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 for 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.
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 blood stream 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.
Alleviates Menstrual Cramps
Molasses being rich on iron is highly significant for women during menstruation as it promotes formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin thus balancing the loss of blood. The presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium also prevent clotting of blood resulting in a smooth flow thus by 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 the 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.