Natural brown sugar is partially processed sugar. It is also referred to as raw sugar and is obtained from the first crystallization of sugarcane juice. The molasses content in raw sugar gives the sugar its brown color. Molasses is a thick, dark liquid byproduct of beet or sugarcane refining. Manufacturers may also add some molasses to refined white sugar to create brown sugar. This process gives greater control over color and crystal size. The darker the sugar, the higher the amount of molasses it contains. You can create your own brown sugar at home if you have white sugar and molasses. Simply add 1 tablespoon of molasses to every cup of white sugar and mix well to get a uniform distribution of color.
Nutritional Value of Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is a high carbohydrate food. A 50 gram portion contains 190 calories. Carbohydrates account for about 47 grams. Due to the molasses content, certain minerals are found in brown sugar. These include calcium, iron, copper, potassium phosphorous, manganese and magnesium. The sugar also contains trace amounts of vitamins B3, B6 and B9. The minerals can promote your health in various ways.
Calcium supports proper muscular contractions of the heart as well as normal blood clotting. This makes brown sugar a healthy choice if you want to promote cardiovascular health. The mineral also facilitates proper muscular activities elsewhere in the body which helps to boost your productivity. For the central nervous system to perform at optimal levels, calcium is required. It supports the transmission of nerve impulses to and from the brain. Calcium is also widely recognized for the vital role it plays in building strong teeth and bones.
If you suffer from iron deficiency, brown sugar can help you boost your iron levels. Iron helps to boost energy supplies in the body. It is a key requirement in the manufacturing of hemoglobin, a basic component of red blood cells. These cells distribute oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. Iron also facilitates the activities of various enzymes in the body.
Many of the enzymes in the body contain copper which is an essential component. Copper supports various physiological processes in your body. It helps to develop strong bones and joints. The mineral is required for the formation of melanin, a skin pigment. Copper facilitates iron absorption in your body. It also boosts your immunity as it helps to eliminate free radicals. Inadequate copper intake can result in weak blood vessels, weak joints, brain disturbances and irregular heartbeat. Brown sugar can help you meet your daily requirements for copper.
This mineral facilitates the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates and fats in the body. This supports energy production which enables you to maintain an active lifestyle. Like calcium, manganese helps to support a healthy nervous system. This makes brown sugar a healthy choice if you want to boost your mental capacity. Manganese also boosts the activities of the immune system. It is a key component in the manufacturing of certain antioxidant enzymes which protect the body from free radicals. You can make brown sugar one of your daily sources for manganese.