When the sugar cane plant is processed, two products are produced. One the one hand, we have the refined sugar, which is sold in our supermarket shelves, and on the other hand, we have the ‘waste product’, a black goo called blackstrap molasses, which is fed to livestock on farms instead. This is quite ironic, because whereas refined sugar is one of the most toxic ingredients we can put into our bodies and causes innumerable health issues (such as obesity and diabetes), blackstrap molasses is one of the healthiest ingredients we can put into our bodies, since it contains all the trace minerals that were removed from the sugar cane during refinement.
The benefits of blackstrap molasses, as previously implied, are legion. For a start, blackstrap contains a large number of trace minerals that are often lacking in other foods. This is because the roots of the sugar cane plant grow deep into the earth, and therefore intercept soil that is much more fertile and mineral-rich than that reached by most other plants.
As a general summary, one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains between 13-18% of our body’s recommended daily doses of magnesium, iron, copper, and calcium. Calcium is important for bones and teeth, iron is needed to carry oxygen to the blood cells, magnesium keeps the heart healthy, and copper helps with enzymatic reactions, cell growth, connective tissues, eyes, hair, and aging.
Blackstrap also contains 18% of our RDA of manganese, 10% of our RDA of potassium, 5% of our RDA of vitamin B6, and 3.5% of our RDA of selenium. These are all important trace minerals that work in tandem to maintain the body’s natural processes.
Another benefit of blackstrap molasses is that it is a natural laxative. It helps to soften the stools and cleanse the bowels, much like fruit. For this reason, it is best to drink blackstrap molasses first thing in the morning before eating.
How to Take the Molasses
There are a few points you might wish to note before taking blackstrap as a health supplement:
- The recommended dosage of blackstrap molasses is one tablespoon a day. Taking less than this amount might not produce noticeable results. Taking more than this amount is fine, but you might want to monitor the number of other sugary foods you consume during the day to avoid blood sugar spikes.
- To prepare the blackstrap for consumption, boil some water, mix the blackstrap into it using a tablespoon, and either wait until it cools or add some cold water on top. Some people like to add a little milk to the mixture to improve its taste.
- As previously mentioned, blackstrap molasses is best taken in the morning, since it is both a laxative and an energy booster. Also, because blackstrap molasses is sugary, it is best to drink it through a straw so that it avoids contact with teeth. Buying a reusable stainless steel straw is a good idea, since disposable plastic straws are an environmental disaster!
- Purchase unsulfured blackstrap molasses, since molasses treated with sulfites does not retain its nutritional value.
It might take a few weeks before you begin to notice the molasses’ health benefits, but they will be worth it. Your skin will become clearer, you will feel more energized, bowel movements will become regular and softer, and your hair may return to its natural color!