Blackstrap molasses is a type of thick, dark syrup. It is a by-product produced when sugar cane plants are processed to make refined sugar.
While the refined sugar is considered unhealthy, the thick molasses contains all the minerals and nutrients absorbed by the plant and is considered very healthy for consumption.
It is high in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, copper and selenium (an important antioxidant). Plus, it’s free of fat and cholesterol and contains negligible amounts of sodium.
Even diabetic people can consume it. Unlike refined sugar, unsulfured blackstrap molasses has a moderate glycemic load of 55, making it a good sugar substitute for diabetics and people who want to avoid blood sugar spikes. However, make sure to have in moderation, not more than 1 tablespoon a day.
The best way to take blackstrap molasses as a supplement for health benefits is to mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of it in a cup of warm water and drink it.
Here are the top 10 amazing health benefits of blackstrap molasses.
1. Prevents Anemia
Blackstrap molasses is considered a nutritional powerhouse for those who have iron-deficiency anemia.
It is a good source of iron that helps increase production of red blood cells that deliver oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. As the tissues and cells throughout your body become deprived of oxygen, it causes anemia symptoms like tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath, headaches and dizziness.
Just 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides about 15 percent of your daily iron needs.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in a cup of hot water or milk. Drink this once or twice daily.
- Another option is to mix 2 teaspoons each of blackstrap molasses and apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of water. Drink this once daily.
2. Reduces Menstrual Problems
For menstruation-related problems, blackstrap molasses is the perfect solution.
The minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, in molasses prevent blood clotting and soothe the muscles of the uterine walls. This in turn helps relieve menstrual cramps and maintain the health of uterine muscles.
Also, the iron in it helps reduce the risk of iron-deficiency anemia due to blood loss, which is particularly common in women who struggle with the regularity of their periods.
Drinking a cup of warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses daily can even prevent premenstrual symptoms, such as breast tenderness, bloating, water retention, acne, depression and irritability. It can also help control heavy bleeding.
3. Cures Constipation and Improves Other Digestive Problems
Being a natural laxative, blackstrap molasses works as stool softener to help alleviate constipation and improve the regularity and quality of your bowel movements. In fact, it is better than many chemical-based laxatives available on the market.
The high magnesium in it relaxes the muscles and draws water into the stool, making it easier to pass.
A 2011 study published in Pediatric Emergency Care reports that both milk-and-molasses enemas and sodium-phosphate enemas are equally safe and effective for treating constipation, based on a review of medical records of patients presenting to a pediatric emergency department.
Not just constipation, it can even help deal with other stomach and digestive problems, from stomachaches to stomach ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome to diarrhea.
- Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses in a cup of warm water. Drink it daily before going to bed to get your digestive system moving properly the next morning.
- Another option is mix 2 tablespoons of the molasses with an equal amount of peanut butter and eat it in the morning.
4. Improves Heart Health
Blackstrap molasses is a simple solution to control palpitations, reduce high blood pressure, lower high cholesterol levels and lots more to improve your heart health.
Being rich in potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, it helps prevent these deficiencies in the body that can cause heart palpitations.
The potassium in it also lessens the effects of sodium – a huge contributor to hypertension, thus blackstrap molasses is beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure.
Also, the magnesium and calcium in it help reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. According to a 2018 report by the BMJ Journals, magnesium deficiency is an important but under-recognized driver of cardiovascular disease.
The vitamin B6 in it is also good for heart health, as it helps treat blood clotting. This helps reduce the risk of strokes and other cardiovascular conditions.
5. Combats Stress
To ease stress and improve your mood, experts recommend eating foods high in B vitamins. As blackstrap molasses is rich in B vitamins, it promotes proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, as well as helping promote relaxation and fighting stress and fatigue.
Particularly, the vitamin B6 in it raises serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that influences the brain cells related to mood, sleep, memory and learning.
In fact, a vitamin B6 deficiency in the body is one of the prime causes of irritability, depression and apathy. A 2004 study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that low levels of vitamin B6 can cause depression, as the vitamin contributes to the tryptophan-serotonin pathway.
Along with B vitamins, the calcium and magnesium in blackstrap molasses also help combat stress and anxiety.
