Blackstrap molasses is a dark, thick, and viscous syrup that has a bitter-sweet flavor. The name is derived from the Latin word melaceres meaning honey-like. Molasses is the liquid byproduct of sugarcane that undergoes a refining process that eventually yields table sugar. After the third boiling of sugarcane syrup and after the sucrose of the sugar is crystallized, we have the more concentrated byproduct of this process, called blackstrap molasses. The production and use of molasses has started since the 19th century and is only popularized during the mid-20th century. Among the largest producers of molasses are the Philippines, Thailand, India, Taiwan, the United States, and Brazil. It is famous as a sweetener and as a healthy food. So what are the blackstrap molasses benefits ?
Blackstrap molasses is considered as a healthy sweetener that contains a lot more nutritional value compared with what refined white sugar and artificial sweeteners, such as saccharine, have. It is a good source of selenium and vitamin B6. It is also said that even just two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses could already cover around 10% of the recommended daily value for calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, potassium, iron, and other nutrients and minerals.
Calcium is a mineral essential to our body because it is necessary for the development of strong bones and teeth, proper contraction of the heart and muscles, formation of blood clots, proper conduction of nerve impulses to and from the brain, proper function of cell membrane, and for a decrease in the incidence of colon cancer. It is said that two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses already solves our 11.8% daily need for calcium.
Magnesium is also highly essential in aiding calcium for the development of strong bones and in regulating the body’s calcium levels. Magnesium, though more are found in bones, can also be located in the nerves where they regulate the entry of calcium to allow the relaxing of such nerves and blood vessels. Around 7.3% of magnesium is provided by two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses.
Manganese works as the body’s protector against probable damages caused by free radicals. This mineral also helps in the body’s production of protein and carbohydrates. It is also a required mineral for having a healthy nervous system. Two teaspoons of the molasses could already provide 18.0% of the body’s daily need for manganese.
Copper is vital for iron utilization, connective tissues and bone development, melanin production for skin and hair pigment, good and bad cholesterol control, and free radical elimination. Just two teaspoons of the blackstrap molasses will meet 14% of copper’s daily recommended value.
Potassium is vital in the proper functioning of nerve transmission and muscle contraction. It also aids in the maintenance of electrolyte and pH levels of the body. Two teaspoons will already provide 9.7% of the body’s daily recommended value for potassium.
Iron greatly helps in the production of red blood cells that carry hemoglobin – responsible for oxygen transport that allows normal functioning of the cells. It is important for having a better metabolism and energy production. It is also highly essential for lactating women and growing children. Just two teaspoons and 13.3% of iron’s daily recommended value are provided.
Aside from the provision of such highly needed vitamins and minerals, blackstrap molasses is also known to help cure anemia, constipation, anxiety, arthritic pain, fibroid, and heart palpitations. And also good news for the hair-conscious people, blackstrap molasses is known to help turn grey hair into its original color.