The saccharine truth

By | Food & Drink
Sugarcane is a source rich in nutrients as well as delicious. Credit@EncinoMan

Native to the tropical regions of Asia, sugarcane has fast become one of the healthiest options to include in the diet due to its sweet, cool and refreshing flavour. Belonging to the grass family, with its tall perennial shoots, sugarcane may be drunk as a juice extracted from the plant or simply eaten raw in its discovered form. A major part of the Eastern economy, this particular plant is renowned for its beneficial aspects towards society in a range of forms, from supporting the economy and trade to nourishment in the form of nutrients and help in curing ailments. Beneficial to the climate as well the long, tall shooting plant excels as a nitrogen fixer, and supports with pathogen and pest control.

The juice extracted from sugarcane may be acknowledged as the most common way to imbibe the food source, as well as the best way to ensure the productivity of sugarcane for the body’s health and benefit. Used in a majority of food sources throughout Asia and the Caribbean, the plant is yet to land in our diet in some of its more nourishing forms such as the juice. Generally, when raw, sugarcane contains low cholesterol and low sodium; at odds with the basis of sugar as something to be used at when all other alternatives have ceased. And yet, sugarcane’s glycemic index of 43 making it as low as glucose proves that the plant is a healthier alternative to sucrose as it is absorbed in the liver and therefore absorbed slower in the body.

The majority of sugarcane is harvested in hotter, eastern climates. Credit@TanveerSattarviaflickr

The majority of sugarcane is harvested in hotter, eastern climates. Credit@TanveerSattarviaflickr

Sugarcane also aids ailments, which range from urinary tract to sexually transmitted, healing as well as delicious; a diluted form of sugarcane, daily, is recommended to be imbibed in order to receive more nutrients with less sugar. Likewise, the antioxidants within sugarcane help with free radicals on the skin, and within the body, aiding oxidisation and ensuring that the immune system is at its most provident. The juice of the plant, usually extracted using a roller mill process, and using a screen filter to ensure that the pH of the juice is stable enough for the human body. The juice is usually dilated, and sweet enough to be reminiscent of molasses, likely a pleasant source of nourishment which may raise spirits, reinforcing a healthier, more beneficial diet.

Refined carbohydrates which include processed sugar may result in compromising the health of teeth and oral hygiene; however, non-refined sugarcane may be known to further ensure the rise in cleanliness within the mouth. Brimming with nutrients so the body is able to metabolise the sugar correctly instead of finding the minerals needed to ensure that the sucrose imbibed is separated down to be absorbed, sugarcane may just become a much needed factor in the lifestyle of the West. Similarly, the perennial shoot, derived from the grass family, is loaded with B-vitamins which stimulate the brain allowing it to work at an optimum level.

Sugarcane shoots. Credit@LFRamosReyesviaflickr

Sugarcane shoots. Credit@LFRamosReyesviaflickr

It is easy to look past aesthetic benefits of some foods, especially when focussing on the health benefits and productivity of the diet; sugarcane however, is a major factor in replenishing the skin due to it containing a natural and rich source of alpha hydroxy acids, keeping skin hydrated, reducing the chance of bacteria-incited acne and reducing any chance of blemishes induced by all weather conditions. There is hardly any question as to why the plant is so beneficial to the diet, being laden in vitamins such as calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and cobalt which work in synergy to enhance the bodily functions, improving lifestyle and aiding deep rooted issues.

Sugarcane is rapidly becoming more well-known in the west, imported from the eastern areas to boost economy; it serves to benefit society in more ways than one, something that is crucial to factor. Potential business brims where sugarcane is concerned; rich in polyphenols and vitamins as well as a potential source of monetary benefit. There is a reason why sugarcane is prospering in itself; It prospers people’s lives.

What are some benefit that sugarcane might provide towards the health?


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