Sugarcanes are crop plants that are the keys to the production of sugar. Each cane accounts for 80% of sugars produced, while the remaining 20% are sourced from sugar beets. Other than for the production of sugars, sugar canes can also be utilized in the form of animal feed, food, pest controls up to sources of sustainable energies.
As for food alone, sugar canes are directly consumable with applications ranging in various cultures across the world. Sugar canes are normally made into juices, syrups, or wines.
How does the sugarcane wine look like? And what are the health benefits of sugarcane wine?
Nutritional Facts of Sugarcane
These are the nutritional facts of the sugarcane, as quoted from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- Serving Amount – 100 g
- Calories – 269
- Total Fat – 0 g (0% of DV)
- Saturated Fat – 0 g (0% of DV)
- Polyunsaturated Fat – 0 g (0% of DV)
- Monounsaturated Fat – 0 g (0% of DV)
- Cholesterol – 0 mg (0% of DV)
- Sodium – 58 mg (2% of DV)
- Total Carbohydrate – 73 g (24% of DV)
- Dietary Fibre – 0 g (0% of DV)
- Sugar – 73 g (24% of DV)
- Protein – 0 g (0% of DV)
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Vitamin A – 0%
- Vitamin B6 – 0%
- Vitamin B12 – 0%
- Vitamin C – 0%
- Vitamin D – 0%
- Calcium – 11.23 mg (1% of DV)
- Iron – 0.37 mg (3% of DV)
- Magnesium – 2%
- Potassium – 41.96 mg (1% of DV)
- Sodium – 17.01 mg (1% of DV)
All percentages of Daily Values (DV) quoted are in relation to a 2,000-calorie diet. The daily values may change according to your actual calorie needs.
About the Sugarcane Wine
Like what is written above, sugarcane products also come in the form of alcoholic beverages, although most of them are ethnical in nature. Sugarcanes are available in the form of rum, made out of sugarcane juices of the Caribbean, as well as Basi, a fermented alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane juices from the Philippines as well as Guyana.
In the Philippines, basi is a traditional alcoholic drink from the Ilocos region of Luzon Island, north Philippines. In that region, pale-red coloured basi has been consumed since the Spanish colonial days, traditionally made by crushing sugarcanes at first to be followed by extracting the juice.
The juices are then boiled in containers known as vats and then stored in “tapayan”, or traditional Earth jars. As time goes on and the juice has cooled, then only additional flavourings such as glutinous rice with duhat or java plum, barks or other fruits are added.
Finally, the jars are sealed with banana leaves and are left fermented for a longer time period, normally lasting up to years. It is from the fermentation that alcohols start to form naturally. If it is fermented longer, it will automatically transform into “suka” or vinegar.
What are its Health Benefits?
Here are all the health benefits of sugarcane wine:
- Sugarcane Wines are Flexible; it can be Repurposed into Vinegars
Like what is written above, the Philippine “basi” sugarcane wine can be repurposed into vinegars. All you have to do is to let it ferment for an extended period of time. Vinegar being acidic can be used for antibacterial solution, lower blood sugar levels to prevent diabetes, cure digestive issues and much more.
- Sugarcanes are Organic Sources of Energy
Just like the benefits sugar health, sugarcanes contain positive deposits of carbohydrates, protein, potassium, iron as well as other kinds of minerals that contribute to an increase in energy by building up plasma and body fluids. It also contains sucrose (simple sugars) that are easily absorbed by the body to replace missing sugar levels inside the body.
- Sugarcane Wines Promote a Healthy Digestion
Sugarcane wines promote a healthy digestion by acting as a digestive tonic, and a source of benefits of sugarcane juice for weight loss. Digestive tonics lets you out from the sufferings of digestive distress by balancing of abdominal pH levels done by potassium. Sugarcane wines also aid weight loss by being high in soluble fibres and removing bad cholesterol from the body.
- Sugarcane Wines are Recommended for Diabetics
Similar to sugarcane juice benefits, sugarcane wines can be recommended for diabetics, but at moderation only. Sugarcane wines, just like its main ingredient contain low glycemic index (GI) levels. It is the glycemic index that keeps the blood sugar levels at control. Since it does not alter the blood sugar levels considerably, it is wise for diabetics to consult their doctors first to determine whether or not it is safe for them to consume sugarcane wines.
- Sugarcane Wines have Plentiful Minerals Inside
Sugarcane wines have plentiful resources of minerals inside that are equally good for the body, such as sucrose, potassium, carbohydrates, protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and more. According to the USDA nutritional facts above, most minerals equal to1-3% of our daily values, with the exception of carbohydrates totaling 24% of our recommended daily value.
- Sugarcanes Act as Health Supplements to the Body
Sugarcanes in general act as health supplements to the body in various ways, such as being an antioxidant, improving our immunity as well as reducing fever. The antioxidants improve our immunity by protecting us against liver and digestive diseases, whereas sugarcanes heal fever by preventing the consumer from protein loss that makes them weak over the course of fever.
- Sugarcane Wines Support Healthy Bones and Teeth
Sugarcane is a considerable source of calcium, with it having 11.23 mg of calcium per the USDA nutritional facts above. Calcium is essential for the growth and development of our bones and teeth. Furthermore, it also avoids tooth decay thanks to its calcium and phosphorus reserves that help build the teeth enamels.
Those are the health benefits of sugarcane wine. As you can see, the health benefits of sugarcane wine make it one alternative to a healthy liquor. Unfortunately, the sugarcane wine industry itself is rather undeveloped in the Philippines itself. Should it experience more growth, more people are more aware of its existence plus its advantages, thus attracting more consumers.