Have you ever seen those long, fibrous stalks of sugarcane and wondered if they were edible?
Well, wonder no more!
Sugarcane is not only edible, but it also offers a variety of health benefits.
From aiding in weight loss to boosting dental health, sugarcane is a natural source of nutrients that can be enjoyed in moderation.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of consuming sugarcane and how to properly eat it.
So, grab a stalk and let’s dive in!
Can You Eat Sugar Cane?
Yes, you can eat sugarcane! In fact, it’s a common snack in many parts of the world.
To eat sugarcane, take small bites of each piece. Don’t eat the rind, and don’t swallow any of the sugarcane EVER. Chew on the inside, then spit out what’s left into a bowl or trash can. It should taste great!
But why should you eat sugarcane? Let’s explore some of its health benefits.
The Nutritional Benefits Of Sugarcane
Sugarcane is not only a refreshing treat, but it also provides several nutritional benefits. Firstly, it’s an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates, which are the body’s main source of energy. Additionally, sugarcane is loaded with micronutrients that are essential for maintaining good health. It contains small amounts of iron and magnesium, as well as traces of vitamins B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2 (riboflavin).
Sugarcane is also beneficial for maintaining a healthy oral microbiome. Chewing on sugarcanes rather than juicing them helps to keep teeth strong and healthy. Furthermore, sugarcane has diuretic properties that remove excess salt and water from the kidneys, making it useful for the proper functioning of kidneys.
One of the most significant benefits of sugarcane is its high dose of antioxidants that help combat free radical molecules that are harmful to cells. Antioxidants are essential for building up a strong immune system. Contrary to popular belief, the sugar content in sugarcane can be used in a weight loss diet.
Raw sugarcane is an excellent source of nutrition, containing significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus which are beneficial for the body. The calories in raw sugarcane are only around 15, while a teaspoon contains about 4 g of glucose (sugar), which is the healthiest form of sugar. Raw sugarcane is low on the glycemic index which is the reason why it plays a huge role in maintaining a healthy body.
Sugarcane also fights and prevents several types of cancer like breast cancer and prostate cancer. It is beneficial for those people who have febrile disorders as it helps in protein retention in the body. Sugarcane juice cleanses the urinary flow and maintains the functions of nephrons. It is also beneficial for patients with jaundice as it quickens the healing process.
How To Properly Prepare Sugarcane For Consumption
Before consuming sugarcane, it’s important to properly prepare it. Here’s how:
1. Start by selecting a fresh and firm sugarcane stalk. Look for one that is free from any cracks or bruises.
2. Use a sharp knife to cut off the top and bottom of the sugarcane stalk. This will create a flat surface on both ends.
3. Stand the sugarcane stalk upright on a cutting board and use your knife to carefully remove the tough outer layer of the cane. Work your way around the stalk, making sure to remove all of the outer layer.
4. Once you have removed the outer layer, you will be left with a smooth, juicy inner layer. Cut the sugarcane into small bite-sized pieces using a sharp knife.
5. To eat, take small bites of each piece and chew on the inside. Do not eat the rind or swallow any of the sugarcane. Instead, spit out what’s left into a bowl or trash can.
By following these steps, you can enjoy the delicious and nutritious benefits of sugarcane in a safe and healthy way.
The Role Of Sugarcane In Weight Loss
Sugarcane can be a great addition to your weight loss diet. It is low in fat and high in dietary fiber, which can help you feel full and prevent overeating. A study has shown that a high intake of dietary fiber can promote weight loss in overweight adults following a calorie-restricted diet.
Moreover, sugarcane juice is rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants that fight inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a major reason why many people struggle to lose weight quickly. Sugarcane juice also contains no cholesterol and may even help fight bad cholesterol present in the blood, leading to weight loss.
A healthy digestive system is also linked with weight loss, and sugarcane juice has been recommended by Ayurveda to improve bowel movements and relieve constipation. It may also help with treating acidity and heartburn, promoting a healthy digestive system.
Sugarcane juice has detoxifying properties that can help cleanse the system of toxins and boost metabolism. A good metabolism is key to burning fat more efficiently.
However, it’s important to consume sugarcane juice in moderation as it is still high in natural sugars. Avoid adding any extra sugar or sweeteners to the juice as it will defeat the purpose of using sugarcane for weight loss. You can also mix sugarcane juice with other healthy ingredients like ginger, lemon, or mint for added flavor and health benefits.
Sugarcane And Dental Health
Sugarcane is not only a delicious snack but also beneficial for dental health. Studies have shown that sugarcane juice can protect against tooth decay and bad breath due to its high mineral content, including calcium and other minerals vital for healthy teeth and tooth enamel. The combination of phosphorous, vitamin C, and calcium is crucial to overall health, along with proper oral hygiene and dental care.
Although sugarcane juice is sweet and has a high sugar content, it can even be good for diabetic patients. Its natural raw sugar has a lower glycemic index than refined sugars, preventing a steep rise in blood glucose levels in diabetics. However, type-2 diabetes patients should consume it in moderation after consulting with their physician.
It’s important to note that like other added sugars, cane sugar helps bacteria grow in your mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. But chewing on sugarcane stalks instead of juicing them can actually help keep teeth strong and healthy. The act of chewing on the stalks can also help maintain a healthy oral microbiome.
In addition to its dental benefits, sugarcane is loaded with micronutrients and aids the liver’s health too. The plant stalks include iron and magnesium in small amounts and also have traces of vitamins B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Sugarcane juice is better than refined sugar because it has diuretic properties that remove excess salt and water from the kidneys, making it useful for proper kidney function. Sugarcane also contains a high dose of antioxidants that help combat free radical molecules that are harmful to cells, helping to build up a strong immune system.
The Versatility Of Sugarcane In Cooking And Beverages.
Sugarcane is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different recipes and beverages. Whether you juice it, cook with it, or bake with it, sugarcane is a delicious way to add sweetness to your food.
One popular use of sugarcane is to juice it and serve the fresh juice over ice. This refreshing beverage is popular in many parts of the world and is known for its health benefits. It can boost energy, protect the digestive system, and support dental health.
Sugarcane juice can also be used as a base for mixed drinks, smoothies, and other beverages. In a pitcher, mix together sugarcane juice, orange juice, lemon juice, and water. Add fruit of your choice if desired. Add more water if mixture is too sweet. Serve over ice and enjoy!
In addition to beverages, sugarcane can be used in cooking as well. It can be added to marinades or glazes for meats, or used as a sweetener in sauces and dressings. Sugarcane can also be grated and used as a topping for desserts like cakes and pies.