October 30th, 2016
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
Classified as “the most demonized additive known to man,” there’s no doubt that sugar has received a bad rap over the years. Blamed for everything from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, to cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s and tooth decay, sugar seems to foster ill-health wherever it’s found. While this is certainly true for high-fructose corn syrup and other heavily refined sugars, there’s one form that offers distinctive — and often surprising — health advantages.
Widely consumed in the tropics and subtropics, sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L) is not only savored for its sweetness, but also used medicinally. Those in the West are catching on — and reaping the health benefits of this unique food.
With fibrous stalks that resemble bamboo, sugarcane is a member of the grass family and can grow up to 5 meters high. Sporting a nutritional profile similar to wheatgrass juice — but with less chlorophyll and more sugar (about 15 percent total) — sugarcane juice is packed with vitamins and minerals, including: calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. It’s also rich in iron, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6 and C, as well as a range of phytonutrients, antioxidants, proteins and soluble fiber.
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