Sugarcane is a form of grass that belongs to Poaceae family. The juice from sugarcane is also very healthy and is loaded with a range of essential nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, potassium and riboflavin (vitamin B2). The health and nutrition benefits that result from consuming sugarcane, in the raw form as well as in the form of juice, have been listed below.
Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Sugarcane
Being low on glycemic index, helps keep the body fit and healthy. Sugarcane juice has been found to be very beneficial for preventing as well as treating sore throat, cold and flu. Good treatment for fevers, as it boosts the body’s protein levels. Since sugarcane has no simple sugar, it can be enjoyed by diabetics without any fear. However, they intake should still be limited for people suffering from type-2 diabetes.
- Being alkaline in nature, sugarcane juice helps the body in fighting against cancer, especially prostate and breast cancer.
- Provides glucose to the body, which is stored as glycogen and burned by the muscles, whenever they require energy. Therefore, it is considered to be one of the best sources of energy.
- If you have been exposed to heat and physical activity for too long, drink sugarcane juice. It will help hydrate the body quickly.
- Strengthens stomach, kidneys, heart, eyes, brain, and sex organs.
- Excellent substitute for aerated drinks and cola.
- Sugarcane clears the urinary flow and also helps the kidney to perform its functions smoothly.
- Sugarcane juice has been found to be good for those who are suffering from febrile disorders. Febrile disorders are responsible for causing fevers, which can result in a great amount of protein loss from the body. Liberal consumption of sugar cane juice provides the necessary protein and other food elements to the body.
- Sugarcane is beneficial for urination, gonorrhea, enlarged prostate, cystitis and nephritis. Mixing sugarcane juice with lime juice, ginger juice and coconut water will give better results.
- Sugarcane juice is said to speed up the recovery process after jaundice.
- As sugarcane consists of carbohydrates, in good quantities, it serves to refresh and energize the body. It supplies instant energy to working muscles and for this reason, it is also known to maximize performance in sports and endurance.
- Good for digestion, as it can effectively work as a mild laxative because of its high potassium content.
Dangers of Sweeteners
Truvia is a sweetener that comes from the stevia plant. The European Union, Australia and New Zealand have banned the use of Truvia and other stevia products due to research reports that indicate dangerous side effects. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated stevia as “generally recognized as safe.”
Stevia has been linked to several long term side effects which has made it a reason for controversy and doubt in the recent years. Although no long-term effects on humans have been performed to validate its safety, Stevia has been shown to be dangerous to animals that were tested. If it has dangerous effects on animals, it’s safe to assume that it is dangerous for human consumption. The following are the results of these studies:
- Metabolism — Regular consumption of stevia slows down or stops energy metabolism and hence, disrupt the process of conversion of food into energy.
- Cancer — Capable of bringing mutations in cell’s DNA or the genetic material. Studies have not confirmed whether stevia can cause this mutation in human beings or not.
- Difficulties or problems in reproduction – Affects male reproduction system, specially leading to a decreased amount of sperm production. When tested on female animal, it was found that stevia led to decreased number of offspring.
- Pregnancy — Has not been deemed safe by FDA in the USA or similar organizations in other countries. Not recommended during pregnancy.
- Diabetics — Since diabetics need to be extra cautious with their diet, it is not recommended to use Stevia.
- Common Side Effects — Nausea, bloating, dizziness, numbness or muscle pain.
- Blood Sugar — Stevia may lower blood sugar levels. This can be helpful if you are struggling with Type-II diabetes. It may be dangerous, however, if you are already taking medication to lower blood sugar. Other research reports no such finding. The best option is to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly if you have diabetes. If you note a correlation of a drop in blood sugar level and stevia intake, stop using the product.
- Allergies — caution with stevia if you are allergic to ragweed and related plants. Some people with sensitivities to these plants can have an increased allergic reaction to them while using Truvia or other stevia products.
- Blood Pressure — danger lies in your blood pressure dropping too low if you naturally have low blood pressure or are taking medications to lower your high blood pressure. Monitor your blood pressure regularly.
- Depression, Bi-polar disorder, panic attack
- Birth defects/infertility
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cell damage
- Blurred vision
- Damage to nervous system