So, when you are under stress, eat a spoonful of blackstrap molasses mixed in a glass of milk or your favorite smoothie as a comfort food.
6. Prevents Cancer
Blackstrap molasses can also prevent and treat different types of cancer.
The selenium in it is an important mineral that plays a crucial role in cells’ defenses against cancer. Selenium is a central part of the enzymes that fight free radicals, the unstable molecules that can attack healthy cells and cause cancer. It also plays a role in recycling antioxidants through the body. These antioxidants lower the risk of cancer by preventing free radicals from damaging cells.
Free radicals in the body are one of the primary causes of cancer, as they cause damage to all major components of cells, including DNA, proteins and cell membranes.
According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, dark and blackstrap molasses had the highest ferric-reducing ability of plasma, which was used to estimate total antioxidant capacity of alternatives to refined sugar.
Selenium also protects the body against contaminants like mercury, cadmium and silver; helps speed the elimination of cancer cells; and slows tumor growth.
Just 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses is enough to take care of your body’s needs.
7. Increases Stamina and Energy
Blackstrap molasses also will boost your stamina and energy level.
It offers a temporary energy boost by providing carbohydrates that can be quickly converted into energy in the body.
Plus, it aids energy production by replenishing the body’s storage of iron. In fact, fatigue and tiredness are common in people who have a low iron level. Iron is important for maintaining optimum levels of hemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying chemical in the bloodstream. Lack of oxygen in the body causes constant fatigue and tiredness.
Also, the magnesium in it plays an important role in breaking down glucose into energy, which boosts your metabolism and helps fight fatigue and weakness. Even a mild deficiency of magnesium can cause fatigue and general weakness.
In addition, the vitamin B6 in it plays a key role in energy production.
Whenever you are low in energy, add 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses to a glass of warm water or milk. Drink this mixture once or twice daily to boost your stamina.
8. Maintains Strong Muscles and Bones
Blackstrap molasses contains a good amount of calcium that helps form and maintain healthy, strong bones. In fact, a low calcium level in the body can cause low bone density and early bone loss. Just 1 tablespoon of the molasses will provide over 10 percent of your body’s daily calcium needs.
Along with calcium, the copper in blackstrap molasses plays a key role in improving bone health, healing broken bones and reducing the risk of weak and brittle bones.
It also supports a proper acid-alkaline balance in the body. This is extremely beneficial for bone health.
Apart from bone health, blackstrap molasses also supports muscle health. The magnesium in it is important for muscle health. It stimulates calcium reuptake that can help maintain strong muscles and prevent cramps. Calcium also helps provide energy to your muscles.
Along with daily exercise, do not forget to include 1 to 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses in your daily diet.
9. Improves Sleep
Blackstrap molasses is also good for dealing with insomnia as it promotes sleep. It is rich in calcium which helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid in turn helps produce the sleep-inducing substance melatonin.
It is also rich in magnesium, another mineral that works as a natural sedative.
In addition, blackstrap molasses helps reduce restless legs syndrome. It is usually caused by a deficiency of iron, magnesium and folate. Blackstrap molasses provides all these nutrients to your body, thus relieving the sleeping disorder.
10. Maintains Hair Health
Blackstrap molasses is extremely beneficial for hair health. It contains iron, which can fight iron deficiency, one of the causes of hair loss.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science suggests that iron may play a certain role in hair loss, especially in premenopausal female pattern hair loss. According to this study, the initial screening of iron status could be of help for hair loss patients.
It also contains a high amount of magnesium, which helps prevent hair loss and nail breakage.
The copper in it is an important trace mineral whose peptides help rebuild the skin structure that supports healthy hair.
Daily intake of blackstrap molasses can lead to improved hair quality, hair regrowth and even a restoration of your hair’s original color. Along with its intake, you can also apply blackstrap molasses on your hair.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in 1 cup of lukewarm water.
- Apply it on your hair and scalp and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Shampoo your hair as usual.
- Repeat 1 or 2 times a week.
- Try to drink blackstrap molasses in a way that bypasses your teeth.
- Always buy blackstrap molasses that is organic and unsulfured. Unsulfured molasses is free of sulfur dioxide and does not cause allergic reactions.
- Use blackstrap molasses to sweeten food without many of the negative side effects of regular sugar and artificial sweeteners.