Since I started this journey toward creating a healthier lifestyle for my family, I have begun actually looking at nutrition labels before chunking anything and everything into my grocery cart, especially processed foods. My goal has been to create a Master Grocery List based on what I have learned as I go along.
Just like I did in a previous post on why we should all be eating avocado, this post will highlight the nutritional benefits of blackstrap molasses in a way that corresponds to these labels.
For years blackstrap molasses has appeared on almost every list of superfoods and been sold on health food store shelves for its many health benefits—including relieving PMS symptoms, stabilizing blood sugar levels, improving bone health, treating symptoms of ADHD, preventing blood clotting, relieving menstrual cramps, maintaining the health of uterine muscles, combatting stress and anxiety, boosting skin health, promoting the growth of healthy tissues, serving as a natural wound healer, and helping you maintain clear and healthy skin.
So let’s take a quick run-through of the nutritional benefits of blackstrap molasses based on the elements that make up the nutrition label before we all place blackstrap molasses on our Instacart grocery lists.
1. The Serving Size…Obviously blackstrap molasses is actually an ingredient or condiment, not an actual food in and of itself…so you can’t really say what a typical serving should be…but the following statistics are based on 100 grams, or about 1/2C.
2. Calories…One hundred grams of blackstrap molasses contains 290 calories, making it a food with an “average” or moderate caloric content.
3. Basic Nutrients…Now as for those specific nutrients contained in blackstrap molasses—such as carbohydrates, fat, protein, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar—that all of us typically eat in adequate amounts….blackstrap molasses provides the following percentages of these recommended nutrients to your daily diet…
a. Fats…Blackstrap molasses contains zero fat.
b. Protein…Unless a food item makes a claim regarding its protein content—such as being “high in protein” or is marketed specifically for infants and children under four years old, this nutrient is often now shown. This is not a big deal because studies show that most of us actually do get enough protein in our diets already…zero protein
c. Fiber…Blackstrap molasses contains no fiber.
4. Vitamins and Minerals…Blackstrap molasses has been sold as a dietary supplement for years and finds its way on almost every “official” list of superfoods…because one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides up to 20% of the recommended daily value of many important nutrients—including iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B, and manganese.
a. Iron…Blackstrap molasses contains 95% DV of iron per 1/4C. Not having enough iron in your red blood cells can make you feel tired, weak, crabby, lethargic, unmotivated, depressed, and anxious…definitely not something you want to be when you’re fifty years old chasing a “resident four year old.”
b. Calcium…Blackstrap molasses contains a large amount of calcium, which is vital for maintaining strong and healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis.
c. Copper...Copper is important for strengthening your bones and blood vessels, keeping your nerves healthy, and boosting your immune system.
d. Magnesium…1/4C blackstrap molasses contains approximately 68% DV 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
e. Potassium…Two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses contains 10% DV of potassium. Potassium important for strengthening bone density, helping your blood vessels and arteries to relax, lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, cleansing your liver, keeping the body hydrated, and reducing your risk of circulatory problems—such as blood clotting, heart attacks, hypertension, high blood pressure, strokes.
f. Vitamin B6…1/4C of blackstrap molasses provides 34% DV of Vitamin B6. This is important for helping to fight and avoid many health conditions—including morning sickness, depression, fatigue, stress,
g. Chromium…Blackstrap molasses also contains a high level of chromium—an essential nutrient involved in controlling insulin, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels.
Finally blackstrap molasses proves to be a great source of organic compounds—such as antioxidants, lactic acid, carotenoids, and flavonoids.
a. Antioxidants…Blackstrap molasses contains many antioxidants, substances that help neutralize the effects of free radicals that have been linked to various health conditions—including cancer, cardiovascular disease, vision problems, premature aging, and cognitive disorders.
b. Anti-inflammatory…The anti-inflammatory properties in blackstrap molasses are important for relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
So does blackstrap molasses earn a spot in my grocery shopping app, or not?!
Definitely…Blackstrap molasses is definitely a more nutritious alternative to refined sugar.
Blackstrap molasses has a low glycemic index, which is very important for people with diabetes. Blackstrap molasses helps stabilize blood sugar levels, increases glucose tolerance, balance blood glucose levels, and give us stable energy.
Blackstrap molasses has also been proven to help treat the symptoms of ADD/ADHD…which is very important when you have a “resident four year old” to take care of.