Sugarcane Juice – Nutrition, Recipes, and Benefits Including Weight Loss
On a hot summer day, sugarcane juice is undoubtedly one of the best ways to quench your thirst and to beat the summer heat. However, there is much more to this tasty tropical fruit than just its yummy taste. Sugarcane is loaded with carbohydrates, protein, vitamins (A, B-complex and C) and also contains good amounts of minerals like phosphorus, calcium, potassium, zinc and iron. If you are interested in knowing in detail about various benefits of sugarcane juice, we suggest that you browse through this post.
India is one of the world’s largest producers of sugarcane, after Brazil which is possibly why you’ll find almost no companies which offer packaged sugarcane juice. The top 5 sugarcane producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Sugarcane is one of the main crops used in the production of sugar: 70% of the world’s sugar is made from sugarcane and the remaining 30% comes from the sugar beet crop. However, this isn’t the case for the sugarcane grown in India which happens to be the second largest producer of sugarcane, after Brazil. A lot of the sugarcane grown in India is first used to make gur or jaggery followed by khandsari or unrefined or brown sugar, and then sugar which is processed using chemicals and sulphur. The remaining fibrous mass can be used as fuel, or to make paper or sound insulating boards and in some countries, it’s even used to make alcohol.
Nutritional Value of Sugarcane
The sugarcane juice contains the following per serving:
- Energy-111.13 kJ (26.56 kcal)
- Carbohydrates-27.51 g
- Protein-0.27 g
- Calcium11.23 mg (1%)
- Iron 0.37 mg (3%)
- Potassium41.96 mg (1%)
- Sodium17.01 mg (1%)
22 Benefits of Drinking Sugarcane Juice
Following are advantages of sugarcane juice or benefits that you can derive by adding this juice to your diet:
1. Gives an Instant Boost of Energy
Sugarcane is ideal for getting an instant punch of energy if you are low or if lethargy has surrounded you. Sucrose in sugarcane is effective in replenishing your lost energy because it gets easily digested by your body. So, next time you feel dehydrated or low on energy, you know what will get your spirits rocking within no time.
2. Delays Aging
If you have been battling with skin conditions such as premature wrinkles, you may get sugarcane juice to the rescue. The presence of antioxidants, phenolic acid and flavonoids help in moisturizing the skin and making it soft and glowing from inside, which also helps in reducing the wrinkles (1).
3. Prevents Bad Breath and Tooth Decay
Mouth troubles like bad breath can be a real turnoff for. Also, mineral deficiency and bad dental hygiene may cause tooth decays too. However, sugarcane juice can help you to fight both the conditions as it contains a host of minerals, which help in building teeth enamel and also keeps bad breaths at bay.
4. Safe for Pregnant Women
The wide variety of nutrients are great for getting the ovulation in place and thus helpful in facilitating the conception too. Presence of folic acid and vitamin B9 has also been proven to reduce the chances of congenital neural disabilities such as spina bifida in babies (2).
5. Helps with Digestion
If you have been battling with digestion issues such as constipation for some time now, sugarcane juice may prove to be helpful and help you overcome your woes. The presence of potassium in sugarcane juice is great for maintaining the pH balance of your stomach and gets your digestive juices flowing and thus helps in relieving constipation.
6. Beneficial for the Bones and Teeth
Being one of the richest sources of calcium, sugarcane juice is one of the best things that you can give to your growing child. It will not only help in strengthening the bones of your growing child but is also great for maintaining healthy and strong teeth.
7. Good for Diabetics
When consumed in moderation sugarcane juice may prove to be beneficial for the patients who have diabetes. This is because sugarcane juice has a low glycemic index, which helps in controlling the blood sugar levels.
8. Prevents Cancer
Regular intake of sugarcane juice may help in preventing something as grievous as cancer, especially breast, colorectal, and esophageal cancer (3). There have been studies indicating the positive effects of sugarcane juice in reducing and inhibiting the impact of cancerous cells.
9. Soothes Sore Throat
Sugarcane juice has abundant vitamin C in it, which is very effective in soothing an irritated throat. Just add a dash of lime juice and a pinch of black salt and bid goodbye to your bad throat days. The high dosage of anti-oxidants is also beneficial in keeping bacterial and viral infections at bay.
