“Annie, I was in a store where they were squeezing fresh sugarcane juice. I didn’t buy any because I’m not familiar. Are you?” “I am somewhat Karen. Last year I wrote The Sugar Sham in advance of Valentine’s Day and spent some happy hours researching sugars history. I blogged in the Sugar Sham that,
“Sugar was first used by Polynesian seamen chewing on sugar cane stalks for an energy boost during their explorations of Southeast Asia about 3500 years ago. India developed the process of converting the juice to crystal form about 2500 years ago.”
The focus of that blog was to give information on how much harm sugar causes. That granulated sugar is a source of obesity, and multiple other diseases to the heart, kidney, liver, and appears to play a role in the onset of dementia. Specifically, I was calling out processed sugar, the white and brown granules that we use as a sweetener. Granulated sugar has all of the nutrients stripped out of it as it goes through processing. Sugarcane juice in its original form, like what you saw; the juice being squeezed from its stalk has phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and the vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C and E. Sugarcane juice made from pressing the whole stalk contains 75% water, 15% sucrose, and 15% fiber. It has about 100 calories per 8 ounces, and according to Sugarcane Biotechnology Challenges and Prospects, sugarcane juice rehydrates and is an instant energy booster. The antioxidants in sugarcane juice have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. Quercetin is one that helps combat bodily inflammation. Ellagic acid is another antioxidant that is effective against obesity. And, Caffeic acid is still another that protects against the free-radicals that cause DNA damage.”
“Okay, it sounds like it is a good substitute for granulated sugar?” “Well yes, but be careful, although pure unprocessed sugarcane juice contains minerals, and vitamins it also has sugar, and too much is unhealthy. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day and men no more than nine teaspoons.”

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