Blackstrap molasses is a thick, syrupy substance, obtained inthe process of converting sugarcane into sugar. It is used as a sweetener with numerous health benefits. These beneficial qualities stem from the fact thatblack strap molasses abounds in minerals, unlike white sugar or corn syrup, whose nutrient value has been depleted by way of processing. Just two teaspoons are enough to cover 13% of the dailyrecommended value for iron, almost 12% calcium needs, 7% of magnesium value,10% potassium, 18% manganese, and 14% of copper needs.
Blackstrap molasses supplies the body with abundant energy notonly due to the carbohydrates it contains, but also because it is rich in iron.It is a very good, low-calorie, fat-free source of this essential mineral. Menstruation,pregnancy, breast-feeding, adolescence and growth are the periods of increasedneed for iron, so women and growing children are advised to include blackstrapmolasses into their diets. Iron is a constituent of hemogloblobin, the compoundthat carries the oxygen around the body. It is also found in enzymes regulatingmetabolism and the production of energy.
Another mineral found in blackstrap molasses is calcium, and apart from being essential in maintaining bone health,calcium also plays a role in blood clotting, muscle and heart contraction andthe regulation of enzyme systems. Moreover, it helps eliminate waste from the bodywhich reduces the incidence of colon cancer, and prevents migraine headaches byparticipating in the transmission of nerve impulses to and from the brain.
Similarly to calcium, potassium maintains the functioning ofmuscles and the nervous system. Low potassium levels cause fatigue and muscleweakness. Another role of this mineral is to make sure electrolytes and acidsand alkalines are in balance.
Magnesium balances calcium in the body and thus regulatesnerve and muscle tone. It makes sure the nerves stay relaxed by blocking thecalcium from activating them. It is also a constituent of bones and necessary for theproduction of energy. Low levels of magnesium can cause the increase of bloodpressure, migraines, muscle cramping and tenderness, fatigue, tension andspasms.
Being an excellent source of copper, black strap molasses helpsprevent osteoporosis, arthritis, irregular heartbeat, the damage to the bloodvessels by regulating the levels of good and bad cholesterol, iron deficiencyand brain disturbances. It also increases body’s resistance to infections. The body needs copper to promote the absorption of iron, toproduce the melanin pigment, to get rid of free radicals, and help bones andconnective tissue to develop.
Manganese is another mineral found abundantly in blackstrapmolasses. Manganese contains an antioxidant enzyme that protects the body fromnegative effects of free radicals, and it is involved in energy conversion fromcarbohydrates and protein, as well as in the maintenance of a healthy nervous system and inthe production of sex hormones.