Molasses: why they are so good for you.

When chatting to my Thai Yoga Massage buddy a while ago she mentioned that she used molasses as a sweetener as part of her healthy eating regime. Having only used molasses to trick my horses into ingesting disgusting medicines in the past I was familiar with the horrible smell and taste but was never aware of the many health benefits that they bring to the table.

Image of blackstrap molasses jar

Goth sweetener anyone?

This is what I learned:

Blackstrap molasses are a byproduct of the refining processes of the sugar cane plant. Unlike refined cane sugar which is highly toxic for our bodies, molasses are so rich in body friendly nutrients that are classified as a superfood.

The most notable property of molasses is that they are rich in minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, selenium and vitamin B6. A single tablespoon of molasses per day will supply between 25 and 50% RDA of all the above nutrients in a lovely low GI form that will not cause any insulin spikes (i.e. won’t make you fat unless you eat tons of it).

Among the many health benefits of molasses are the fact that they are rich in antioxidants (Mn), they are a natural laxative and they are said to help with a variety of conditions such as Chronic fatigue syndrome, Depression, anxiety and related nervous disorders (Cu), arthritis and rheumatism (Mg), Tumors and fibroids, Constipation, Heart palpitations (K), Anemia and Acne.

Although the majority of research papers available cite the benefits of molasses in animal husbandry, in a few studies carried out on humans there is evidence to suggest that molasses, due to their anti-oxidants content, may be beneficial in restoring correct mitochondrial functioning in individuals suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.

There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence available on the web where people who have been using molasses regularly over a period of time have reported many important benefits such as an improvement of anemia, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, clearer skin, shinier hair, relief from bloating and IBS, less sugar cravings, more energy, less fatigue and less hunger.

The general consensus on the best way to incorporate molasses in the diet is to take a tablespoon dissolved in a little bit of water first think in the morning and before eating anything to ensure maximum mineral and vitamin absorption. Personally, I like to add molasses to my espresso or to the evil herbal concoction I take to support renal function. It tastes like duckpond at the best of times, the molasses almost make it taste good.

I buy mine from The Natural Way in Braintree, Essex. They are relatively inexpensive and from organic crops without added sulphites.

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