Sugarcane juice is one of the most deliciously sweet and refreshing organic syrupy juices to enjoy on a tropical humid summer day. Besides being delightful, sugarcane juice is a direct form of sugarcane that is packed with a good number of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other components that are extremely beneficial to your health.
All About Sugarcane and Sugarcane Juice:
Sugarcane is a sweet, juicy fruit, with a grass-like appearance, found in humid tropical countries like Asia, Africa, and some parts of the major parts of India.
Sugarcane juice is made by squeezing up the stick-like sugarcanes and pulping out the inner flesh, which gives out fresh and delicious, sweet sugarcane juice. Sugarcane juice is known to have rich amounts of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that are reportedly known to heal kidney diseases and also help to protect a healthy liver. Sugarcane juices are used to make cane sugar, brown sugar, molasses, and jaggery after further processing and fermenting.
Sugarcane juice does not contain only raw sugar. It comprises about 70–75% water, around 10-15% of dietary fiber, and 13–15% natural sugar in the form of sucrose and fructose that is, the ordinary table sugar we consume regularly. It is also found that the portion of sugarcane juice that provides natural sugar is one of the main sources of the table sugar we consume regularly. (1Trusted Source)
Sugarcane juice provides many health benefits, for instance, it is rich in essential antioxidants like phenolic and flavonoid. These antioxidants are the primary sources of health benefits that are not only good for your overall body functioning but also maintain a healthy physique. Sugarcane juice contains electrolytes, such as potassium, that keep you hydrated all day. Besides, sugarcane juices are not processed into syrups, just like other sugary drinks, so they contain the health benefits of all the essential nutrients. Moreover, the high levels of carbohydrates and vitamins in sugarcane juices not only help to get refreshed, but also boost your energy levels (2Trusted Source).
Some Health Benefits of Sugarcane Juice:
Both sugarcane and sugarcane juice contain beneficial health components that are essential for the proper functioning of your body. Sugarcane juice contains several beneficial health extracts that help to treat urinary tract issues and supply the antioxidants your body needs from your regular diet, along with providing benefits to pregnant women and diabetic patients. Sugarcane juices are found to have the following properties:
The diuretic properties in sugarcane juice are useful for the proper regulation of kidney functioning, by the removal of excess toxins in the form of urea salts and water from the body. It also helps to relieve burning sensations caused by many types of urinary tract issues if consumed after mixing with lime juice or coconut water.
Preventing Harmful diseases
Sugarcane juice is a rich source of essential antioxidants that are used by the body for strengthening your immune system by fighting against disease-causing free radicals and preventing cell damage or abnormal growth of tissues that often leads to harmful diseases like diabetes, malaria, myocardial infarction, and skin cancer.
Boosts Metabolism and prevents morning sickness
Sugarcane juice does not contain any added sugar like any other canned sugary drink, so it helps to maintain metabolism and prevents weight gain in pregnant women. Recent studies reveal that having sugarcane juice with ginger extracts can help to reduce the number of occurrences of morning sickness among pregnant women and thus help them to build up strong immunity.
Effects on Diabetes
Diabetic patients are always advised to limit the intake of regular direct table sugar or any artificial sweetener consumption. Sugarcane juice contains natural sweetness that may be ideal for diabetic people because this may help them to regulate their glycemic index. Sugarcane molasses are also proven to lower excess glucose levels in your blood and control the proper levels of insulin.
Health Benefits of Sugarcane Juice:
Here are some of the most common health benefits of sugarcane juice.
- Protects kidney by regulating proper urination
- Can be used as a laxative
- Contains anti-inflammatory and Analgesic (relieves pain) properties
- Protects from overheating
- Acts as an antiseptic
- Maintains proper liver functioning and fights jaundice
- Highly beneficial as an all-around medicinal tonic
- Antihyperglycemic (lowers blood glucose levels)
- Diuretic (improves urination)
Pros and Cons of Sugarcane Beverages:
Sugarcane juice is packed with essential nutrients, though it is important to know about its nutrition labels.
Some sugarcane juices contain only water and natural flavors while some other sugarcane drinks or syrups that are usually available in the market contain not only sugarcane juice but also added preservatives, fermented flavors, and added sugar. These types of market available canned sugarcane juices contain added artificial substances like food colors but lack essential health components such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
What about evaporated sugarcane juice?
- Before 2016, several beverages and products got labeled with an ingredient called “evaporated cane juice.” This is a healthy, natural, and beneficial sweetener extracted directly from sugarcane. This came to be also known as sugarcane soda.
But the FDA proved it to be wrong as evaporated cane juice contains a considerable amount of added and artificial sugar.
Sugarcane drinks and diabetes:
It has been proven that sugarcane juice provides several health benefits, but it is not a good choice for people with diabetes because sugarcane juice contains high natural sugar in a form called sucrose which covers around about 15% of the total content of the juice. So, it is never advisable to have sugarcane juice as a regular diet for people having diabetes.
Health Risks of Sugarcane Juice
High consumption of sugarcane or other sugarcane derivatives can lead to several side effects and health adversities such as:
Recent studies reveal that high consumption of sugar in your regular diets leads to a greater risk of developing heart-related diseases. Experts say that people who undergo overconsumption of sugar through sugarcane juice gains 20% extra calories from sugar were 38% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than their peers who consumed about 8% of their calories from sugar.
High Blood Pressure
A diet rich in calories and sugars is found to increase the chance of developing high blood pressure and related issues like diabetes, high cholesterol levels, weight gain, and many others.
Sugarcane juice, apart from containing several beneficial health ingredients, is a rich source of sugar and carbohydrates. Sugarcane has more vitamins and minerals compared to regular refined sugar and also contain some amount of the following:
- Vitamin B1 ( Thiamine)
One cup or 240-mL of the drink provides (2Trusted Source):
- Calories: 183
- Sugar: 50 grams
- Carbohydrates: 25.40 grams
- Fiber: 0–13 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
It is reportedly found that almost 240 ml of sugarcane juice contains around 50 grams of sugar that are approximately equal to12 teaspoons of regular table sugar (3Trusted Source).
Sugarcane juice is also a rich source of high dietary fiber but also contains added sugar and water. Intake of a high amount of sugar and carbohydrates from sugarcane juice causes a greater intake of calories which may result in weight gain and is a strictly prohibited beverage for people with diabetes mellitus because the sugar in sugarcane juice present in the form of sucrose breaks down within your body into glucose which might be a risk factor for people with diabetes. Thus, people with diabetes should watch their sugar intake carefully. Although it is found that sugarcane juice has a low glycemic index (GI), it still has a high glycemic load (GL), that is, on overconsumption, it will spike up your blood sugar levels (4Trusted Source).
Should I drink Sugarcane juice if I have diabetes?
Sugarcane plants and sugar beets are known to be one of the richest sources of the production of regular table sugar and refined white sugar. Though it is known that sugarcane juice has various health benefits, it is loaded with high levels of sugar in the form of sucrose, carbohydrates, and calories that might prove to be fatal for people with diabetes, if over consumed. So, it is always prohibited to have sugarcane juice or any such highly loaded sugar drinks if you have diabetes. The high levels of sugar in the juice can shoot up your blood sugar levels to a harmful limit. Thus, you should avoid this beverage entirely (5Trusted Source). But if you still wish to have a sweet drink, you can switch to fresh fruits to infuse your quest with natural sweetness.
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