I very recently discovered this old school health tonic as a natural way to boost my iron intake during breastfeeding. Like many new mums I had anemia and wanted to increase my iron levels without taking chemical supplements.
What is blackstrap molasses?
Blackstrap molasses is one of three bi-products from the production of sugar. Sugar does not provide the human body with any nutrients and plays havoc with our insulin levels. Blackstrap molasses on the other hand is choc-full of nutrients and is low GI so does not cause blood glucose levels to spike and drop. It is a pretty interesting reflection of the level of our current society’s level of consciousness (or unconsciousness) that it is the nutrient-empty and health-destroying sugar which is being manufactured for mass consumption rather than the blackstrap molasses.
The blackstrap molasses extracted from this process is a very dark brown syrupy goo which is potent in smell and taste – but I think in a good way! It is a little like cough medicine crossed with a very malty Guinness beer or stout. And the most important part is that it is packed with health benefits.
Do not confuse blackstrap molasses with the other two types of molasses that are made during sugar production (sulphured and unsulphured).
What is blackstrap molasses good for?
Pretty much everything. I started to take one tablespoon a day to boost my iron levels but you can also take it for the following:
- Antioxidant effect – because of its high, but safe, Manganese ion content and copper levels
- To overcome nervous complains including ADD
- Depression – as it’s high in B vitamins
- Pregnancy health – as it’s high in iron, folic acid and B vitamins
- Prostate health – as it is high in naturally occurring zinc
- And as I have mentioned, anemia or low iron levels – it is a great natural iron supplement because synthetic iron supplements tend to cause lots of side-effects such as constipation and tummy issues.
Simple and yummy ways to incorporate blackstrap molasses into your diet:
- Mix one or two tablespoons with hot water for a warming drink slightly reminiscent of cough mixture
- Add it to your coffee in place of your usual sweetener. The tastes are complementary.
- Add it to yoghurt or kefir instead of honey.
- Mix it with your oatmeal (although some find its taste a little too strong for this)
- Drizzle it on top of whole wheat pancakes
- Blend 2 bananas, milk and a generous tablespoon to make a nutrient rich and filling smoothie – this is great for anyone struggling with poor appetite
Or just eat it from the spoon!
Where can I get blackstrap molasses?
You should be able to buy it at your local health food or organic store. I get mine at my local health shop and it costs around AUD$8 a jar. You can also order it online and could try one of these brands:
It’s also available to buy as a syrup or capsules or powder but I like the syrup best because it can then be used as a low GI alternative to sugar or honey.
I am getting great results from my daily dose of blackstrap. I have noticed that I have greater energy, more balanced mood levels and a stronger immune system since I started taking it. It is surprising to me that a quaint cure-all from grandma’s day could still be so effective – why aren’t doctors recommending this stuff?