Sugarcane is a sub-tropical and tropical crop that requires lot of sun and water. It has a stout, jointed and fibrous stalk, which can measure 2 to 6 meters in height. Beneath its hard outer layer, there is nectarine juice. However the juice cannot be had as it is. After removing the hard outer covering, the inner white stem will have to be squeezed hard to yield the juice. Sugarcane is used in the production of sugar, rum, soda, molasses, and ethanol that is used in fuel.
NUTRITIONAL VALUES OF SUGARCANE:
Sugarcane is a good source of phosphorous and calcium. Sugarcane juice is a high-energy drink that is natural, sweet and a healthy alternative for other sugary beverages.
Nutrition Value of Sugarcane Juice (per glass – 250 ml)
Energy – 145 kcal
Protein – 0.40 g
Total Fat – 1.0 g
Carbohydrates – 32.78 g
Potassium – 375 mg
Calcium – 45 mg
Iron – 2.8 mg
BENEFITS OF SUGARCANE:
· Sugarcane provides glucose to the body, hence considered as one of the best sources of energy, supplying instant energy to working muscles and maximizing performance in sports and endurance.
· If you have been exposed to heat and physical activity for too long, drink sugarcane juice. It will help hydrate the body quickly. Sugarcane juice is an excellent substitute for aerated drinks and cola.
· Sugarcane juice has been found to be good for those who are suffering from febrile disorders and burning micturition (passing urine). Cane juice also helps in the smooth functioning of kidneys and keeps the urinary flow clear.
· Sugarcane is also good for digestion, as it can effectively work as a mild laxative because of its high potassium content.
· Being alkaline in nature, it helps in maintaining the electrolyte balance in the body. It also enhances liver function and is one of the best natural treatments for liver disorders like jaundice.
· Sugarcane is rich in calcium and helps in keeping bones strong and healthy. It also helps strengthen teeth and prevents tooth decay.
· Sugarcane juice contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that helps reduce skin problems like acne and also exfoliates the skin and thus, improves skin health.
MYTHS ABOUT SUGARCANE:
MYTH: Sugarcane should not be consumed by diabetic people.
FACT: Sugarcane is low on glycemic index and has no simple sugar. It can be enjoyed by diabetics without any fear. However, the intake should still be limited for people suffering from diabetes.
MYTH: Sugarcane juice hastens recovery from jaundice.
FACT: Fluids in general may help in recovery but the popular belief that sugarcane juice is the best for recovery from jaundice is not true.
TIPS TO INCLUDE SUGARCANE IN YOUR DIET:
- Raw sugarcane: Chew sugarcane to extract the juice.
- Sugarcane Juice: A combination of fresh juice with a touch of lemon and ice makes a popular drink. Mint leaves extract, ginger or pepper powder can also be added to enhance flavor.
- Jaggery: A solidified molasses, known as Gur or Gud in India, is traditionally produced by evaporating juice to make a thick sludge and then it is cooled and molded. It is used as a sweetener in cooking traditional sweets and desserts.
- Syrup: A traditional sweetener in soft drinks.
- Chikkis: Can be prepared with roasted groundnuts, sesame seeds or cashew nuts.