Blackstrap molasses has a lot of benefits. This sugar byproduct may have been treated as just livestock food before, but as time goes on, we are waking up to the value it can have for us. It may look unappetizing, but it may in fact be the next superfood to rock health store shelves across the country.
A simple way to appreciate the benefits of this syrupy substance is to do a rundown of the beneficial minerals and vitamins within it.
We do that below, listing the most important nutrients—and their importance for your body—contained in a single tablespoon of blackstrap molasses.
Calcium for Your Bones
A tablespoon yields nearly 6% of the RDI for calcium. We all know about its part in preventing ailments like osteoporosis, but calcium is actually essential for the human body in more ways than one: it also helps our hearts beat normally and is critical in ensuring that proper blood clotting takes place when we get a bleeding injury.
Copper for Hair, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Health
A tablespoon of this stuff will give you 7% of the RDI for copper, a critical mineral for the development of the musculoskeletal system. The peptides in the mineral are also being linked to elastin as well as collagen production in the body. This suggests a significant role in skin health and recovery from scars/wounds.
Besides this, copper is also being suggested as a significant aide in hair regrowth and color retention (prevention of graying). Tests are showing a correlation between copper availability and hair follicle size, for example, which suggests that it may promote follicular health.
This is the main reason why I started drinking this.
Iron for Your Blood
Iron is another of the really important minerals, and a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses gives you 6% of the RDI for it. Iron is vital to red blood cell production, and a dearth of it is one of the most common causes of anemia. People prone to anemia should therefore consider taking blackstrap molasses as a health supplement along with other iron-rich foods.
Magnesium for Your Heart, Head, and Bones
A tablespoon of this stuff yields 3.5% of the RDI for magnesium. That is pretty good, especially when you consider the ratio of magnesium to calcium in blackstrap molasses. Some magnesium is actually necessary for the body to absorb calcium properly. It also plays a role in myriad catalytic processes in the body.
Magnesium deficiency is allegedly more common now, unfortunately. It has been linked to various ailments that include diabetes, hypertension, cerebral infarctions, and migraines. Naturally, because of its role in calcium absorption, a deficiency of magnesium may also be linked to osteoporosis.
Manganese for Skeletal and Skin Health
A tablespoon of blackstrap molasses also carries around 7% or so of the RDI for manganese. It may not be one of the first minerals one thinks of when it comes to bodily health, but it is in fact necessary. Research strongly indicates a correlation between manganese deficiency and poor skeletal formation. More than that, this mineral plays a role in the production of collagen and a vital antioxidant necessary for maintaining young and health skin.
Potassium for Muscular and Cardiovascular Health
A tablespoon also gives you about 5% of the RDI for potassium. This means that blackstrap molasses is not about to beat bananas as the easiest potassium supplement any time soon, but it also means that it has enough of the mineral to make it a decent supplementary source.
Potassium is of course an important electrolyte and is vital in the maintenance of the muscles as well as the cardiovascular system. It can even have an impact on emotional health as its deficiency seems to be linked quite often to anxiety and increased stress.
Selenium and Vitamin B6 for Your Skin
A tablespoon of blackstrap gives 2% of the RDI for selenium, which is an antioxidant. This makes it critical to the maintenance of skin and other body tissues. Add to that the 2.6% of the RDI for Vitamin B6 and you get a great supplement for fighting off the wear and tear our hides go through each day, both from general activity and the sun.
Blackstrap Molasses for Overall Health: A Caveat for Users
It is obvious from the above list that blackstrap molasses can be handy too as a health food to keep in stock.
Nonetheless, this should not be taken to mean that you should pour it down your throat continuously.
Blackstrap molasses just barely makes the limit for a “low” glycemic index. It has an index of 55, whereas table sugar, which has a glycemic index of 58, is considered having a medium glycemic index. But the difference between the two is actually quite low, if you consider the index numbers alone, and it tells you that blackstrap molasses remains something to use with discretion throughout the day—especially if you’re watching blood sugar levels.
There is also another thing to remember: blackstrap can have as much as 47 calories per tablespoon. This is not something you should down by the jar, obviously. If you take too much of it, some side effects of blackstrap molasses consumption may kick in. That said, taken in moderation, this food can be safe, non-fattening, and as good for your body as it is for your taste buds.