Molasses derived from the Latin word ‘mel’ i.e. honey is the by-product obtained during the processing of sugar from sugarcane. When the juice from the mashed sugarcane is boiled several times, you get a thick, black viscous liquid called Molasses. Clad by the vernacular name Black Treacle, molasses is a healthier alternative to refined sugar and is the basic component of brown sugar.
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Sugarcane being native to India, Thailand and many western nations, this by-product is widely produced in 3 main varieties:
Obtained from the first processing of the sugarcane juice.
This version of molasses is made by processing the sugarcane juice twice.
Black Strap Molasses:
Processed from raw cane sugar, this is obtained after boiling the juice for 3 times.
Molasses is also obtained from plants like Sorghum and fruits rich in vitamins and minerals like pomegranate.
Light and dark molasses have a distinct mild sweet taste whereas blackstrap molasses has a slightly bitter undertone, but all the varieties are widely used as sweeteners in sweets, desserts and various cuisines.
And for those with a sweet tooth but worried about loading on calories, Molasses serves a healthy alternative. It is a popular alternative to sugar as it is imbued with a host of essential vitamins and minerals like the B-vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium etc. and it plays a key role in treating a myriad of ailments.
Health Benefits of Molasses
Molasses being low on the glycemic index plays a key role in stabilizing the blood sugar levels by regulating the amount of insulin released into the bloodstream from the pancreatic cells. It also prevents the build-up of excess fat and lipids in the blood.
Promotes Bone Health
The abundance of calcium in this viscous sweetener is extremely beneficial for strengthening the bones and teeth. It nourishes the bone and cartilage and shields it from any damage. The anti-inflammatory properties of molasses also relieve the pain and swelling caused due to arthritis. Also Check out: 5 Incredible Foods To Cure Arthritis-Infographic
Alleviates Menstrual Cramps
Molasses being rich in iron is highly significant for women during menstruation as it promotes the formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin thus balancing the loss of blood. The presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium also prevents the clotting of blood resulting in a smooth flow thus preventing painful cramps.
Molasses being a powerhouse of polyphenols and antioxidants is highly beneficial in managing weight. Studies suggest that the extract of molasses, when added to the daily diet, reduces the body fat by limiting the calories and promoting weight loss.
Loaded with lactic acid which actively participates in carbohydrate metabolism, molasses plays a vital role in relieving acne and preventing various skin infections. The anti-inflammatory properties promote quick healing of acne and pimple scars besides providing healthy glowing skin.
Augment Hair Health
Thick, black hair is loved by all. And you have it right at your fingertips by replacing your daily sugar needs with molasses. This ingredient being rich in copper, a mineral that supports hair growth contributes to healthy hair. The presence of antioxidants and calcium not only strengthens the hair follicles from the root but also prevent frizzy hair and reduces premature greying.
Being an excellent source of non-heme iron, molasses helps in preventing iron-deficient anemia in infants and young children. Apart from the other B-vitamins, it is also a good source of folate, a mineral that promotes the production of red blood cells and therefore helps in the treatment of megaloblastic anemia. Also Read: Anemia: 5 Awesome Natural Remedies To Boost Your Iron Levels
Protects The Heart
Molasses contain heart-protective nutrients like Vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and manganese that effectively helps in shielding the body from oxidative stress, lower blood pressure, treat blood clots and prevent inflammation of the cardiovascular system. The abundance of potassium also regulates arrhythmias and prevents the risk of heart attack, heart block and risk of strokes.