Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar distillation process in which cane juice is heated and sugar crystals are extracted. Black strap molasses is the result of the third distillation. As a highly concentrated substance, nutrient levels in black strap are higher than in light or dark molasses. A number of home remedies credit black strap molasses with curing everything from hemorrhoids to gray hair. While there is little scientific evidence to back up such claims, there is no denying that black strap is very rich in nutrients that are integral to many bodily processes.
For vegetarians and vegans who lack a ready source of iron, two teaspoons of black strap molasses contain about 13 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron. Red meat is another good source of iron, but black strap molasses provides it for fewer calories. For those with increased iron needs--growing children, pregnant, lactating or menstruating women--black strap molasses provides a ready source of iron.
Black strap molasses is also rich in calcium, a mineral important to many anatomical functions. In addition to fortifying bones and teeth, it helps to detoxify the colon and plays an important role in muscle contraction. Two teaspoons of black strap provides the body with nearly 12 percent of its daily need for calcium.
Plenty of Potassium
A diet lacking in potassium can be detrimental to both muscle and nerve activity. Athletes have a special need for potassium as it is central to the process of storing carbohydrates for muscles to burn, and it helps to balance the body's pH. Taking just two teaspoons of black strap molasses will cover almost 10 percent your daily potassium needs.
Black strap takes care of a whopping 18 percent of the body's need for manganese. This is a trace mineral that uses protein and carbohydrates in the production of energy. It also helps to synthesize fatty acids used by the nervous system. The body's sex hormones depend on the cholesterol which manganese aids in producing.