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What is Blackstrap Molasses? Molasses Nutritional Information

Blackstrap molasses is one type of molasses that has a viscous thick texture. It is basically a byproduct obtained in the process of refining sugarcane juice to table sugar. It is a dark colored thick byproduct as it is derived from the third boiling of sugar syrup. It is available throughout the year and its bittersweet flavor can be enjoyed in various recipes like ginger bread and baked beans.

Molasses Nutritional Facts: Nutritional Value of Molasses

Blackstrap molasses is a natural sweetener which can be used to effectively to replace table sugar. Unlike other artificial sweeteners, blackstrap molasses provides a variety of nutrients to promote good health with fewer calories.

Iron and calcium 

Blackstrap molasses is a very good source of calcium and iron. It can help boost your iron store which is an important constituent of hemoglobin without providing more calories and negligible fat as compared to red meat. It is particularly important for menstruating women who are at a greater risk for getting iron deficiency and pregnant or lactating women, growing children and adolescents where the requirements are increased.

Calcium is an important mineral required for the bone growth and other physiological activities including muscle contraction, blood clotting, enzyme activity regulation, nerve impulse conduction and function of the cell membrane. Only 2 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses would provide 13.3% of the daily value for iron and 11.8% daily value for calcium.

Other minerals

Besides iron and calcium, blackstrap molasses is also rich in manganese, copper, magnesium and potassium.

Copper is required for utilization of iron in the body and is involved in many other physiological processes involving enzymatic reactions, eliminating free radicals, production of melanin which is a skin and hair pigment, and development of connective tissue and bone. A host of medical problems can occur in case of inadequate copper intake like ruptured blood vessels, iron deficiency anemia, high LDL and low HDL cholesterol, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, irregular heart beat or brain disturbances.

Manganese is an important trace mineral required for the production of energy from carbohydrates and proteins. It is also an important component of superoxide dismutase which is an antioxidant enzyme found in the mitochondria.
Potassium is important nutrient for muscle contraction, nerve conduction, maintaining electrolyte and acid-base balance in the body.

Magnesium is necessary for energy production and the development of healthy bones. It is a natural calcium channel blocker and prevents calcium entering the nerve cells and activating them.

Only 2 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses would provide 14.0% of the daily value for copper, 18.0% daily value for manganese, 9.7 % daily value for potassium and 7.3% daily value for magnesium.

Black strap molasses

Blackstrap molasses is the byproduct of a sugar which is made of either sugar cane or beets. The molasses is produced when the sugar is boiled to a crystalline form for a third time. Molasses is also available from lesser number of boiling and though it is not as potent as the one from the third round of boiling its taste is a lot more bearable and not as strong either. The nutritional value in blackstrap molasses is of a high value and is considered to be a health food. Molasses is also called treacle and can be used for stomach upsets, to cleanse the system and to loosen bowels.

Blackstrap molasses

Unlike refined sugar blackstrap molasses is a highly nutritious sweetener. In two teaspoons of molasses you get your daily requirement of potassium, calcium, iron, copper and manganese along with slightly lesser amount of selenium, vitamin B6 and magnesium. However, the caloric content is the same as in refined sugar. The iron in the molasses cannot be absorbed properly because of the high content of calcium so if you are taking blackstrap molasses to combat an iron deficiency this is not possible. If you want to fortify the milk you are drinking with more calcium you can add a teaspoon of molasses to it. It makes the drink extra sweet but some people prefer this.

Black strap molasses

Blackstrap molasses is quite easily available in any health store or supermarket. While buying it ensure that you get the best quality and one which is without sulphur. Once the bottle is opened it should be put away in a refrigerator or a cool dry place and can be used for at least six months. Use only a dry clean spoon to help yourself and make sure that the bottle is firmly sealed after use.

Blackstrap molasses benefits

Unlike certain foods blackstrap molasses provides you with the required amount of nutrients without adding to the calories and with hardly any fat in it. This is particularly useful for women who are pregnant, lactating or menstruating and also for growing kids and teenagers. During this period these people require additional nutrition and blackstrap molasses provides it.

Blackstrap molasses also provides the body with its daily requirement of copper which is needed to utilize the iron in the system and to eliminate free radicals. It also helps to produce melanin which is a pigment which gives color to the hair and the skin and also helps in the development of bone and tissue. If the copper content is insufficient several medical problems can arise like brain disturbances, irregular heart beat, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, low amount of HDL cholesterol and a high amount of LDL, anemia and even rupture of blood vessels.

Molasses benefits

Among the molasses benefits for health is relief from arthritic pain. A tablespoon of molasses dissolved in warm water will help relieve such pain. Three doses per day can be taken. However, if you have any symptoms of pain it always best to consult your physician before you resort to any kind of self diagnosis and medication.

As molasses is a sugar extract it can result in tooth decay so you have to ensure that you brush your teeth after taking it. Natural remedies to get relief from pain are always better than pain killers. If swallowing the molasses is a problem it can be added to a juice and consumed. Soaking your hands and feet in a basin of hot water with a few spoons of molasses dissolved in it helps to relieve the soreness and pain. Apart from relief for pain blackstrap molasses helps heal canker soars, energizes one, and relives constipation and also acid reflux.

Molasses health benefits

Blackstrap molasses is a source of manganese which is required to produce energy from proteins and carbohydrates. Manganese is also an element of superoxide dismutase which is an enzyme of an antioxidant found in mitochondria.  Potassium which is also found in the molasses helps muscle contractions and maintains the level of electrolytes as well as the acid balance in the system. 

Health benefits of molasses

Health benefits of molasses include diabetes control with just two table spoons of it taken twice a day. If required a capful of vanilla can be added to it to make the taste more bearable. However, one would have to abstain completely from starch and refined sugar. This is supposed to have corrected diabetes, hypoglycemia and pancreatitis in two months time. Those who have pancreatitis and diabetes are also known to suffer with iron deficiency and molasses corrects this defect. However, molasses which has not been treated with sulphur should only be used.

Black strap molasses health benefits

Black strap molasses health benefits include restoring the original color of one’s hair too. In about three months time the natural color of the hair is said to be restored with the use of molasses regularly. Grey hair falls out and the new hair that grows back is of the original color.

Blackstrap molasses health benefits

As blackstrap molasses eliminates toxins from the blood it balances the blood pressure and maintains it at a normal level. The copper and iron in molasses helps to build blood plasma which is beneficial for the heart tissue. The nervous functions are enhanced with the potassium and copper which is present in the molasses and it promotes good sleep if taken with a glass of milk. Molasses also works like a mild laxative and prevents the collection of toxins in the body.

Blackstrap molasses nutrition

The nutrition in blackstrap molasses is beneficial to health in several ways and helps to maintain the functions of the body at their best. Apart from health benefits molasses has several other commercial uses, as it can be used to ferment rum, is used in ales, can be added to tobacco which is used in a pipe, is given to livestock with their grains and also used as a fish bait.

Submitted on January 16, 2014