This refreshing summer drink not just quenches your thirst and gives a boost of energy but sugarcane juice benefits are widely known for its medicinal qualities.
In India, this sugary beverage is used to treat several health issues such as jaundice, hemorrhage, dysuria, anuria, and other urinary diseases. Even its byproduct, sugarcane wax, is also used in the cosmetics industry for its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. This magic grass also has inhibitory properties against skin ageing and promotes collagen synthesis.
Nutrition in Sugarcane
Sugarcane, scientifically known as Saccharum officinarum L., is a grass plant and can be found in 36 varieties. It has no fats and is a 100 percent natural drink. Though it has zero content of fat, cholesterol, fiber, and protein yet it contains essential minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, magnesium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, several amino acids, and vitamins such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, and E.
Interestingly, an 8-ounce serving ( approximately 240 ml) of sugarcane juice contains:
- Calories: 183
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Sugar: 50 grams
- Fiber: 0–13 grams
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Glycemic Index or Glycemic Load of Sugarcane
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a formula that helps determine how quickly the body reacts to different types of carbohydrates in diets. A food high on the glycemic index will rapidly increase glucose levels in the blood and is less beneficial to controlling sugar whereas a portion of food with a low glycemic index value is more beneficial in this regard.
How is the Glycemic Index Calculated?
The GI is measured by comparing the rate and extent to which a 50g carbohydrate diet is broken down into glucose in the blood in comparison to a 50g intake of pure glucose.
For example, 50 grams of pure glucose is assigned a score of 100, while meals containing 50 grams of carbs are classified as low GI foods (≤ 55), medium GI foods (56-69), and high GI foods (≥70).
On the other hand, high glycemic load diets are claimed to improve cravings and advance positive vitality balance. Significant weight loss has also been recorded when there is an increase in protein content and a little drop in glycemic index.
The Glycemic Index of sugarcane is 43, which advocates the good effects of this natural sugar on our health and makes it a recommended drink to maintain blood glucose levels.
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Health Benefits of Sugarcane
In several regions of the world, sugarcane juice is used to treat a variety of human diseases. Since ancient times, sugarcane juice has been used in Ayurveda and Unani medicines as a single medication or in combination with other herbs.
There is a wide range of Sugarcane juice benefits and biological effects, including immunostimulation, anti-thrombosis, anti-inflammatory, vaccine adjuvant, acetylcholine release regulation, and anti-stress properties. It also has a biological effect on innate immunity to infections. In ancient medical systems, individuals with jaundice and those with liver diseases were encouraged to take sugarcane extract to treat their ailments.
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Sugarcane Juice for Jaundice
Highly valued in the Unani system of medicine in India, sugarcane juice is considered a panacea for liver-related ailments as it regulates bilirubin secretion. It is suggested that large amounts of sugarcane juice be consumed to treat jaundice. This is also backed by modern pharmacological studies, which revealed that sugarcane contains various bioactivities like anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antihyperglycemic, diuretic, and hepatoprotective effects.
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Sugarcane Juice for Diabetic Patients
This magical juice has no simple sugar and has a low glycemic index, which makes it the best choice for people with diabetes who can therefore enjoy it without worrying about sudden spikes in blood glucose levels. However, people suffering from Type-2 diabetes are recommended to consume it in moderation after their dietician’s consultation.
Sugarcane Strengthens the Immune System and Heals Wound Fastly
Enriched with natural sucrose, sugarcane juice is a powerful component for wound healing. Apart from drinking, this antibacterial juice can be applied directly to open wounds to hasten the healing process.
Sugarcane Juice can Keep Cancer at Bay
High in minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and manganese, sugarcane juice benefits in preventing cancer.
It has been established by modern science that cancer cells can not survive in an alkaline environment. As sugarcane juice is highly alkaline, its regular intake can keep cancer at bay, particularly prostate and breast cancer.
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Sugarcane can Boost Digestion and Treat Constipation
Loaded with the goodness of potassium, sugarcane juice aids in the proper functioning of the digestive system and fends off stomach infections.
Sugarcane Juice keeps Kidneys in Good Health
Sugarcane juice aids kidney health. It is a natural low-cholesterol, low-sodium diet with no saturated fats, which makes it a perfect drink for kidney patients.
