Monday, February 14, 2011

The Health Benefits of Black Strap Molasses + My Review



I bought this bottle of Molasses at my natural health store late last summer mostly for my deep conditioners. Recently however molasses has become part of my diet as well.

I've known about molasses and it's many health benefits since a child. My grandmother would always mention and recommend taking molasses especially to those who were prone to anemia. Recently my aunt had to have surgery done but was not able to undergo because her blood and iron levels were extremely low and not to mention anemic. Of course grandma came to the rescue (and molasses) and treated her for an entire month with blackstrap. Lone and behold she was good as new and ready to go have her surgery done.

This left me curious about the health benefits of molasses and did not want to just use molasses for my hair (review coming soon) knowing it has so much health potential. So I decided to take a tablespoon every other day to see what it can do for me health wise as well as a little research.



What is Blackstrap Molasses?


Blackstrap molasses is just one type of molasses, the dark liquid byproduct of the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. It is made from the third boiling of the sugar syrup and is therefore the concentrated byproduct left over after the sugar's sucrose has been crystallized. -Source



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What is it used for?


Organic Blackstrap molasses has a rich, full bodied flavour that adds natural colour to food. It is the end product, or by-product, of the production of sugar and contains vitamins, minerals and trace elements naturally found in the sugar cane plant and is a good source of iron, vitamin B6, potassium, calcium and magnesium.-source


Molasses, which is what's left after all that refining during sugar production, retains many of the vitamins and minerals extracted from the raw sugar cane which can be extremely beneficial. One of the most familiar nutrients molasses is rich in is Iron.

Iron is essential for blood production which carries oxygen to the rest of our organs, such as the skin and brain as well as a very important nutrient for menstruating women and of course those who deal with anemia.

Anemia can be a bothersome disease considering the symptoms can interfere with your daily life. Lack of energy, constant fatigue, headaches, cloudy thinking, moodiness and an array of symptoms all ties in with anemia and the lack of vital vitamins and minerals like iron existing in our diets. Since most of the vitamins and minerals we need on a daily basis can not be produced by the body on it's own it's important we get the following from our foods and/or supplements.

Here are some of the nutrients molasses is rich in:


The Nutrients

Copper

Helps with bone formation, nervous system, Works with other vitamins to form elastin essential for tissue and muscle fibers as well as collagen production essential for healthy glowing skin. Copper also helps with hemoglobin the protein responsible to healthy red blood cells.

Foods rich in copper: Kiwi, lychees, Avocados, Lima beans, Taro root (malanga), Spirulina, Salmon, oats, walnuts


Potassium

Aids with cholesterol plaque buildup
Aids the kidneys to help eliminate wastes
Reduces high Blood pressure
Sends oxygen to the brain which helps with headaches and clearer thinking

Foods rich in Potassium: Bannanas, Guava, cherries, Kiwi, potatoes, coconut, almonds, oats, salmon, yogurt, catfish, avocados


Iron

Important in the formation of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying factor in red blood cells; nourishes every cell in the body with oxygen; without it your body could not make ATP (the body's primary energy source), produce DNA, or carry out many other critical functions; has shown to improve restless legs syndrome; is necessary for the proper metabolism of 8-Vitamins; prevents anemia and fatigue; promotes good skin tone, and stimulates the immune system; decreases the craving for alcohol.

Foods rich in Iron: Raisins, avocado, strawberries, potatoes, beans, cashews, oats, pumpkin seeds, turkey



Other nutrients

Calcium- not only for healthy bones and teeth but also plays a major role in the transmission between nerve impulses essential for a healthy nervous system

-B-vitamins
-Selenium
-Magnesium
-Manganese


My experience with Blackstrap these past couple of months has been rather interesting. Before taking molasses I was relying on Spirulina as my daily supplement but had to lay off of it for a while since I had way too much energy and was having trouble sleeping. Molasses on the other hand provides me with adequate amounts of energy. Instead of huge bursts of energy I notice that my energy levels are gradually making it's way up. Since I'm a menstruating woman and don't indulge in too much meat, I find that I can use all the energy and Iron I can get from molasses and not to mention the other nutrients it's rich in.