10. Heals Wounds
Next time you get a bruise, think of gulping down sugarcane juice. This is because this juice is rich in sucrose, which is a natural healing agent and helps in faster recovery of wounds.
11. Enhances Immunity
If you have low immunity, drinking sugarcane juice on a regular basis may help a great deal. The presence of anti-oxidants helps in stabilizing the bilirubin levels in the body and thus strengthening the immune system in many ways.
12. Treats Acidity
When there is too much acid formation in the stomach, it may lead to heartburns or acidity. Drinking a glass of fresh sugarcane juice may help in feeling better because this juice is alkaline and thus helps in neutralizing the stomach acids.
13. Perfect for Nails
The nutrients present in sugarcane juice help in dealing with brittle, lifeless and fragile nails. Regular consumption of this juice may get back life, luster and shine to your nails as they get deeply nourished from inside.
14. Treats UTI
Urinary tract infections are a painful condition, however, taking sugarcane juice may help ease your discomfort related to UTI. Mix some coconut water and lemon in the sugarcane juice and drink this mixture two times a day to get relief from the burning sensation. The presence of ample amounts of protein also helps in maintaining good kidney health.
15. Alleviates Fever
High body temperature or fever may take a toll on your energy levels and may lead to protein loss. Drinking sugarcane juice helps in restoring the loss of protein levels and also helps in reducing pains and weakness related to fever.
16. Gets Rid of Toxins
Being rich in anti-oxidants, a regular dosage of sugarcane juice may help in effectively removing the toxins from the body. Getting rid of toxins also gives a kick to the metabolism, which in turn helps in weight reduction.
17. Relieves Stress
Stress is one of the major contributors to many serious medical ailments. However, regular intake of this juice may help in reducing the stress levels. Ample amounts of amino acids, magnesium and tryptophan, are beneficial in balancing the hormonal levels and thus reducing stress.
18. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Substantial amounts of potassium in sugarcane juice are good for heart health. This is because it not only regulates the blood pressure, but it also helps in reducing pressure on the blood vessels, thus reducing any strain to the heart.
19. Increases Muscle Power
Sugarcane juice health benefits also include increasing muscle power and strength. This is because it contains much-needed amount glucose that is required for healthy muscles.
20. Enhances Liver Function
Sugarcane juice is said to be one of the best natural treatments for liver-related ailments such as jaundice (4). Alkaline in nature, sugarcane juice helps maintain the electrolyte balance in the body.
21. Cures Acne
Topical use of sugarcane juice can help reduce and cure skin problems such as acne. Sugarcane juice contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid, which increase cell turnover. They also exfoliate the skin, eliminating chances of acne buildup. Just mix with Fuller’s earth (multani mitti) into a mask-like consistency, apply on face and neck and leave on for 20 minutes. Wash off with cool water.
22. Aid Weight Loss
Sugarcane juice for weight loss is very effective and can help you lose weight. This is because the high soluble fibers in sugarcane juice help in managing your weight and it also helps in reducing the bad cholesterol from the body, which is one of the major reasons for weight gain.
How Does Sugarcane Juice Aid Weight Loss?
Sugarcane has no fats and is naturally sweet. Therefore, you don’t need to add any sweeteners to it or worry about consuming excessive fats when you’re drinking sugarcane juice. And as a 2018 study explained, low-fat diets are one of the most effective and prospective weight-loss method known to man (5).
2. Full of fiber
Sugarcane is very high in dietary fiber and, hence, is a perfect drink for people who want to lose weight. Raw sugarcane juice contains 13 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
3. Fights inflammation
Inflammation is the reason many people are not able to lose weight quickly. Sugarcane juice is full of antioxidants called polyphenols, which fight inflammation in the body.
4. Reduces bad cholesterol
A high amount of bad cholesterol in the blood leads to unhealthy weight gain. Sugarcane juice contains no cholesterol and may even fight the bad cholesterol present in the blood, leading to weight loss.
