Sugar is one of the main causes of obesity. The Side effects of refined sugars include diabetes, tooth decay, obesity, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Sugar is rapidly metabolized by the liver; causing a sugar high; which is believed to lead to increased storage of fat in the liver, resulting in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease i.e. risk of problems such as diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes.
Food can still be sweet, as there are natural sweeteners that are healthy, and tasty alternatives to refined sugar. According to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, substituting for healthy natural sweeteners such as blackstrap molasses (other alternatives are available) provides the body with nourishment and nutrition, without the danger which sugar may cause. Organic blackstrap molasses is highly nutritious, rich in copper, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, selenium and vitamin B6.
There are several types of molasses, depending on which level of processing it has gone through. All molasses are obtained from raw cane sugar, made by boiling. Blackstrap molasses comes from the third boiling which contains all the minerals and nutrients. The best way to take blackstrap molasses is to go for the organic and unsulphured type using between 1- 2 tablespoons. unsulphured blackstrap molasses can be incorporated with many food items as a sweetener; despite its distinctive flavor. It can be used in teas or hot cereals, on pancakes, dessert items, or used for cooking (Marinating or as the sauce for Roast Meat).
Benefits from Blackstrap Molasses
- The safe sweetener for diabetics – Unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses has a moderate glycemic load of 55. This makes it a good sugar substitute for diabetics and individuals who are seeking to avoid blood sugar spikes. Moreover, one serving of blackstrap contains no fat and only 32 calories, making it suitable for a weight loss diet.
- Rich in iron – Two tablespoons of blackstrap contain 13.2 percent of our Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of iron, which our bodies need to carry oxygen to our blood cells. People who are anemic (including pregnant women) will greatly benefit from consuming 1-2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses per day.
- High in calcium and magnesium – Blackstrap molasses contains a mineral profile that has been optimized by nature for superior absorption. For example, two tablespoons of blackstrap contain 11.7 percent of our RDI of calcium and 7.3 percent of our RDI of magnesium. This calcium-magnesium ratio is ideal since our bodies need large quantities of magnesium to help absorb similarly large quantities of calcium. Both of these minerals aid the growth and development of bones, making blackstrap a good safeguard against osteoporosis and other bone diseases.
- Additional mineral content – Two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses also contains 18 percent of our RDI of manganese (which helps produce energy from proteins and carbohydrates), 9.7 percent of our RDI of potassium (which plays an important role in nerve transmission and muscle contraction), 5 percent of our RDI of vitamin B6 (which aids brain and skin development) and 3.4 percent of our RDI of selenium, an important antioxidant.
- Reports from a certain individual (and myself for anemia) blackstrap molasses has helped in curing cancerous tumors, fibroid, endometriosis, anxiety, constipation, oedema, heart palpitations, anemia, arthritic pain, joint pain, and acne, just to name a few. It has also been reported that molasses turns grey hair back to its original colour and is a wonderful skin softener! Blackstrap molasses is also one of the best remedies around to alleviate menstrual cramping.
A lifestyle change doesn’t mean you have to give up your sweet tooth completely. It is a step to replacing refined sugars with natural sweeteners such as Blackstrap molasses (and many other healthy alternatives). Some people take right to it, but those who have their taste buds conditioned for years by sugar find it lacking as a sweetener.