Blackstrap molasses is a byproduct of sugar cane’s refining process. Sugar cane is mashed to create juice, and then boiled once to create cane syrup. A second boiling creates molasses.
After this syrup has been boiled a third time, a dark viscous liquid emerges known to Americans as blackstrap molasses. It has the lowest sugar content of any sugar cane product.
The wonderment of blackstrap molasses is that it’s unlike refined sugar, which has zero nutritional value. Blackstrap molasses contains vital vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.
Blackstrap molasses is touted as a superfood. While it’s no miracle cure, it does have strong nutritional value with many benefits.
1. Diabetes-Friendly Sweetener
If you have diabetes and a sweet tooth, you have a bit of a conundrum. While blackstrap molasses is derived from sugar and adds as many carbohydrates as other sugars, it may be digested more slowly, which may help stabilize blood sugar.
You can use blackstrap molasses in baking sweet treats. It’s what gives gingerbread cookies their distinctive rich flavor.
2. Bone Booster
Everyone knows that calcium is needed for strong bones, but not everyone knows the importance that magnesium plays in growing them.
Blackstrap molasses contains both calcium and magnesium, so it can help you guard against osteoporosis. About 5 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contains 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, 95 percent of iron, and 38 percent of magnesium.
Adequate levels of magnesium are also crucial in preventing diseases like osteoporosis and asthma along with others that can affect your blood and heart.
3. Good for the Blood
People with anemia — a condition where your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells — often feel tired and weak. One type of anemia is caused by a lack of iron in the diet.
Blackstrap molasses is a good source of iron. About 5 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contains 95 percent of your daily allowance of iron.
Besides adding it into recipes, you can add it to hot water and drink warm or cold as a dietary supplement.
4. Packed with Potassium
Bananas may be king when it comes to potassium, but blackstrap molasses is also packed with the stuff. Try mixing blackstrap molasses in with baked beans, or even use it as a basting glaze on chicken, turkey, or other meats. A spoonful straight can also give you a quick boost.
5. Hair De-Frizzer
Along with providing your body with important minerals, blackstrap molasses has been used to remove the frizziness in bleached, permed, or colored hair.
While pouring the sticky syrup directly into your hair is a pretty bad idea, it can be mixed with warm water and applied to the hair for 15 minutes. It can also be combined with other hair-healthy ingredients like your daily shampoo or coconut milk.