5. Improves metabolism
Sugarcane juice has detoxifying properties and can cleanse the system of toxins, besides giving a boost to the metabolism. A good metabolism is key to burning fat more efficiently.
6. Boosts energy
If you are feeling drained and exhausted, a glass of sugarcane juice can restore your energy levels almost instantly. In a study published in the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, sugarcane juice has shown to be just as effective as sports drinks in hydrating the body (8). This may help you not just carry out your daily activities with gusto, but also provide you with the energy to sweat it out properly in the gym.
7. Promotes GUT health
A healthy gut and digestive system is linked with weight loss. Sugarcane juice has been recommended by Ayurveda to improve bowel movements, relieve constipation and also for treating acidity and heart burn, thereby, promoting a healthy digestive system.
When is the Best Time to Consume Sugarcane Juice?
You are probably wondering when is the right time to have your sugarcane juice for the day. Is it before or right after your workout? Is there even a right time to drink sugarcane juice, or are you supposed to be drinking it whenever?
If you are drinking it for weight loss, the ideal time would be after your workout so that your body can use the sugar from it to restore your energy levels. Instead of feeling drained, you will feel full of energy and ready to move to the next thing on your to-do list. Besides, you will also be able to use the electrolytes to compensate for the ones that your body has lost during your workout. Similar to how you would consume a sports drink to get the most out of its beneficial effects after you have finished your workout, the same rule applies to drink sugarcane juice (9).
And those of you who are interested in drinking sugarcane juice just for the benefits of it, we recommend drinking it in the morning. That way, you will have enough time to burn off the carbs that you have just introduced to your body, feeling energized, and ready to seize the day.
For whatever the reason may be that you have decided to introduce sugarcane juice to your daily diet, do limit your daily intake to no more than one cup per day.
5 Recipes with Sugarcane Juice You Must Try
1. Karumbu Juice
This is a popular juice made with sugarcane and two other common ingredients that are always present in our kitchen – ginger and lemon. Peel the sugarcane and chop it into small pieces, grind it in a blender with ginger. Squeeze out the juice and serve with a dash of lime juice. The addition of flavors will let you enjoy a different version of sugarcane juice.
2. Sugarcane Candy
Pure sugarcane juice is boiled until it becomes a thick syrup to make candy. In the Ilocos region (northern Philippines), balicucha-making is a traditional industry. Kids munch on the balicucha as candy while adults drop a piece into hot coffee as a substitute to the usual teaspoonful of sugar. The flavor that balicucha brings to coffee is incomparable.
To make balicucha, the caramelized sugarcane juice is formed into rods. While still pliable, the rods are pulled, stretched and looped repeatedly until the color changes from brown to almost white. Smaller pieces are pinched off the large mass, shaped, and baked under the hot tropical sun until no longer sticky.
3. Sugarcane Skewers
One of the most interesting ways of using sugarcane stalks in cooking is as skewers. Ground meat or pastes made with minced fish or shrimps are wrapped around sugarcane stalks and grilled. As the meat or seafood cooks, the heat coaxes the sugarcane juice from the stalks and into the meat or seafood.
4. Lemon Chicken with Sugarcane Juice
Add some sweetness to the zesty lemon chicken with sugarcane juice. Make lemon chicken the usual way with spices and lemon juice. In the end, pour some sugarcane juice to enhance the flavor of this refreshing chicken dish.
5. Sugarcane Cocktails or Mocktails
Add sugarcane juice to your cocktails or mocktails recipe along with other various ingredients and discard adding any sugar. Serve chilled tasty drinks to your guests which will also hydrate during summers.
The Bottom Line
The ease of making sugarcane juice or adding it to some of your favorite recipes offers a simple manner to develop a really healthy drink. Other dietary interests allow a person to improve their healthy lifestyle by using a natural remedy. Sugarcane benefits branches between nutrient content, vitamins, minerals and presents a fat-free option. If a person feels serious about dieting, the use of sugarcane juice may offer a weight-loss answer. Healthy sugarcane juice allows individuals to improve their energy levels throughout the day. Sugarcane juice can help you lose weight within a reasonable manner.