Sugarcane juice is the raw, unprocessed sap pressed from fresh canes. This can be drunk directly or chilled and makes for a sweet and refreshing drink. But we’ve all been taught that sugar-rich drinks are bad for our health right?
Turns out that while sugar is a major cause of diabetes and inflammation, in it’s raw form, sugar cane juice is a healthy drink that can provide a host of benefits. While there are many sites and companies that boast the many potential benefits of Sugar cane juice, we want to understand where these come from. Let’s start by taking a look at it’s nutritional profile.
Effects on Immunity
As you can see, the juice is quite nutritious. The amounts above are for a 100ml serving. Given that a usual beverage is about 250ml you can expect these amounts to be multiplied as well. This gives you an impressive portion of your Mineral RDA as well as B Vitamins.
The juice also has a very good Potassium:Sodium Ratio. This means that it helps your body to remove salt more efficiently, improving circulatory health, which improves all bodily functions in general.
The juice also contains antioxidants in the form of phenolic compounds and flavonoids. Studies have shown that 100g of cane juice contains about 24mg of various antioxidants.
As stated above minerals are essential in your immune system. In the context of COVID infection they also play specific roles.
Magnesium helps your cells transform from inflammation causing to inflammation inhibiting. This important action is essential in long fights against the virus and are crucial to avoiding the dangerous cykotine storms that cause most of the COVID deaths.
Calcium is used by your adaptive immunity’s white blood cells to communicate. Through this, they are able to remember the virus, and if they encounter it, or a variant in the future, your immune system reacts much faster and with more strength.
B1, Thiamine– This nutrient has been shown to increase immune response and help in treatment of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Those with Thiamine deficiency have been shown to have increased inflammation and aberrant antibody activity. Antibodies, as a part of the adaptive immunity are integral in dealing with extended infection as well as variants.
B2, Riboflavin- When combined with UV light, B2 has shown the ability to destroy viral cells. It was useful when MER-Cov became an issue years ago. It has shown the ability to eradicate COVID-19 in human blood, which helps to ensure clean transfusions for critically ill patients.
It is easy to grow some of your own sugarcane at home! You simply need to obtain a few pieces of cane, ideally with 2-3 nodes, and plant them in a sunny places with fertile soil just like you would any other cutting. Keep it well watered and soon shoots will start to sprout. In about 10 months you will have fully grown canes 6 feet or more in height. You will need a press to make the juice, however you can also skin the canes and just chew on them!
There is a traditional variety of cane called Badila. Although not commercially grown as much, it is sweet and soft.
If you are a sugarcane farmer, I suggest looking at this revolutionary method for Sugarcane intensification.
When drinking sugarcane juice, and especially for chewing cane, it is best to choose those grown organically.
Sugarcane is a highly commercial crop and many growers use herbicides, pesticides and Urea. Thankfully however by the time sugarcane is mature, it needs little maintenance, so any chemicals would have been applied more than 5 months before.