The Health Benefits of Molasses
Molasses, also known as black treacle, “is a viscous by-product of the refining of sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar" (Wikipedia). The colors of this gooey sweetener range from light amber to dark brown to black. While it can be eaten in its pure form, you need to acquire a taste for its sweet bitterness. Therefore, it is widely used as an ingredient in many pie, cake, cookie, and baked-bean recipes. However, once you learn about the health benefits of molasses, you may want to consider and take one to two teaspoons of this thick and sticky sweetener.
Molasses is Excellent for the Heart
One tablespoon of molasses provides you with 7% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin B6-or Pyridoxine-which is necessary in reducing the chances of getting heart disease, lowering the amount of bad cholesterol in our bodies, unclogging arteries and “reducing blood levels of homocysteine, a chemical that might be linked to heart disease” (WebMD). Higher levels of homocysteine are one of the main causes of damage to the blood vessels and blood clots.
Molasses is a healthy source of Potassium, Magnesium, and Manganese. At 8%, 12%, and 15% RDA respectively, one tablespoon is an excellent way to improve your cardiovascular health. These are all needed to keep our blood pressure numbers at a safe level. When we do not have enough of these in our daily diets, we run the risk of getting high blood pressure. When you keep your blood pressure lower you run a lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association states that food that contains all these minerals play a key role in reducing blood pressure.
Muscle and Bone Health
In addition to the above, you need potassium for muscle health since this mineral plays a role in storing carbohydrates that are needed for muscle use. Magnesium helps keeps your calcium levels balanced. If you do not have enough magnesium in your body, there can be an imbalance of potassium and calcium levels which can lead to a buildup of calcium in your kidneys. This calcium build-up can lead to kidney stones. By including this staple in your diet, you may be able to prevent kidney stones. Manganese helps your body fight against free radicals because it helps stimulate the production of superoxide dismutase which is an enzyme that helps speed up the chemical reactions in the body.
One tablespoon of molasses provides you with 4% of your RDA of calcium. You need to have plenty of calcium in your daily diet in order for you to have strong bones and teeth. This mineral is also needed to prevent bone loss when you age.
Molasses is a Major Source of Energy
A tablespoon of molasses provides you with 5% of your RDA of iron. This mineral is a very important component of hemoglobin in your blood. It plays a role in transporting oxygen throughout your circulatory system. Since you will need more iron if you are pregnant or nursing, taking a tablespoon or two of molasses help provides your body with the iron it needs. If you are anemic, taking one tablespoon of molasses a day may help replenish your body's iron. Since this staple is also an excellent source of copper, this mineral makes it easier for the body to absorb iron and, therefore, plays a role in increasing red blood cells.
Other Health Benefits
One tablespoon of molasses provides you with 5% of your RDA of Selenium. This is a major antioxidant that plays a role in preventing damaged cells from attacking healthy cells. This mineral is necessary if you want to protect yourself from getting heart disease. Selenium plays a role in forming prostaglandins which help prevent abnormal clotting of your blood. Including molasses in your daily diet is an excellent way to prevent the likelihood of getting a heart attack or stroke.
Molasses contains laxative properties. If you suffer from constipation, including a tablespoon in your daily diet will give you regular bowel movements in no time at all.
You can purchase molasses at your local grocery store. All you need is one tablespoon of this fat-free sweetener. While you can eat it by itself, you can use it in place of jelly with a peanut butter sandwich, use it as a topping for ice cream or add it to your favorite fruit smoothie. Always remember to talk to your doctor, especially if you have diabetes, before using molasses.
Molasses is very high in sugar content. Therefore if you are diabetic or just want to control your daily sugar intake, avoid using molasses. Talk to your doctor for other nutritional food to include in your diet.
Avoid using molasses if you have diarrhea or suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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