Sugarcane Juice – Amazing Health Benefits, Overview, Uses, Nutritional Value and Side Effects
Although it is not a fruit, it is considered as one of the most widely consumed delicious fruits. The sweet juice of sugarcane is extracted by squeezing the stem of the plant and used in various ways. This juice is as useful as any other fruit juices. Sweet sugarcane helps balance the body temperature. Jaggery made from the raw of sugarcane has many benefits for the human body.
- Qualities of Sugarcane
Qualities of Sugarcane
According to medical science, sugarcane juice can effectively provide relief in fatigue and increase body temperature during summers. It makes the mind happy by treating muscle stiffness of the body. It can also help to cure bile problems. Sugarcane juice is considered to be one of the most effective remedies for jaundice. The juice nourishes the body and increases energy.
Sugarcane is a perennial tropical plant. It is a member of the ‘Poaceae’ plant family. This tree has no branches. The stalks are small and wide up to 5 cm in diameter. This shrub-like plant can grow from 2 to 8 meters of height. It is mainly cultivated for its stalk. The leaves are sword-shaped, elongated, divided into a single elongated strip. Although the tree has no branches, the stalk is divided into several vertical sections. The dividing sections are ring shaped and leaves come out from the joints. The plant carries a long hairy part at the very top.
The roots of this plant are fibrous and can be divided into two parts – Primary roots and secondary roots. The secondary root emerges from the joints of the lateral part of the plant and rises above the ground whereas the primary root emerges from the stalks just below the stems and remains under the ground.
Some Regional Names of Sugarcane in India
- English : Sugarcane, Noble Cane, Noble Sugarcane, Sugar cane
- Hindi : Ganna, Sakhara, Oukh
- Tamil : Karumbu
- Malayalam : Karimbu, Karimpu
- Kannada : Kabbu
- Assamese: Kuhiyar
Some Species of Sugarcane Found in India
Nutritional Value of Sugarcane
Following are the nutritional value of per 100mg of Sugarcane –
- Calories : 242
- Protein : 0.16g
- Total fat : 0.40g
- Total Fiber : 0.56g
- Sugar : 12.85g
- Potassium : 150mg
- Sodium : 1.16mg
- Magnesium : 13.03mg
- Phosphorus : 22.08mg
- Iron : 1.12mg
- Calcium : 18mg
- Thiamin : 0.03mg
- Riboflavin : 0.04mg
Scientific Classification of Sugarcane
- Kingdom : Plantae
- Clade : Tracheophytes
- Clade : Angiosperms
- Clade : Monocots
- Clade : Commelinids
- Order : Poales
- Family : Poaceae
- Sub-family : Panicoideae
- Genus : Saccharum
- Species : S. officinarum
- Scientific name : Saccharum officinarum
Benefits of Sugarcane
1) Drinking 250 gm of sugarcane juice on a daily basis during the summers can protect you from the scorching heat and effects of the hot dry wind. Replacing your regular water or any other drink with sugarcane while you feel thirsty can provide instant energy to your body and removes thirst.
2) Mixing lime with sugarcane juice and a pinch of salt in it can strengthen the digestive system. Potassium available in sugarcane keeps the pH level of the stomach in balance, helps in digestion process by helping in digestive juices secretion and keeps the process smooth and healthy. It also prevents stomach infections.
3) Sugarcane juice is very useful in jaundice; this is because it is alkaline in nature and helps maintain the balance of electrolytes in the body. In this disease, it is better to chew the fresh stem of a sugarcane plant. Eating sugarcane in this way helps to clean the urine canal.
4) Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron and Manganese present in sugarcane makes the juice alkaline in nature, as well as the flavonoids present in it makes it a good resistor to cancer cells especially prostate and breast cancer.
5) Drinking 250 grams of sugarcane juice a day increases sperm count.
6) If you often suffer from a bleeding nose during the summers, you can try having sugarcane juice twice a day. It may provide relief to an extent.
7) Consuming sugarcane juice once a day can increase milk production in breast feeding female bodies.
8) Drinking sugarcane juice can also help to stop hiccups.
9) People suffering from anemia can try having sugarcane mixed with amla, honey and pomegranate juice; it will increase the production of red blood cells and will also improve appetite.
10) Sugarcane juice contains natural sugar which has low glycemic index and helps in reducing the amount of glucose in the blood. Therefore a limited consumption of sugarcane juice is believed to hold benefits for the diabetic ones.
11) Person suffering from constipation may try drinking about 250 gm of fresh sugarcane juice mixed with lime juice and ginger once a day. It may provide relief in this condition.
12) Drinking 100 gms of pomegranate juice mixed with 250 gms of sugarcane juice reduces the effects of diarrheal diseases.
13) Drinking sugarcane juice twice a day can reduce stomach problems and prevent vomiting.
14) Drinking sugarcane juice twice a day can help dissolve the kidney stone and flush it out from the body with urine. Drinking this juice can also help relieve fatigue.
15) Consumption of sugarcane with lime juice and coconut water can positively help in case of kidney stones, prostatitis, STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) and the burning sensation caused by UTI (Urinary Tract Infection).
16) The benefits of sugarcane are observed in the healthy structure and growth of bones and teeth when children chew raw sugarcane. This sugarcane is rich in minerals which can also relieve the problem of tooth worms.
17) Sugarcane juice contains Alpha-hydroxy-acid that helps in regenerating skin cells. This eliminates the problem of acne. Sugarcane contains antioxidants, phenolic acid and flavonoids that keeps the skin soft, smooth, glowing and fresh.
18) The presence of Sucrose in sugarcane juice helps in the wound healing process.
Uses of Sugarcane
The uses of sugarcane plants can be mainly divided into two categories –
1) for food or edible purposes and 2) for other practical aspects.
For Food or Edible Purposes
- Juice – Initially, sugarcane is used for its juice. The sweet juicy extract of sugarcane stalks are considered beneficial for health.
- Sugar / Jaggery – Sugar and Jaggery are produced by processing fresh juice extracted from sugarcane. This sugar and Jaggery are used to make a variety of dishes, desserts, etc.
- Sugarcane is also used to make alcoholic beverages.
Other Practical Aspects
- The Ethyl Alcohol (Ethanol) can be produced directly from sugarcane. Therefore, in sub-tropics (especially Brazil), sugarcanes are used to make biofuels.
- The leaves of this plant are also used to make paper, bricks, acoustic tiles, building boards, biodegradable plastics etc. It is also used for second generation biofuels (Cellulosic Ethanol).
- Inedible parts of sugarcane plants are also used as food for domestic animals.
Harmful Side Effects of Sugarcane
The disadvantages of sugarcane are few. By consuming in a limited quantity we can easily gain the benefits of this fruit; but if the consumption pushes it limits to excess then people may witness the following effects in the body –
- Drinking sugarcane juice immediately before or after meals may cause gas, acidity or sometimes a person may have a vomiting tendency.
- Sugarcanes contains a substance called Policosanol; excessive amounts of this substance in the body may interfere with sleep and lead to an upset stomach, make you feel dizzy and drowsy, cause headaches and also abnormal weight loss.
- Excessive consumption of sugarcane can dilute the blood, as well as affect the body’s cholesterol levels.
Although there are many health benefits of sugarcane, consuming it in an excessive manner may show unwanted harmful symptoms or effects in the body.
This article gives you a brief overview on Sugarcane. The article discusses the benefits, advantages and disadvantages of this fruit. We hope you find the information included in the article helpful. Thank You!