Sugarcane, also spelled as sugar cane, is one of the sweet food choices people have today. Specie from tall perineal grasses of the Saccharum genus, sugarcane is used in making sugar. In countries where it is grown, sugarcane is transformed into syrup, jaggery, or molasses. The following are the health benefits of sugarcane, along with a sample recipe.
One health benefit of sugar cane is carbohydrates. Carbohydrate is one of the three macronutrients, with protein and fat as the other two. This macronutrient is mainly responsible for providing fuel to the body, allowing it to carry out its tasks like the activities of daily living – eating, bathing, studying, or working. Without carbohydrates, the body will feel weak and exhausted, preventing it to carry out its daily functions. Also, lack of carbohydrates in the diet will force the body to obtain energy from fats and proteins, which may lead to fat loss and muscle wasting.
Another health benefit of sugar can is the promotion of a person’s skin appearance. According to India Today, sugarcane extract contains alpha hydroxyl acids, also known as AHA. As per the publication, these acids help combat acne, reduce blemishes, hydrate the skin, and prevent aging. The sugarcane juice is just applied to the skin, allowed to dry, or added to one’s favorite face mask and scrub; this makes the skin look clean and radiant.
Protein is another health benefit of sugar cane. One of the major nutrients in the food pyramid, protein is responsible for cellular and tissue growth and repair, allowing various body structures to heal and develop. According to Goqii, sugarcane helps replace the lost proteins in the body due to seizures secondary to fever. This way, the body will be able to recover and benefit the person who has febrile disorders.
Sugarcane also helps keep the breath fresh. According to Style Craze, sugarcane has minerals like phosphorus and calcium, which help build the teeth enamel, strengthen the teeth, and help prevent tooth decay. This way, a person will be able to talk to many people, without being fearful of having a bad breath.
One recipe that uses sugarcane is Sugarcane Shrimp. According to Epicurious, the ingredients include 12 eight-inch sugarcane skewers, 24 two-inch chunks fresh pineapple, minced habanero chili, freshly ground black pepper, salt, one-fourth teaspoon Demerara sugar, a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of dark Jamaican-style rum, one-third cup of low-sodium soy sauce, one-third cup of freshly squeezed lime juice, and 12 large fresh shrimp (peeled, deveined).
To prepare, as per the publication, the shrimp is washed and paced in a large bowl. Then, the lime juice is mixed with soy sauce, oil, rum, garlic, and sugar in a second bowl and is seasoned with the habanero, salt, and pepper. The ingredients are covered with plastic wrap and the shrimp is allowed to marinate while the broiler is preheated. Once done, one pineapple chunk is threaded, along with one shrimp and a second pineapple chunk on each skewer. Then, the skewer is placed on a broiler pan and cooked for three to five minutes, turning once, until mildly brown in color. As per the publication, sugarcane swizzle sticks and skewers can be done by washing the sugarcane stalk thoroughly and using a sharp chef’s knife, the stalk is carefully cut crosswise at a joint, into sections the length of the skewer needed. The center of the core is split lengthwise into quarters for four skewers. The outer bark is unremoved, as it reinforces the skewer. Finally, the ends of the skewers are sharpened into points.
Sugarcane is considered healthy with its many health benefits. Hence, it can be added to various dishes for groups of friends or families.