Previous generations used thick blackstrap molasses for different purposes, but today’s generation may not recognize its benefits. People who love gingerbread cookies already recognize the distinct flavor resulting from the addition of dark molasses. However, dark molasses is not just a sugar substitute. From balancing a person’s blood sugar to offering nutrients for the hair and skin, this mineral-rich type of molasses is a welcome addition to the diet.
Useful Facts about Blackstrap Molasses
As a natural derivative of the sugarcane plant, dark molasses is made by smashing the plant into shreds. After shredding the sugarcane, the plant produces a sweet, syrupy liquid. Boiling this liquid transforms it into cane syrup. Cane sugar commonly used at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table is made from the initial process of boiling the cane syrup. Dark molasses stems from boiling the cane syrup three times. After the third time, the cane syrup turns into the familiar black hue associated with natural, dark molasses.
Even though this type of dark molasses tastes sweet, it is low in sugar. However, the molasses, unlike cane sugar or syrup, is loaded with healthy minerals and vitamins. The natural food supplement contains iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium, vitamin B6, manganese and protein. So, it soon becomes apparent that dark molasses is not an ordinary sweetener. Instead, molasses with its recognizable rich, black color offers many health benefits to its appreciative fans. Plus, dark molasses tastes wonderful when added to homemade bread and pastries.
Blackstrap Molasses and its Numerous Health Benefits
Rich in iron, dark molasses is a traditional natural remedy for anemia. When a person is anemic, the blood does not have an ample supply of red blood cells and iron. As a result, the individual may feel tired and weak all the time. A person with anemia may want to try taking 1 to 2 1/2 tablespoons of dark molasses every day. Unlike some iron supplements, the iron found in dark molasses is easy to digest and readily absorbs into the bloodstream. Pregnant women can safely take dark molasses as a natural way to increase iron in the blood.
Dark Molasses as a Remedy for Premenstrual Syndrome
Many teenage girls and women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Almost 75 percent of females suffer from the symptoms associated with PMS. These symptoms include bouts of anger, mood swings, depression, anxiety, bloating and cramping. Dark molasses may help alleviate these symptoms without causing unwanted side effects. The natural iron content replenishes nutrients that are lost during menstruation. Additionally, the high level of magnesium found in dark molasses soothes lower abdominal cramps. An easy way to use dark molasses during the menstrual cycle is to drink an equal mixture of dark molasses and honey in a cup of warm water. This special blend of two recognized superfoods may also help a person sleep better.
Welcome to Fewer Mood Swings and a Balanced Mental Outlook
Many people in today’s society experience depression, stress and anxiety. Doctors prescribe anti-depression medications to their patients on a regular basis. Although a superfood may not have enough power to cure depression, stress and anxiety, dark molasses may alleviate some of the common symptoms.
Due to its high mineral content, dark molasses may also help a person who has an attention deficit disorder (ADD) or an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The vitamin B6 found in dark molasses can boost a person’s mood due to increased neurotransmitters produced in the brain.
These neurotransmitters cause the individual to dwell on positive thoughts in lieu of negativity. Accordingly, a person taking dark molasses as a superfood supplement may experience sound, beneficial sleep. Furthermore, the natural sweetener may help improve the brain’s cognitive abilities.
Dark Molasses as a Natural Bone Builder
Many nutritionists and physicians advise people to take more calcium supplements as a remedy for building stronger bones. However, strong bones need other nutrients that include magnesium. Since dark molasses has a sufficient amount of both calcium and magnesium, the syrup may help people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia. Since it is difficult to rebuild bones once they begin the deterioration process, it is a good idea to start using dark molasses before bone problems occur.
Experience Healthier Sugar Levels
Diabetics can enjoy eating occasional desserts made with dark molasses because of its low sugar content. Most people erroneously believe that every type of sugar contributes to the occurrence of diabetes. However, dark molasses may actually balance glucose levels in the blood. Due to its low glycemic content, dark molasses slows down the absorption of glucose. The syrup also contains a mineral known as chromium. Many diabetics take chromium supplements to help maintain low blood glucose levels.
Use Healthy Molasses for Healthier Looking Hair
People can take dark molasses internally and also use the syrup on the outside of their hair. The high iron content helps prevent hair loss and makes dry hair less brittle to the touch. Most women who experience severe hair loss have iron deficiencies. Eating dark molasses on a regular basis can increase iron levels in the blood and strengthen the hair. Plus, the syrup may help reduce the chances of hair turning gray at an early age.
For hair care, stir a couple of teaspoons of dark molasses into a cup of warm water. Apply the nutrient-rich liquid to the hair. Do not rinse the solution out of the hair for approximately 15 minutes. Shampoo the hair after rinsing out the dark molasses mixture.
Blackstrap Molasses and Cancer Prevention
According to the American Diabetic Association, adding dark molasses to the diet may help lessen the risk of contracting cancer. High in cancer-fighting antioxidants, dark molasses protects the body’s DNA and prevents cells from becoming damaged. Loaded with nutrients, dark molasses offers consumers an easy and affordable way to supplement their diets with a probable anti-cancer supplement.
Blackstrap Molasses and Arthritis
Arthritis is an inflammation in the body causing severe pain in the joints. Some people with arthritis also experience cognitive issues and high cholesterol levels. As a source of natural potassium, dark molasses supports blood pressure levels and helps people with high blood pressure. A person’s entire cardiovascular system may benefit after using dark molasses for a few weeks or months.
Ways to Use Nutrient-Rich Molasses
Consumers who want to experience the benefits associated with dark molasses can find the syrup on the shelf in their local grocery store or via an online vendor. Look for organic dark molasses free from any additional ingredients. Do not buy dark molasses containing other types of sweeteners. A mixture derived from stirring two teaspoons to two tablespoons of dark molasses into an 8-ounce glass of water makes a wonderful health tonic. Plus, this same mixture applied externally benefits the hair.
Recipes Made with Blackstrap Molasses
In addition to taking the syrup in the form of a healthy tonic, people can incorporate dark molasses in their recipes. Instead of making desserts with cane sugar, brown sugar or honey, combine dark molasses with one or more of these sweeteners. Add dark molasses to oatmeal, carrot cake, gingerbread cake, hot cocoa or milk. Create a delicious banana cake by adding dark molasses to give the dessert an exotic flavor. Dark molasses also tastes delicious when added to cookie recipes.
Include a Natural Superfood in the Diet
Dark molasses is a versatile superfood. The dark syrup adds nutritional benefits to a person’s health while also providing an extra flavor burst to various foods and beverages. Remember that ordinary molasses without the word “blackstrap” on the label is not the same thing. Also known as “second” molasses, ordinary molasses is made from the second cane syrup boiling instead of the third boiling. Consequently, consumers wishing to add molasses to their diets should only buy dark molasses.