A black syrup produced when the sugarcane is processed into refine sugar, blackstrap molasses are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are packed with all the vitamins and minerals that didn’t make it to the processed sugar. But are they a substitute for sugar? Far from it. Although healthy, blackstrap molasses have a rather bitter flavor. Unlike mild molasses that are sweet and act as sugar substitutes, black molasses are used only as nutritional supplements.
Confused about why you’d want to include molasses in your diet if it tastes bitter? Here’s why.
1. Prevents Iron Deficiency Anemia
If statistics are anything to go by, over 30 percent of the global population suffers from anemia, of which the most common type is iron deficiency. Iron is a mineral that’s essential for the production of red blood cells. An iron deficiency can make you feel short of breath and tired and cause you to develop other serious medical conditions.1
Blackstrap molasses are rich in iron, which can prevent and reduce the severity of anemia. This can be particularly helpful to women, as menstruation puts them at a higher risk of iron deficiency. Women with fibroids who experience heavy bleeding during their periods may also benefit from blackstrap molasses.2 3
2. Strengthens Bones And Teeth
Two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contains up to 400 mg calcium (40% DV), which is more than the level of calcium in a cup of milk.4
The calcium in blackstrap molasses keeps your bones and teeth strong. Plus, it also aids the secretion of enzymes essential for bodily activities and plays a role in delivering nerve signals to the brain.5 Since you lose calcium on a daily basis (through your urine, feces, and sweat) and your body can’t renew your calcium levels, it’s important to eat a calcium-rich diet every day. If you’re a vegan, non-dairy products like backstrap molasses will help you obtain the amount of calcium you need on a daily basis.6
3. Relieves Constipation
Constipation is a distressing condition and can even be painful at times. But, thanks to its magnesium content, blackstrap molasses act as a mild laxative when consumed. Magnesium stimulates the peristaltic movement and aids easy bowel movement.7
4. Boosts Antioxidant Levels
Blackstrap molasses can give you a healthy dose of antioxidants. Free radicals produced during the normal functioning of the body can cause oxidative damage. This results in a variety of conditions ranging from cancer and cardiovascular disease to degenerative disorders and aging. But antioxidants can protect you from the damage caused by these free radicals.
Researchers suggest that blackstrap molasses could help you increase your antioxidant intake. In fact, the antioxidant content in blackstrap molasses is almost equal to that of berries, which are considered to be one of the highest sources of antioxidants.8
5. May Improve Testosterone Levels
Blackstrap molasses may improve your testosterone levels. Testosterone is a male hormone that has an important role to play in maintaining sperm production, libido, and male hair patterns as well as bone and muscle mass. And normal testosterone levels are critical for the reproductive health of men. Low testosterone levels are also associated with poor health outcomes like poor memory, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes. And medical conditions like liver disease, obesity and aging can cause testosterone levels to drop. However, according to a lab study, extracts from molasses were found to improve testosterone levels. The researchers have suggested that incorporating molasses in the diet can be useful for people who need help with their testosterone level. However, further research is needed to establish this benefit.9
How To Have Blackstrap Molasses
If you’re wondering how to incorporate blackstrap molasses into your diet, here are a few ideas:
- You can add a little to your pancake or waffle batter or even porridge to make a healthier breakfast.
- It can also work really well in your salad dressing or barbecue sauce. Basting turkey or chicken with blackstrap molasses will bring in a rich color as well as enhance the flavor of your dinner.
- It can also impart a deliciously unique flavor to baked goods like cookies or gingerbread.
- You may even mix a spoonful in a glass of hot water and drink it up.
So go ahead, indulge yourself and experiment with a few recipes.
|↑1||Iron deficiency anemia. World Health Organization.|
|↑2||Uterine fibroids. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.|
|↑3||Anemia. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑4||Calcium in the Vegan Diet. The Vegetarian Resource Group.|
|↑5||Calcium. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑6||Calcium/Vitamin D. National Osteoporosis Foundation.|
|↑7||Constipation: Get Your Gut Moving. Arizona State University.|
|↑8||Phillips, Katherine M., Monica H. Carlsen, and Rune Blomhoff. “Total antioxidant content of alternatives to refined sugar.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 109, no. 1 (2009): 64-71.|
|↑9||Rahiman, Farzana, and Edmund John Pool. “Preliminary study on the effect of sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) molasses on steroidogenesis in testicular cell cultures.” (2010).|