The health benefits of molasses include helping to keep bones strong, alleviating acne, fighting frizzy hair, maintaining a healthy nervous system, preventing fatigue and headaches, among other great benefits.
The properties and benefits of molasses make it a really very healthy sweetener. Unlike refined white sugar and corn syrup (stripped of virtually all nutrients except simple carbohydrates) or artificial sweeteners like saccharin or aspartame (they do not provide helpful nutrients and have been shown to cause health problems in sensitive individuals), molasses is a healthy sweetener that contains significant amounts of a variety of health-promoting minerals.
Where does molasses come from?
Many people wonder what molasses is made of. Well, there are no secret ingredients here, molasses is a by-product of the process that turns beets or cane into sugar.
What are the properties of molasses?
In addition to quickly providing assimilable carbohydrates, molasses can boost your energy, helping to replenish your iron stores. Molasses is a very good source of iron.
In particular, for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, increasing iron stores with molasses is a good idea, especially since, compared to red meat, a well-known source of iron, molasses provides more iron but fewer calories and is completely fat free.
Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to all cells in the body, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. And, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you have increased iron needs. Growing children and teenagers also have increased iron needs.
With just 2 teaspoons of molasses, it will sweetly offer you 13.3% of the recommended daily amount of iron.
A tablespoon of molasses helps lower your calcium needs.
Molasses is a very good source of calcium. Calcium, one of the most important minerals in the body, is involved in a variety of physiological activities essential for life, including:
· The ability of the heart and other muscles to contract.
· Blood clotting.
· The conduction of nerve impulses to and from the brain.
· Regulation of enzyme activity.
· Cell membrane function.
· Calcium is necessary to build and maintain strong bones and teeth during youth and
· Help prevent bone loss that can occur during menopause and as a result of
· rheumatoid arthritis.
· Calcium binds and removes toxins from the colon, thus reducing the risk of colon cancer.
· Because it is involved in nerve conduction, it can help prevent migraine attacks.
Two teaspoons of molasses meet 11.8% of your daily calcium needs.
Molasses is also an excellent source of:
Copper, an essential component of many enzymes, plays a role in a wide range of physiological processes including:
· The use of iron
· Free radical removal
· Development of bone and connective tissue
· The production of skin and hair pigmentation called melanin.
Numerous health problems can develop when copper consumption is inappropriate:
· Iron deficiency anemia
· Rupture of blood vessels
· Joint problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis
· Brain disorders
· Elevated levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and reduced HDL (good cholesterol)
· Irregular heartbeat
· Increased susceptibility to infections.
The benefits of molasses
Using two teaspoons of molasses to sweeten your morning cereal and the coffee or tea you drink throughout the day will provide you with 14.0% of the recommended daily value for copper.
That same amount of molasses will also provide you with 18% of the day's needs for manganese. This mineral helps to:
· Produce energy from proteins and carbohydrates.
· Synthesize the fatty acids that are important for the nervous system.
· Manganese is also an essential component of an important antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is found exclusively inside the body's mitochondria (the oxygen-based energy factories within most of our cells) where it provides protection against free radical damage produced during the production of Energy.
· Like calcium, potassium plays an important role in muscle contraction and nerve transmission. When potassium is deficient in the diet, muscle and nerve activity can be compromised. Potassium is an especially important mineral for athletes as it is involved in the storage of carbohydrates for use by the muscles for fuel and is also important in maintaining the body's adequate electrolytes and acid-base (pH) balance.
When potassium levels drop too low, muscles weaken, and athletes tire more easily during exercise, since potassium deficiency causes a decrease in glycogen (the fuel used by exercising muscles) from storage.
Uses of molasses in the kitchen
By simply adding two tablespoons of molasses to your morning smoothie, you can provide 9.7% of your potassium needs for the day along with a healthy dose of carbohydrates to burn off. Calcium is an important balancing mineral; magnesium is also necessary for bones and energy production. About two-thirds of magnesium in the human body is found in bones. Some help give the bones their physical structure, while the rest are on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to use as needed.
Magnesium, balancing calcium, helps regulate nerves and muscle tone. In many nerve cells, magnesium serves as the calcium blocking channel, preventing calcium from running into the nerve cell by activating the nerve. By blocking calcium entry, magnesium keeps our nerves (and the blood vessels and muscles they enervate) relaxed.
If our diet provides us with little magnesium, calcium can have free entry, and the nerve cell can be over-activated, send many messages and cause excessive contraction. Not enough magnesium can contribute to:
· Muscle spasms (including spasms of the heart muscle or airway spasms symptomatic of asthma)
· Muscle cramps
In two teaspoons of molasses, you will receive 7.3% of the daily value for magnesium.
Switching from nutrient-poor sweeteners like white sugar or corn syrup, potentially harmful fake sweeteners like aspartame or saccharin to nutrient-rich molasses is a simple way to eat healthy. It can sweeten your life.