Not many people think of sugar when they are trying to get healthy, but drinking raw sugarcane juice has a surprising number of health benefits and is loaded with critical nutrients that our body needs. Sugarcane juice is derived from the sugarcane plant, which is also the source of the majority of white table sugar and processed sugar that we find in our foods. Sugarcane juice is not widely known about, but it is particularly popular in countries that have a large production of sugarcane, such as Brazil, India, and Thailand.
Sugarcane is also the base ingredient for dozens of other products, from jaggery, molasses, and rum to biofuel and ethanol. However, while many of the products created from sugarcane can be dangerous to overall health, particularly when consumed in excess, the processing of sugarcane strips away many of the critical minerals, vitamin, and fiber that can be gained from this plant. Raw sugarcane juice contains many of those natural nutrients, which can be used by the body to improve health in numerous ways.
Benefits of Sugarcane Juice
The top benefits of sugarcane juice include lowering blood pressure, strengthening the bones, reducing cholesterol, fighting infections, soothing stress and anxiety, boosting energy levels, supporting kidney health, strengthening the immune system, protecting the skin, optimizing digestion and managing diabetes, among others.
One of the unique components of sugarcane juice is alpha hydroxy acids, specifically glycolic acid, which has been linked to antioxidant effects on the skin. This juice, when regularly consumed, can clear up skin inflammation and infections, while also improving the appearance of skin and reducing signs of aging, such as wrinkles, blemishes, discoloration, and scars.
Bone Mineral Density
Intake of this juice boosts calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and manganese levels in the body, making it a critical part of strengthening your bones. This, in turn, helps to prevent the development of osteoporosis. A single glass of this juice every day can keep your bones strong as you age.
There are certain laxative qualities of sugarcane juice, thanks to its supply of dietary fiber. The fiber helps stimulate peristaltic motion, heal inflammation in the gut, and relieve symptoms of constipation, bloating and cramping.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
Studies have found that drinking raw sugarcane juice can help to lower overall cholesterol levels, both LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, which can further protect your heart and prevent cardiovascular disease as you age.
Some of the amino acids found in sugarcane juice, in addition to tryptophan and magnesium, can help to balance your stress hormone levels and even help to induce sleep. If you regularly suffer from insomnia or interrupted sleep and give relief from insomnia or interrupted sleep.
Normal Blood Pressure
With its supply of potassium, sugarcane juice is able to reduce the strain and tension in blood vessels and arteries, effectively lowering blood pressure, and reducing your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Strengthened Immune System
With a rich supply of vitamin C and antioxidants, this juice is known to stimulate and boost the immune system, particularly infections in the stomach, liver and respiratory tracts. It can also help to prevent the onset of chronic disease including cancer or the prostate, colon, and breast.
Unlike drinks and foods that are packed with processed sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, the natural supply of sugars in sugarcane juice can provide a solid stock of energy that can start your day off strong and regulate the release of glucose in your body for a healthy “sugar high”.
Prevention of Kidney Stones
Numerous studies have linked the consumption of sugarcane juice with a lower occurrence of urinary tract infections and a lower risk of developing kidney stones. Essentially, this juice detoxifies the body and protects the function of the body’s detoxing centers.
Sugarcane Juice Nutrition Facts
The nutritional density of sugarcane juice is impressive and includes significant levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, various amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. There are approximately 180 calories in an 8-ounce glass of sugarcane juice, as well as 30 grams of sugar. Furthermore, this juice is high in dietary fiber and also provides phytonutrients like polyphenolic compounds, which can further aid your overall health and reduce oxidative stress.
Sugarcane Juice for Weight Loss
Sugarcane juice is rich in dietary fiber that helps to bind with fat and prevent it from being stored in the body, while also making you feel full, thus preventing snacking and overeating. Your digestive health will also be boosted by fiber, helping to relieve constipation and improving your gut’s ability to absorb critical nutrients. The alkaline nature of this juice helps to create the ideal environment for fat-burning, rather than an overly acidic system, while the high natural sugar content provides a huge source of energy, which increases activity and stimulates more calorie-burning.
Sugarcane Juice for Diabetes
This juice has a surprisingly low glycemic index, based on the types of sugars that are found in the juice, so it is actually more beneficial than your average fizzy drink or soda, as the sugars are more slowly absorbed and processed by the body, preventing the sugar rush that many people associate with high glycemic beverages. For people not suffering from Type 2 diabetes, this drink can actually help to regulate your blood sugar levels, when consumed in moderation.
However, for patients with Type 2 diabetes, it is important to speak with a doctor before consuming this juice.
Sugarcane Juice during Pregnancy
Experts around the world recommend using sugarcane juice during pregnancy, as it can help to boost the metabolism, improve digestion, reduce symptoms of morning sickness, provide energy throughout the day, thanks to its low glycemic index, and can boost the immune system naturally, rather than having to rely on pharmaceuticals or antibiotics. It also helps eliminate symptoms of constipation, another frequent complaint by pregnant women. That being said, as with any addition to a pregnancy diet, run the idea past your doctor first.
Disadvantages of Sugarcane Juice
Some of the negative side effects of this juice include headaches, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, a worsening of bleeding disorders and the potential for insomnia. Most of these side effects occur if you consume high concentrations of sugarcane juice; remember, only 1 glass per day is required to derive most of this juice’s benefits.