Molasses is a sweetener that is formed as a byproduct of the sugar-making process.
First, sugar cane or sugar beets are crushed and the juice is extracted.
The juice is then boiled down to form sugar crystals, which are removed from the liquid. Molasses is the thick, brown syrup left after the sugar has been removed from the juice.
Unlike refined sugar, molasses also contains some vitamins and minerals.
Here are the nutrients you can find in 40 grams, or about two tablespoons:
- Vitamin B6: 14% of the RDI.
- Calcium: 8% of the RDI.
- Potassium: 16% of the RDI.
- Copper: 10% of the RDI.
- Iron: 10% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 24% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 30% of the RDI.
- Selenium: 10% of the RDI.
Two tablespoons also contain about 116 calories, all of which come from carbs – mostly sugar.
There is limited research available about the health effects of molasses. However, the nutrients in it have been linked to several health benefits.
This syrup contains a decent amount of calcium, which plays an important role in bone health and preventing osteoporosis.
It is also a good source of copper, iron, and selenium, all of which help maintain healthy bones.
Molasses is a good source of potassium, which promotes normal blood pressure and helps maintain heart health.
Although this has yet to be studied in humans, rat studies have shown that supplementing with molasses can help increase HDL or “good” cholesterol.
Healthy levels of HDL cholesterol may protect against heart disease and stroke.
Molasses may also help stabilize blood sugar levels in healthy adults.
One study found that eating it along with carb-containing foods resulted in lower blood sugar and insulin levels than when the foods were eaten alone.
That being said, molasses scores a 55 on the glycemic index, which measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels. That’s not much lower than refined sugar, which is somewhere around 60.
According to research, blackstrap molasses contains even more antioxidants than honey, as well as other natural sweeteners like maple syrup and agave nectar.
Studies also show that the antioxidants in it can help protect cells from the oxidative stress associated with cancer and other diseases
Bottom Line: Molasses contains several nutrients that provide health benefits. It is also higher in antioxidants than other common sweeteners.
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