What is Blackstrap Molasses?
To make molasses, sugar cane is harvested and stripped of leaves. It's juice is extracted usually by crushing or mashing. The juice is boiled to concentrate it, the result of this first boiling is usually referred to in the South as "cane syrup", as opposed to molasses. The second boiling and sugar extraction, has a slight bitter taste and is referred to as molasses. The third boiling of the sugar syrup yields blackstrap molasses, known for its robust flavor.
Good for hair
One serving (two tablespoons) of blackstrap contains approximately 14 percent of our Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of copper, an important trace mineral that helps rebuild the skin structure that supports healthy hair. Consequently, long-term consumption of blackstrap has been linked to improved hair quality, hair regrowth in men and even a restoration of your hair's original color.
Safe sweetener for diabetics
Blackstrap molasses has a moderate glycemic load of 55, compared to corn syrup which is 75 and is considered high. This makes it a good sugar substitute for diabetics and individuals who are seeking to avoid blood sugar spikes. Moreover, one serving of blackstrap contains no fat and only 32 calories, making it suitable for a weight loss diet.
Blackstrap is a natural stool softener that can improve the regularity and quality of your bowel movements.
Rich in iron
Two tablespoons of blackstrap contain 13.2 percent of our RDI of iron, which our bodies need to carry oxygen to our blood cells. People who are anemic (including pregnant women) will greatly benefit from consuming 1-2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses per day.
High in calcium and magnesium
Blackstrap molasses contains a mineral profile that has been optimized by nature for superior absorption. For example, two tablespoons of blackstrap contains 11.7 percent of our RDI of calcium and 7.3 percent of our RDI of magnesium. This calcium-magnesium ratio is ideal, since our bodies need large quantities of magnesium to help absorb similarly large quantities of calcium. Both of these minerals aid the growth and development of bones, making blackstrap a good safeguard against osteoporosis and other bone diseases.
Additional mineral content
Two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses also contains 18 percent of our RDI of manganese (which helps produce energy from proteins and carbohydrates), 9.7 percent of our RDI of potassium (which plays an important role in nerve transmission and muscle contraction), 5 percent of our RDI of vitamin B6 (which aids brain and skin development) and 3.4 percent of our RDI of selenium, an important antioxidant.
Taking blackstrap as a health supplement
The best way to take blackstrap as a supplement is to mix between 1-2 tablespoons of it in a cup of boiling water and then drink it through a straw once the water has cooled. (The straw helps the molasses bypass your teeth.) This should be done daily, ideally first thing in the morning when you need the energy most.