Towards the beginning of this month I concluded my trip to the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi to be precise) where I had two weeks of sheer bliss, spending time with the people I care about the most and just having some well deserved rest and relaxation.
The trip had also inspired me to discuss a few strategies of how to maintain good health abroad, specifically warm destinations as I do not have any experience with cool vacations. Unfortunately, I won’t be discussing those tips in this post, rather I merely wanted to acknowledge that I’ve learnt something which I hope others can benefit from.
I went from basking in 40 degree plus heat to typically wet, cold and windy weather – gotta love England. Whilst on vacation I had the pleasure of drinking raw sugarcane juice. Sugarcane is indigenous to the Asian continent but was brought to the Caribbean islands during the 17th century where it was cultivated on many plantations and refined using a milling machine to make sweet produce.
My fondest memories of sugarcane were in the Caribbean where vendors would sell the huge stalks in sizable amounts to the general population.
The way I used to extract the sweet juice was to suck away at the miniature size cane pieces and discard the rest repeating the same cycle. As annoying as this method was, I liked the taste of sugarcane far too much to complain and knew no better, furthermore, that’s what the locals did so I conformed.
Fast forward 2014 in one of the UAE’s biggest malls, there I came face to face with my kryptonite, sugarcane. My intention at the time, was to purchase a pineapple smoothie, however while I skimmed through the menu I came across cane juice and this certainly wasn’t an opportunity to miss.
Raw cane juice is made by feeding the giant stalks through a machine which filters the juice to make a soft drink. The results were divine and not to mention reasonably priced too. There are many health benefits from drinking RAW sugar cane, noticed I said RAW sugarcane not the refined type that’s used to make sweet things.
In terms of sugarcane’s health properties well there are an abundance of live enzymes and nutrients which assist the stomach with digesting food and absorption. As a member of the green family sugarcane has extreme potency compared to wheatgrass, that definitely is something to keep in mind. Despite the irony of the name, sugarcane only contains 15% of unrefined sugar. Although glucose is present the low levels create a much lower glycemic index incomparsion to processed sugar making it a suitable drink for diabetics as blood sugar levels won’t fluctuate .
In its raw form you can expect to acquire a high concentration of vitamins and minerals. Some of these vitamins are B and C (the water soluble type) and minerals such as magnesium, copper, cobalt, potassium, calcium, zinc etc.. just to name a few. There are also antioxidants which are well known to fight free radicals which can increase the development of carcinogenic cells in the body, proteins and a good source of fibre.
Linking back onto the topic of antioxidants and phytonutrients, there are literally thousands packed inside fruit and vegetables, sugarcane is no different. Phytonutrients are the plants natural defence against disease and promotes good health. The cohesiveness from antioxidants coupled with so many vitamins and minerals are known to assist with weightloss, cleansing the kidneys, flushing out a urinary tract infection and yield high levels of energy.
Honesty there’s so much more I could write about the benefits of drinking sugarcane but I don’t want to bore you to death with the research analysis and clinical studies. I can provide some links for further reading.