When you drink molasses every day, this is what happens to your body

Molasses is a thick, syrupy, dark brown sweetener that's used in a variety of recipes. It's a byproduct that comes from processing sugar cane and sugar beets. The first mention of this sweetener came in 1582 in a Portuguese book that made note of its relation to the country's exploration of the West Indies (via The Spruce Eats). When molasses hit the United States, it was initially used to make rum and remained the sweetener of choice through the 1800s, being less expensive than white granulated sugar. However, the economics of sugar changed after World War I, causing people to switch their allegiance to refined sugar. Fast forward to the present day, and a health-conscious population may be pushing molasses back into the throes of popularity.

But what happens to your body when you drink molasses every day?

There are three different types of molasses

First, let's take a look at the different types of molasses — you might be surprised to find out there are three different varieties, and each has its own distinct taste and use. Light molasses is most commonly used as a sweetener for baking, while dark molasses is the byproduct from the second boiling cycle of sugarcane. It's thicker, contains less sugar than light molasses, and is used in gingerbread, beans, or barbeque sauce. 

The third variety is blackstrap molasses, which is a byproduct of the third boiling cycle of sugar cane. It's the thickest of the three and contains vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium, leading health experts to believe blackstrap molasses may hold great health benefits (via The Spruce Eats). So much so, many people have taken to drinking it on a daily basis.

The health benefits from a daily dose of molasses

Back in the day, if you had tummy troubles, molasses was used as a remedy. In the 1930s if you suffered from an iron deficiency, your grandma probably would have given you a daily teaspoon of molasses to fight off anemia, as it is rich in iron. Some people who lead a vegetarian lifestyle still pop a teaspoon of the stuff to help boost their iron intake as well (via The Paleo Mom). 

Today, there are even more benefits related to molasses. When consumed on a regular basis, it can help relieve PMS symptoms, alleviate symptoms of ADHD, and make your skin healthy and glowing (via Dr. Axe). One tablespoon of the dark goodness adds 58 calories to your diet, mostly from sugar. But it's important to note that on the great and powerful Glycemic Index, which ranks how quickly or slowly a food affects your blood sugar levels (via Harvard Health), blackstrap molasses clocks in at 55 which is considered low to moderate when compared to other sweeteners like glucose (via Livestrong). 

That said, downing a tablespoon of molasses may not be everyone's thing. It's kind of bitter in taste and better to have in a cup of hot water or in a morning cup of tea (via Healthline).

More health benefits from drinking molasses

Moreover, when molasses is added to your daily diet, be it in a warm beverage (or if you're brave, straight from the jar), it can help keep your bones healthy. Molasses, which is vitamin- and mineral-rich, is said to help maintain healthy bones.

On top of being a good source of iron, molasses contains selenium, copper, and calcium, all of which contribute to guarding against osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a result of the bones progressively losing density, increasing their fragility as well as and your risk of breaking one. 

Blackstrap molasses also has enough potassium to render it helpful in keeping your blood pressure low, and when used to supplement your diet, molasses may even help increase your HDL, also known as the good cholesterol. 

And if all of that isn't enough to get you on the daily molasses bandwagon, consider this: blackstrap molasses contains more antioxidants than honey or other natural sweeteners (via Medical News Today). Why should you care? Because antioxidants help protect your cells from damage from free radicals that result when your body breaks down food. Antioxidants are believed to help protect your body from heart disease, cancer, and other diseases (via Mayo Clinic). 

Molasses can help combat stress, acne

Blackstrap molasses has another important quality when used as a daily supplement — it can help combat stress, anxiety, and even acne. In addition to calcium, molasses is rich in B vitamins, particularly B6, as well as magnesium. Vitamin B6 helps prevent depression and fatigue, and in a 2004 study found in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, it was determined that of those who participated in the study, those who suffered from depression were also deprived of this important nutrient. 

But the benefits of a daily regimen of molasses doesn't stop there. Blackstrap molasses also contains lactic acid which can help fight against pimples and blackheads and promote the healing of damage to the skin, such as burns, cuts, and other lesions. Its anti-inflammatory properties as a treatment for acne were documented in a 2002 study found in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology. The study found that 90 to 100 percent of those who participated experienced a reduction in facial acne.

Bottom line: While more comprehensive research is probably needed to make a sweeping declarative, it does seem that molasses can be a beneficial daily supplement for your health and well-being.