss.
7. Can Promote Bone Health
Blackstrap molasses contains many nutrients to keep bones healthy and strong. These nutrients include calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. By maintaining a recommended daily quota of these minerals, you can lower the risk of osteoporosis as well as other bone diseases.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, blackstrap molasses is a good source of copper, which can be beneficial to the bones (16).
Many of the vitamins and minerals that blackstrap molasses contains are required to maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and cardiovascular diseases. These heart-protecting nutrients include Vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Together, they have the ability to fight oxidative stress, treat blood clots, lower blood pressure, and prevent inflammation of the cardiovascular system.
How To Take Blackstrap Molasses
If you want to take blackstrap molasses as a supplement, the best way to do so is by mixing one to two tablespoons in a cup of hot water. Be sure to brush teeth afterwards due to the sugar content, which can damage teeth. You should drink this supplement first thing in the morning because that is when your body requires energy the most. There are people who drink this mix three times daily as a remedy for severely poor health conditions.
You can incorporate blackstrap molasses in a wide variety of foods as a sweetener. You can use it as a substitute for sugar in your tea and even in hot cereals. It goes every well with waffles and pancakes. You can use it as a glaze, and even add it to your desserts!
Maintaining or restoring your health with the help of natural whole foods will need a sustained intake over time. However, you will find that the effort is worth it as you save money by not buying medications and supplements, while gaining numerous health benefits without having to worry about any side effects. One word of caution – molasses is a sugar, and all sugars need to be limited in the diet. Consider a serving of two tablespoons per day to be adequate, unless treating significant illness, as noted above.
The benefits of blackstrap molasses are varied and plentiful. They are packed with potent antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that promote overall health. Blackstrap molasses may help promote heart and bone health. They are good for your hair and skin too. They also may help ease menstrual cramps, promote circulation, and reduce cancer risk. You can reap the benefits of blackstrap molasses by consuming them as a dietary supplement or sugar substitute. However, excessive consumption can cause health issues. Limit their use and seek medical advice if you experience any side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is blackstrap molasses anti-inflammatory?
Blackstrap molasses is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and is thus used to relieve arthritic pain.
Does molasses boost the immune system?
No. Molasses have immunosuppressive effects and may negatively impact the humoral immune response (adaptive immunity in the body to produce antibodies) (1).
Can molasses reverse gray hair?
No. Nothing can reverse the graying process.
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- The effect of sugar cane molasses on the immune and male reproductive systems using in vitro and in vivo methods