So you’ve jumped on the natural health train and you’re going a million miles a minute. All the stuff you never knew about, all the stuff there is to learn; it’s almost information overload but in a good way.
Now you’ve heard of this stuff called blackstrap molasses. Black what? Does the bottle have a black strap on it?
Um, not exactly.
Blackstrap molasses, named after the Dutch word “stroop,” meaning syrup, literally means black syrup. You see, molasses is the product of boiling sugar to separate the crystals from the syrup.
Once the sugar crystals have been extracted, the remaining darker syrup is what we know as molasses. Blackstrap molasses, however, has undergone this process three times, resulting in its ultra-dark and thick consistency.
Since you’re here, you’ve probably heard this syrup boasts a ton of health benefits. You’re probably also curious what exactly those might be, right?
Well, you’re in luck, because number one, you heard correctly. Number two, you’re about to find out what they are.
Without further ado: 12 blackstrap molasses benefits you really should know about (and take advantage of).
It increases iron and can combat anemia.
Blackstrap molasses contains a surprising amount of iron. This is great news for people suffering from anemia since many iron supplements tend to ahem, clog your pipes (if you get the drift).
In fact, just a hundred grams of this wonder syrup contains over a quarter of the recommended daily value of this critical nutrient. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, that’s even better news since you’re definitely not planning on consuming red meat anytime soon.
Since red meat is one of the only other food sources boasting a substantial amount of iron, blackstrap molasses is a great way to hit your target if you’re not too fond of eating cows.
It helps safeguard against cancer
The high antioxidant content of blackstrap molasses helps protect the body against free radicals. If you don’t know exactly what those are, en masse, they’re basically troublemakers in the body.
These highly reactive chemicals are created when atoms or molecules gain or lose electrons. While this is perfectly natural and even necessary, many times, levels of free radicals in the body get out of hand. When this happens, they can do a great deal of damage to other healthy cells, including DNA.
Experts at the National Cancer Institute agree that high concentrations of free radicals may result in cancer development, so fighting this with high concentrations of dietary antioxidants is critical.
3. It can help unclog your pipes (the digestive ones).
It’s not draino, just to set things straight. What it is, however, is a kind of natural stool softener. Blackstrap molasses contains over 60 percent of your daily value of magnesium in just a hundred grams of the stuff.
Did you know that most people are magnesium deficient? Probably not, but it’s true. Since our soils are no longer as nutrient-rich as they once were, the plants we eat end up missing out on those valuable nutrients, too.
We should get plenty of magnesium from the foods we eat, but we either don’t eat enough vegetables or they just no longer contain as much of the nutrients that we need. To combat that, blackstrap molasses can be a great magnesium supplement.
According to natural health expert, Dr. Axe, this nutrient is a great aid for those suffering from less than stellar waste elimination.
4. It can help you de-stress and find your zen.
Since blackstrap molasses contains high amounts of B vitamins, magnesium and calcium, it’s a great stress-fighting aid. According to researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center, B6 helps to boost brain levels of the “feel good” hormone serotonin.
They also concluded that low levels of this vitamin could contribute to depression. Magnesium also assists neurotransmitters in the production of serotonin, while calcium helps the brain send electrical impulses that promote a sense of well-being.
In fact, researchers have linked calcium deficiency to symptoms of anxiety and depression.
5. It stabilizes blood sugar.
Chromium, another nutrient found in high concentrations in blackstrap molasses is well-known for its ability to stabilize blood sugar levels. The mineral helps to increase glucose tolerance and slows the digestion of dietary carbohydrates.
It also helps the body use insulin more efficiently, allowing you to experience steady energy rather than the mid-day crash and burn.
6. It fights PMS symptoms.
In order to be a happy person (or a least less of a witch) during this time of the month, proper oxygen levels in the blood are crucial. Why?
Because oxygen is essential for the brain to manufacture “feel good” hormones, dopamine and serotonin. Why does that matter? Because according to experts at UCFS Medical Center, sufficient levels of iron are crucial to saturate the blood with oxygen.
Without iron, oxygen levels are lower, hormone levels are lower, and you may just turn into a raging emotional mess. Blackstrap molasses can help you change that since it contains super high levels of the iron you need. Now go and be a nice person.
7. It helps your body rebuild itself.
Not only does blackstrap molasses help your body build new cells, if you’re a mother to be, it’ll also help your developing baby build new cells. The syrup contains high levels of B vitamins, especially folate, which are critical to cell differentiation and rebuilding.
In fact, folate is so critical that in 1996, the United States mandated that enriched grains used in cereal products be fortified with folate to help prevent developmental disorders.
If you’re not fond of grains or bottled supplements, blackstrap molasses is a wonderful source of this nutrient.
8. It’s a natural ADD and ADHD treatment.
Foods high in B vitamins can help treat ADD and ADHD symptoms naturally. Blackstrap molasses is high in B vitamins, as well as iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium, all of which promote increased nerve health and protection.
They also support the brain’s production of neurotransmitters that are critical to stabilizing mood and creating a sense of calm and well-being.
9. It helps your joints feel young again.
Due to its high antioxidant, vitamin and mineral levels, blackstrap molasses has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
These nutrients help to decrease swelling and inflammation around the joints, easing symptoms of arthritis and allowing you to move with less pain.
10. It helps you lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
The recommended intake of potassium is 4,700 milligrams per day. Most people do not eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables to provide them with enough potassium to meet their daily needs.
This mineral is critical in maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol. In fact, according to Harvard medical experts, it “can significantly lower systolic blood pressure.”
The same experts estimate that the average person typically consumes only half the recommended amount of potassium each day.
Since just 100 grams of blackstrap molasses contains over 40 percent of your daily value of potassium, it can help you hit your target every day.
11. It can make your skin beautiful.
Lactic acid has been studied as a natural acne treatment and has had very positive results. Since blackstrap molasses contains the substance, it’s long been used to promote healthy, radiant skin.
In fact, many commercial skin products contain lactic acid due to its ability to reduce breakouts and promote younger looking skin.
Taking the natural route, however, will help you avoid potentially toxic chemicals and additives present in many commercially manufactured skin care products.
Since it also promotes tissue regeneration, it may help relieve the effects of a bad breakout by encouraging the skin to rebuild itself. Here’s a great video on how to use blackstrap molasses to rejuvenate your skin.
12. It can be used topically to heal injuries.
While it may be sticky, blackstrap molasses is an excellent salve for minor cuts and burns. Because it promotes cell building, it encourages accelerated healing of minor injuries.
The high B vitamin content promotes skin rebuilding, while the lactic acid it contains also promotes new cell growth and healing of minor skin irritations.
It may be applied to the cleaned and dried site of a minor injury and covered with a bandage. Continue to use it until symptoms diminish. Using blackstrap molasses internally will complement topical use, further accelerating healing time.
So there you have it. If you’ve been wondering about this blackstrap molasses stuff and why the heck it’s so much better than its siblings, now you know. It may not be the sweetest of the bunch, but it’s definitely more beneficial; which is what counts, right?
With the ability to fight cancer, heal skin and generally improve your body, there’s no reason not to include this superfood in your diet.
Try a tablespoon or two a day. Mix it in your smoothies, try it as a marinade or salad dressing. Whatever you decide, just make sure you use it. Your body will thank you.