Is all sugar created the same?
Is sugar really the enemy?
Let’s rephrase that – could it be possible that natural, organic plants from the earth are the enemy?
We know it has a bad reputation – but maybe we need to be more specific when we talk about ‘sugar’. There’s a reason processed sugar has been labeled the enemy – because packaged food is often really high in processed forms of sugar, which is really bad for our health and has been linked to a wide range of chronic health issues. And yes – if we cut down on that, we may be healthier, skinnier, have clearer skin etc. The real problem is when we tend to go to the extreme with sweet foods, consuming excess amounts of processed sugary foods – or on the other end, cutting out sugar or carbohydrates completely. The solution? Moderation and high quality, with every sweet thing you eat.
In both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, all five flavors are equally important, necessary and beneficial to the body. Even sweet. Each flavor has a specific resonance with an organ, and a specific metabolic affect on the body. Leave one out of your diet, and balance will be difficult!
So all sugar is not the same, because plants and chemicals are entirely different things. Not all sugar is the enemy.
Sugarcane certainly isn’t our enemy. It is not processed like other forms of sugar and sweeteners – it is a whole food from the earth with just as much healing potential as a bunch of greens. It is a delicious nutritional powerhouse that may be the answer to many common ailments:
1) Antioxidants and Vitamins
Sugarcane is very high in antioxidants, electrolytes, iron, calcium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, vitamins A, B- complex, and C…the list goes on. All this boosts immunity, improved hydration and helps fight infections! The flavones in sugarcane have also been shown to combat cancer cells! It is the perfect hydrating and energy boosting summer drink in hot, dry climates.
2) Kidney and Liver Health
Sugar cane is a diuretic – so it can be great for any urinary or kidney problems. Ayurveda praises sugarcane juice for its liver-strengthening effects, but science too has proven sugarcane to protect the liver and speed up recovery from liver damage. Add some lime to make it extra liver healthy!
3) Nausea and Digestive Health
The alkaline nature of sugarcane makes it a great remedy for excess stomach heat and heart burn, as well as nausea – it is often used to alleviate these symptoms in pregnancy. The high levels of potassium in sugarcane juice make it an ideal digestive tonic! It is also said to improve bowel function and constipation. Traditional Chinese Medicine associates the sweet flavor with the spleen and stomach – naturally, sugarcane is extremely tonifying and stimulating to these organs!
4) Low GI
Despite it’s name, sugarcane affects the body differently than sugar! It does not drastically alter blood sugar levels, and so could be a suitable health drink for diabetics too.
5) Healthy Skin
The abundant flavonoids and phenolic compounds in sugarcane aid in skin health and wrinkle prevention. Sugarcane is also incredibly cleansing and detoxifying!