Molasses is a dark, thick liquid extracted during the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. Blackstrap molasses is obtained during the third boiling of the cane syrup and contains a unique concentration of many important vitamins and minerals left over after the sugar's sucrose is crystallized.
Blackstrap molasses contains much higher levels of many of these nutrients than regular molasses, especially when it comes to iron content. Other important nutrients obtained from blackstrap include vitamin B6, calcium, manganese, magnesium and potassium.
This rich nutritional profile makes blackstrap molasses a highly regarded super food and popular dietary supplement. Here are 15 health benefits of blackstrap molasses:
Anecdotal evidence and numerous testimonials suggest that blackstrap molasses may play a role in cancer prevention and the treatment of certain types of cancer. Its dense nutritional profile supports these claims, however scientific research and clinical trials are not available to confirm. The high calcium content of blackstrap suggests that it may be useful in preventing and treating colon cancer. It has also been associated with shrinking cancerous tumors.
Some health officials are weary of molasses for cancer treatment due to its high iron and sugar content, which is believed to enable cancer proliferation. Some testimonials have suggested combining blackstrap molasses with baking soda for cancer to good effect.
Blackstrap molasses is an excellent source of the antioxidant manganese, providing about 27.5% the DV per tablespoon. Manganese helps the body fight free radical damage to cells and DNA. Foods with great antioxidant protection are believed to help prevent cancer and heart disease and may also slow the effects of aging.
Blackstrap molasses can offer a temporary energy boost by providing carbohydrates that are quickly converted into energy in the body. More importantly, it can aid energy production because it helps replenish the body's storage of iron. Iron plays a vital role in energy production, transporting oxygen in the blood. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue and energy hindering conditions like anemia, which seriously inhibit energy levels. Blackstrap molasses also provides vitamin B6, which plays a key role in energy production.
Blackstrap molasses provides many of the daily nutrients needed to help keep the bones healthy and strong, including iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and copper. Maintaining a recommended daily allowance of these minerals can greatly reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other diseases of the bone.
Blackstrap molasses provides many of the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain good heart health and reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease. These include manganese, magnesium, copper, calcium, potassium and vitamin B6. Together these nutrients can help treat blood clotting, reducing the risk of stroke, lower blood pressure and fight oxidative stress and inflammation to the cardiovascular system.
Blackstrap molasses is a very good source of calcium, which helps cleanse the colon of toxins. Calcium is often associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.
High In Iron
Just one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides nearly 20% of the DV of iron. Iron deficiency is associated with many different conditions, including dizziness, fatigue, hair loss, irritability and anemia. Iron is particularly important for women during menstruation. Iron plays a critical role in blood and cell function and is essential to energy production. It also helps the body fight off infections, supports brain and muscle function and help improves immunity.
Very Good Source of Potassium
One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides about 14.5% the DV of potassium. Potassium is essential to maintaining good cardiovascular health and improving bone density. It can help keep blood pressure low, supports proper carbohydrate metabolism and can help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and osteoporosis. Potassium deficiency is also associated with an increased risk of arthritis.
Very Good Source of Calcium
Calcium is not only essential to maintaining healthy bones and teeth, but plays a vital role in colon health, heart health, blood clotting, brain nerve activity and muscle function. Just one tablespoon will provide over 17% the DV of calcium.
Good Source of Selenium
Blackstrap molasses is a good source of selenium, providing about 5% of the DV per tablespoon. Selenium plays a key role in thyroid function, antioxidant protection, cancer prevention, cardiovascular health and inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Selenium deficiency can lead to these and other health conditions.
Good Source of Vitamin B6
One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides 7.5% the DV of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is needed for the immunity, the nervous system, cell formation, blood health and energy production. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
Blackstrap molasses can sweeten food without many of the negative side effects of regular sugar and artificial sweeteners. It is very low on the glycemic index and appears to be a healthier option for diabetic and pre-diabetic people, requiring very little insulin production and altering blood sugar levels far less than regular cane sugar. It is also rich with vital nutrients, where cane sugar offers only fattening carbohydrates.
Blackstrap molasses provides many vitamins and minerals and boosts energy while containing zero fat and very few calories. This makes it a healthy alternative to sugar and a good addition to an active, low fat weight loss program.
Stomach & Digestive Problems
Anecdotal evidence suggests that blackstrap molasses may help with stomach and digestive problems. Testimonials claim that it can help to soothe stomach aches, help to cure stomach ulcers and may be useful in treating irritable bowel and other digestive conditions, including constipation and diarrhea.
Testimonials claim that blackstrap molasses is great for skin health and may help to cure eczema, psoriasis, acne and other skin conditions. Blackstrap molasses contains powerful antioxidants, which are believed to contribute to good skin health and lower the risk of lines, wrinkles and other skin conditions associated with premature aging.