You may have never thought that the benefits of sugar cane juice are extraordinary for body health. Moreover, sugarcane juice is often “underestimated” because initially it was only sold in markets or on the side of the road. In fact, if you drink it raw or fresh, it contains a lot of nutritional content.
Nutritional content of sugarcane juice
Pure sugar cane juice contains 70-75% water, 13-15% sucrose sugar, and 10-15% fiber. Apart from that, it also contains vitamins and minerals, such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E.
Even though it contains many vitamins and minerals, sugarcane juice is still high in sugar and carbohydrates, so it should not be consumed in excess, especially for those of you who are trying to lose weight.
In 1 cup or the equivalent of 240 mL of sugarcane juice contains::
- Calories: 183
- Sugar: 50 grams
- Fiber: 0–13 grams
The sugar content in sugar cane juice is equivalent to 12 teaspoons of granulated sugar. This means that drinking just 1 cup of sugarcane juice exceeds the total sugar requirement per day recommended by the American Heart Association.
Normally, the sugar consumption limit for men is 9 teaspoons and women 6 teaspoons per day.
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Benefits of sugar cane juice
The following are the health benefits of sugarcane juice that you can get:
1. Does not trigger a rapid increase in blood sugar
The glycemic index measures the speed at which food increases blood sugar in the body. The highest glycemic index, measured at 100. Meanwhile, sugarcane juice only has a glycemic index of 43.
According to the United States Diabetes Association, sugar cane is included in the food group with a low glycemic index. Therefore, the potential for sugar cane to increase blood sugar levels quickly is smaller.
Whether consumed whole or extracted from its juice, sugar cane is also an excellent substitute for sugar. But still, you are prohibited from consuming excessive sugar cane. This is because sugar from sugar cane (fructose and glucose) is absorbed more slowly by the body, compared to sucrose sugar.
2. Contains black sugar
Sugar cane can produce black sugar, which has many health benefits, such as preventing anemia, treating constipation, and high antioxidant content. One teaspoon of black sugar produced by sugar cane contains 41 milligrams (mg) of calcium, 1 mg of iron, 48 mg of magnesium, and 293 mg of potassium which is really needed by the body.
3. Increase energy
Compared to other foods that contain processed sugar, the natural sugar supply in sugar cane can provide a lot of energy for daily activities. Apart from that, sugarcane juice can also be a natural choice for rehydrating the body and preventing fatigue.
4. Maintain healthy skin
One of the components of sugarcane juice is alpha hydroxy acid, especially glycolic acid. This component is believed to have an antioxidant effect on the skin. If you consume it regularly, inflammation and infections of the skin can be relieved.
This benefit of sugarcane juice can also prevent the appearance of signs of aging such as wrinkles, and remove scars on the skin.
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5. Suitable for pregnant women
Because it is included in the food group with a low glycemic index, sugarcane juice can be a “faithful friend” for pregnant women, aka pregnant women. When consumed during pregnancy, sugarcane juice can improve metabolism and digestion, reduce symptoms of morning sickness, and provide energy to get through the day.
Another benefit of sugarcane juice for pregnant women is that it eliminates constipation, which is a common symptom in pregnant women. However, it is still best to consult a doctor first before consuming sugarcane juice while pregnant.
6. Freshens breath and strengthens teeth
Sugarcane juice contains calcium and phosphorus which can protect enamel (the outer tissue of teeth), protect teeth from damage, and strengthen teeth as a whole. The high nutritional content in sugar cane juice also makes your breath fresher.
7. Lower cholesterol
Several studies have proven that drinking raw sugar cane juice can lowers cholesterol, be it LDL (bad cholesterol) or triglycerides. That way, your heart health can be maintained.
Apart from that, the potassium content in sugarcane juice is believed to relieve tension in blood vessels. Blood pressure also goes down, and the risk of heart attack can be reduced.
8. Relieves sore throat
The next benefit of sugarcane juice comes from its vitamin C content. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is believed to have a cooling effect on a sore throat. Apart from that, the antioxidants it contains can also prevent the arrival of bacteria and viruses.
9. Helps the wound healing process
The sucrose content in sugar cane juice is believed to help the wound healing process. Sucrose is also considered a natural healing agent.
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Side effects of drinking sugarcane juice
Even though sugarcane juice has a low glycemic index (GI), this sweet drink still has a high glycemic load (GL). This means that sugar cane juice is dangerous for people with high blood sugar or diabetes if consumed in excess. Excessive sugarcane juice consumption is also associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cholesterol levels, fatty liver disease, and increased body weight.
Drinking more than one glass of sugarcane juice a day can pose a risk of side effects, such as:
- Tooth decay and cavities
- Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
- Bleeding disorders that get worse
Therefore, before you consume sugarcane juice regularly, consult a doctor to find out the recommended portions. This is done to avoid the emergence of side effects that are detrimental to health.
Apart from that, avoid bottled sugarcane juice as much as possible and choose sugarcane juice that is directly extracted from the sugarcane, without any added water or sugar.