Benefit of Molasses


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Aug 20, 2012
Molasses is made from young sugar cane. It is a thick, dark syrup that is the byproduct of refining sugar. Molasses has a distinctive, slightly bitter flavor and is much less sweet than honey, but more nutritious than sugar. Two types of molasses are available—light and dark. The darker the molasses, the less sugar it contains.
Sometimes, when molasses is processed, “sulphur dioxide,” which acts as a preservative, is used. It is added during the sugar-extraction process. “Unsulphured” molasses is made from mature sugar cane and does not require the addition of sulphur during the extraction process. There are three grades of molasses: mild (or “first”) molasses, dark (or “second”) molasses and blackstrap molasses. These grades may be sulphured or unsulphured.
To make molasses (which is pure sugar-cane juice) sugar cane is harvested and stripped of its leaves. Its juice is extracted from the canes, usually by crushing or mashing. The juice is then boiled into concentrate, which helps the sugar to crystallize. The results of this first boiling and removal of sugar crystal is first molasses.
First molasses has the highest sugar content because comparatively little sugar has been extracted. Second molasses is created from a second boiling and sugar extraction and has a slightly bitter tinge to its taste. The third boiling of the sugar syrup gives blackstrap molasses. At this point, most of the sucrose from the original juice has been crystallized.
Even though blackstrap molasses is still mostly sugar by calories, unlike refined sugars, it contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. Blackstrap molasses is a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. One tablespoon provides up to 20% of the daily value of each of those nutrients.
Replenish Your Iron Stores
Blackstrap molasses could increase your energy by helping replenish your iron stores. Blackstrap molasses is an excellent source of iron, particularly for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency. Boosting iron stores with blackstrap molasses is a good approach because, in comparison to red meat, blackstrap molasses provides more iron for fewer calories—and is totally fat-free.
You need iron, as it is an important part of “hemoglobin,” which is responsible for transporting oxygen from your lungs to your cells. Iron is also needed for energy production and metabolism.
Blackstrap Helps With Anemia
In one clinical trial, researchers compared the absorption of iron from molasses and “ferrous sulfate.” The study involved 56 children. The children were divided into two groups. Group one consisted of 30 children with iron deficiency anemia, and group two consisted of 26 non-anemic subjects.
The absorption of the iron from molasses was monitored in the first group and from ferrous-sulfate supplements in the second group. The researchers found that there was no significant difference in values for serum iron between the two groups. The researchers concluded that the absorption of iron from molasses was comparable to that from ferrous sulfate and that molasses is an effective iron source in preventing iron-deficiency anemia in infancy.6
An Excellent Source of Calcium
Blackstrap molasses is a very good source of calcium, as well. Calcium, one of the most important minerals in your body, is involved in a variety of activities that are essential to life. Calcium helps your heart and other muscles to contract, aids in blood clotting, assists with the conduction of nerve impulses to and from the brain, helps regulate enzyme activity and is needed for cell-membrane function.
In clinical trials, molasses has been shown to reduce elevated LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, boost HDL (“good”) levels and prevent irregular heartbeat. It contains several other heart-helping nutrients, as well.
What’s In Molasses?
• Magnesium: Prevents irregular heart rhythms.
• Manganese: plays a variety of roles in your cardiovascular system. You get nearly 20% of your daily value in two teaspoons.
• Potassium: Regulates blood pressure.
• Selenium: A powerful antioxidant mineral that we are still learning about.
• Vitamin B6: Helps reduce levels of “homocysteine.”
You can use molasses is in all kinds of cakes and cookies. Molasses is especially tasty in desserts that are made with ginger. Molasses is a wonderful addition to any pumpkin-pie recipe, and it is superb in fruit cakes. You even try your hand at making molasses taffy—a treat that’s convenient to pack with a lunch when you are out for the whole day.
Try a spoonful on toast or with a bowl of cereal first thing in the morning. That way, you can boost your energy levels, as well as your calcium and iron intake. FREE Sign Up For The Doctors Health Press E-bulletin Receive A Free Copy Of Top 12 Brain Boosting Super Foods! Share Bookmark on Delicious Recommend on Facebook Buzz it up Share on Linkedin Share via MySpace Share on Orkut share via Reddit Share on identica Share with Stumblers Share on technorati Tumblr it Tweet about it Print for later Bookmark in Browser