Sugarcane Juice Cures Sore Throat, Cold, and Flu
Sugarcane juice is a rich source of antioxidants and this miracle drink is known to fight off many viral and bacterial infections by promoting immunity of the host cell. Notably, antioxidants are chemicals that can stop the chain reaction of free radicals (that are the main reason behind several human ailments) before they harm any important molecule. In today’s world, antioxidant supplements have become a popular treatment technique for lowering the risk of illnesses caused by free radicals.
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Gives Relief in Pain Associated with STDs & UTIs
Sugarcane juice is believed to reduce bodily inflammation caused by sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and prostatitis when taken in a diluted form with lime juice and coconut water.
Sugarcane Juice Aids the Formation of Bones and Teeth
Rich calcium and phosphorus contents in sugarcane ensure good health of the skeletal system, bones, and teeth. It also takes care of our enamel and keeps the bad breath away, which is caused due to the deficiency of these nutrients.
Treats Acne and Prevents Pre-mature Ageing
Sugarcane juice benefits all types of skin problems. Glycolic and alpha-hydroxy (AHA), present in the sugarcane boost cell production, prevent acne from forming, and fight off early signs of ageing. It also has antioxidant properties that give you younger-looking skin along with good health.
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Some Interesting Sugarcane Juice Recipes
Loaded with properties of antioxidants and immune-boosting minerals, this delicious drink isn’t just refreshing but healthful too. To add some interesting twist to this fantastic drink here are some amazing Sugarcane juice recipes that are lip smackingly tasty:
Sugarcane Juice Kheer/Rasawal
Rasawal or sugarcane kheer, a delicacy from Punjab that made its way to the rest of the country is a sweet pudding made by cooking new rice in fresh sugarcane juice. This traditional dessert is a seasonal dish that is usually made in winter.
To Make Rasawal you Need
- Fresh Sugarcane Juice: 1 liter
- Green Cardamom: 1 teaspoon powdered
- Dry fruits: Chopped/optional
- Basmati rice: 100 gm washed and soaked
Instruction to Make
- Step 1: Wash the rice and soak it for 20-30 minutes.
- Step 2: Place a saucepan over low heat and pour in the sugarcane juice. Bring the juice to a boil, then add the soaked rice.
- Step 3: Stir thoroughly, then add the cardamom powder to the pan and cook the kheer on low heat. To keep the kheer from sticking to the bottom, keep stirring it constantly.
- Step 4: Now add the chopped dried fruits to this smooth pudding-like mixture and turn off the heat after a minute or two.
- Step 5: Allow the sugarcane kheer to cool before serving cold. It’s also delicious when served hot. You can also relish this sweet dish with fresh milk cream.
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Flavorful sugarcane and mint pop sticks are one healthy popsicle recipe with no sugar added other than the natural sugar present in it. This quick and tasty popsicle can be enjoyed anytime and the process of making it is also very simple. To make this delicious popsicle you need:
- Sugarcane juice: 150 gms
- Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
- Jaljeera powder: 1 tablespoon
- Chopped mint leaves: 1/4 cup
- Water (accordingly)
Pour fresh sugarcane juice into a pan and add lemon juice, jaljeera powder, and chopped mint leaves to it. Now, transfer this mix to the popsicle molds. Make sure to not fill till the top. Keep the mold in the freezer overnight.
Now you can fight the heat with your chilled sugarcane popsicles. But just never forget to run the molds underwater for some time before serving, so that you can take the popsicles out without any trouble.
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This famous beverage is a mixer of three magical foods that are best known for their medicinal properties and two of them can be found in any household. Ginger and lemon, if added to sugarcane juice can do miracles for the digestive system. To make this Recipe you Need
- Sugarcane stem
Instruction for making Karumbu Juice
Peel and slice sugarcane stick into small pieces and blend it with ginger. Now sieve the juice in a glass and add some lime juice. Stir it well. If you want it chilled you can add some ice to make it more refreshing.