I don't mix molasses with anything. I just take this tablespoon every other morning and chase it down with iced tea. The first thought that came to mind when I first took molasses was "dam this tastes like burnt coffee", I've never had burnt coffee but that's what came to mind. Once you get used to it you don't really taste anything after a couple of tries. So far I notice I'm not beat by 8pm when I get home from a 12 hour shift. So that's definitely a huge plus. I first started off with a tablespoon every morning. Then after about 2 weeks I cut down a bit and now take it every 3-4 days or when I'm feeling low on energy.


I bought unsulphured molasses, which is a chemical used (sulphur) during the refining process and some may be allergic to it. There are organic/unsulphured molasses. I did not see the organic version at my store so I just picked this one up

You can take molasses straight up like I do, add it to your warm tea, milk, or add it on to your smoothies.

As with anything remember to not over do it. Molasses is a sweetener so those with diabetes should be careful and consult their physician. Men should also take precaution since they don't lose as much iron as women and may end up storing more iron than needed. Excess iron in the body can cause complications from heart attacks, organ failure along with other symptoms.

Sources:

Minerals Chart

Hemoglobin and Iron

Eco Bites

16 comments:

Califia's Lap said...

ONCE AGAIN you have taught me something else that I needed to know. I will do some more research on blackstrap molasses and see about incorporating it into my regimen. You're such a wonderful teacher! Peace and much thanks.

Bombchell said...

oh wow Im very interested.

audrey marie said...

you are a fountain of knowledge! thx for sharing and another great review.

KayKay said...

i didn't know molasses can be used as an energy boost for the day. you truly do have all the hell notes for beauty :)

Couture Carrie said...

Very informative, darling!
Thanks!

xoxox,
CC

Mara said...

I'm impressed. You did your homework and I've always overlooked molasses but I have a greater outlook on it now.

simplychic said...

wow. this is very detailed. i didn't know anything about molasses, but now i think i'm an expert ;)

Curves ahead makeup said...

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Kasia said...

This post is so interesting!!!

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Tiffany said...

I am not anemic, but prone to low iron. Thanks for the info, the next time I hit the natural store I am certainly trying this. I luv natural fixes. Chem-free is for me :)

Brooke said...

I will definitely be looking into blackstrap molasses. I was juicing daily, but found I had way too much energy. I basically stopped sleeping. Rather than cutting back I stopped altogether. Maybe molasses will serve as a good energy replacement for me.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like it by itself in a tablespoon in your mouth. Try it in your oatmeal. I put about two tablespoons of it in my oatmeal and love it. I remember watching my aunt mix oats and molasses into her prize cattle feed to get them healthy and fit before showing them. She was right way back then.

Anonymous said...

I was suffering with ovarian cysts - horrible debilitating cramps, fevers, going to ER, etc... I was put on prescription pain killers and the pill for 2 years. As I am wary of putting synthetic hormones in the body, I asked my doc to take me off the pill.

I researched holistic cures for ovarian cysts and started taking the above organic blackstrap molasses - 1 tablespoon daily 1st thing in the morning every day. I have been off the pill for several months now and have not had ANY cramps or fevers during my cycle at all since I have been taking the molasses. It feels like a miracle. I want to share this cure with other women who may have this problem, it works for me and may also work for other people.

-NJ

Anonymous said...

Hi, I read somewhere that If you take bsm It helps to retard your facial hair, is that true?

Anonymous said...

Have also been using blackstrap molasses 1 tablespoon mixed with 1 tablespoon of psyllium husks 4 times daily as a detox mixed with 300ml warm water.Totally cleansed my intestines feel on top of the world. Great for skin, depression,fatigue,headaches,acne,pmt the list goes on on n on.....

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