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To beat the summer blues what else can be more refreshing and healthy than a glass of sugarcane and watermelon. To make this satiating mocktail you need:
- Black Salt: 1/4 tablespoon
- Lemon Juice: 1 tablespoon
- Soda: 1/4 Cup
- Watermelon: ½ cup diced
- Sugarcane Juice: 1/2 Cup
Instruction to Make
Take sugarcane juice for your mocktail recipe along with diced watermelon and mix it in a container. Add black salt, lemon juice, soda, and a few ice cubes to this mixture. Do not add any sugar to it.
Serve this chilled tasty mocktail and enjoy the summers.
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Side Effects of Sugarcane Juice
Even though there are many sugarcane juice benefits, it can also harm your body. Excessive drinking of sugarcane juice can show up to these side effects and affect your health adversely. So, before indulging yourself completely in this magical drink, let’s have a look at what side effects sugarcane juice can have on your body.
Excessive Calorie Amount
Loaded with natural sugar, sugarcane also has a high amount of calories in it. One glass of sugarcane contains almost 269 calories which are equivalent to 100 grams of sugar. Due to this, only a glass of this naturally sweet drink is recommended to be taken in a day.
Sugarcane Juice Turns Toxic Quickly
Despite its all goodness and health benefits, sugarcane can turn toxic if not consumed within 15 minutes. Actually, the sugarcane juice becomes toxic as it gets oxidized more or after 15 minutes. This can be harmful to your health and may cause several stomach-related problems.
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Excessive Intake of Sugarcane can Increase the Risk of Insomnia
Excessive intake of sugarcane can cause insomnia, upset stomach, dizziness, headaches, and weight loss due to the presence of Policosanol in it. This chemical can also thin blood and impact cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
Works as a Blood Thinner
As sugarcane juice contains policosanol- which thins your blood, it also interferes with the formation of clots, thus resulting in profuse bleeding. So if you are taking any medication that thins your blood, avoid drinking sugarcane juice.
Increases the Risk of Infection
Many times this staple food is consumed directly from a roadside shop where no or very poor hygiene is maintained. Due to the lack of proper washing of sugarcane sticks several bacteria and pesticides can contaminate the juice which if consumed can pose a serious danger of illness and can even cause food poisoning.
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Can Diabetics Eat Sugarcane?
There are numerous sugarcane juice benefits but, similar to other high sugar drinks, sugarcane juice should not be in the diabetic diet of any diabetic patients, because of high amount of sugar it will increase your sugar levels rapidly and can cause some severe health issues.
Also claimed by some studies, polyphenol antioxidants present in sugarcane may help pancreas cells produce more insulin– the hormone that regulates your blood sugar. However, such studies need more research to establish this as a fact.
Meanwhile, diabetic patients are advised to consult with their dietician to know if they can drink this naturally sweet beverage or should they avoid it entirely.
Sugarcane juice is a natural, unprocessed beverage that is a good source of antioxidants, and several other essential minerals.
Its high glycemic index makes it a perfect choice for people who want a healthy drink without thinking much about sudden spikes of glucose in their blood.
However, its high sugar content makes it a bad choice for people with diabetes.
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What time is best to take sugarcane juice?
The best time to consume sugarcane juice is before midday. However, it is also best to be consumed shortly after an exercise or after spending too much time under the sun. This will help assist the body in keeping hydrated and replacing lost electrolytes.
Within what time is it advisable to drink sugarcane juice?
Fresh Sugarcane juice should be consumed within 15 minutes after its extraction, as it turns toxic and may cause several ailments to our body. Although, if stored properly in a refrigerator straight away after extraction, it will last up to three days.
How many calories are there in a glass of sugarcane juice?
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to calorie tracking. Whatever food items we eat have calories. However, some calories are beneficial to our health, while others are detrimental, particularly when it comes to highly processed foods. Similarly, fresh sugarcane juice also contains various nutrients along with calories that go well together and get digested easily by our bodies.
Is sugarcane juice safe for diabetic patients?
Although research suggests that drinking sugarcane juice has no effect on diabetics’ blood sugar levels, it is advisable for them to talk with their doctor. People with diabetes should also monitor their sugar levels after drinking sugarcane juice. Not more than one glass of sugarcane juice is recommended for anyone a day.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sugarcane-juice-diabetes#sugar-contentLast Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.