As summers are arriving I can see many vendors on the streets setting up the Sugarcane cart (Ganne ka ras). A sip of chilled sugarcane juice in hot summers brings back all the energy from tip to toe. It replenishes all the electrolytes which are lost during summer sweat. Sugarcane juice is not only a natural thirst quencher but a natural tonic for strengthening liver health.
Sugar Cane is used in Ayurvedic medicine for a deep cleanse and detox. It helps in the rejuvenation and recovery of the liver. In India Sugarcane is considered Sacred and offered to the goddess during winter festivals.
How Sugarcane Juice Protects Liver Health?
Detox is essentially the process of removing toxins from the body. Reducing consumption of refined sugars, tobacco, alcohol, and excessive coffee is the first step to cutting down the toxin load.
Drinking a glass of naturally sweet and nutritious sugarcane juice or ganne ka ras is among the most delicious and best way of cleansing your liver.
Vitamin C and Antioxidants in sugarcane stimulate the production of liver & bile detoxification enzymes and improve the process of cleansing the liver.
Sugarcane juice is considered an alkaline-forming food because of the high concentration of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and manganese in it. It helps to create a more friendly pH balance.
2. Replenish & Revitalise
Sugarcane juice helps in strengthening the liver and aids in its proper functioning. Rich in nutrients, minerals and vitamins; sugarcane juice is known to have medicinal properties that aid in normalizing damage of blood and bile, nourishing the body, and revitalizing the liver.
Sugarcane is considered the best home remedy for curing Jaundice. What it does is replenish your body with proteins lost and nutrients that it needs to recover quickly. Have a glass of Sugarcane juice with a dash of lemon daily to recover from Jaundice quickly. (10) (11)
3. Maintains Body Fluids
Sugarcane juice is said to be rich in carbohydrates and iron . So it works best as an instant energizer.
People who suffer from the liver disorder tend to vomit often and as a result, lose bodily fluids. It can lead to electrolyte imbalance in the body and further add to health woes.
Since sugarcane juice is packed with good amounts of potassium, minerals, and other essential nutrients; drinking it regularly can help maintain fluid balance in the body and replenish it with the right kind of energy and strength. (12) (13)
4. Eases Digestion
One of the most common symptoms among people suffering from liver malfunction is inflamed liver and bile duct blockage. Both of which makes digestion of food difficult. As a treatment for the same, sugarcane juice can prove to be beneficial.
Natural sugarcane juice is rich in potassium and so enables the secretion of digestive juices in the stomach. It also prevents stomach infections. Its regular consumption can help to ease digestive problems, speed up the healing process and aid in the proper functioning of liver post jaundice or any other liver-related disease. (14) (15)
Why Liver needs a special care?
The liver is the largest organ in the body.
The liver is a metabolically active organ responsible for many vital life functions. In fact, it is known to perform around 500 key functions in the body including digestion, storage of food, detoxification of harmful chemicals & toxins and regulation of sugar in the blood.
A healthy and properly functioning liver can give you immense health benefits. The primary functions of the liver are:
- Bile production and excretion.
- Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs.
- Metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
- Enzyme activation.
- Storage of glycogen, vitamins, and minerals.
- Synthesis of plasma proteins, such as albumin, and clotting factors.
- Blood detoxification and purification.
Due to so many functions, the Liver is exposed to many harmful metabolites and prone to regular wear and tear. A damaged liver or liver malfunctioning is a result of a variety of factors. The most common and well-known among them are alcohol abuse, excess weight, stress or fatigue, lack of exercise, and poor diet.
The most common symptoms of liver disorder are Nausea, Loss of Appetite, Abdominal Pain, and Jaundice. If these symptoms are ignored it can lead to chronic life-threatening diseases including Liver Cancer and Cirrhosis. In addition to this, regularly following a healthy diet and taking general precautionary methods can go a long way in helping you maintain the health of your liver.
Nutritional Profile Of Sugarcane Juice/Ganne ka ras
100 grams of the edible portion of Sugarcane Juice
|Total Dietary Fiber||0.56 grams|
|Total Fat||0.40 grams|
|Total Folates (Vitamin B9)||44.53ug|
|Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2)||0.41ug|
|Beta Carotene||7.87 mg|
Amino Acid Profile of sugarcane Juice
|Aspartic Acid||30.49 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||11.60 grams|
Reference:Indian Food Composition Tables, National Institute Of Nutrition (ICMR) BY T.Longvah, R.Ananan, K.Bhaskarachary, K.Venkaiah.
7 Other Health Benefits Of Sugarcane Juice/Ganne ke Ras
- Acts as Diuretic and contributes to renal Health.
- Prevents Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’S) and Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).
- Instant Energy Drink.
- Effective against Cancer.
- Improves Bowel movement and Relieves constipation.
- Good for Skin glow.
- Prevents Tooth Decay and bad breath.(3)
Few Facts about Sugarcane
Sugarcane belongs to the grass family Poaceae, with the scientific name Saccharum officinarum. It is also known as Ganna, eekh, karimbu, and cheruku. India and Brazil are the topmost countries in sugarcane cultivation. In India Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Punjab are huge cultivars of Sugar cane.
The taste of Sugarcane is sweet due to its high sucrose content. In India, IISR (Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research), Lucknow is doing extensive research on Sugarcane production and quality. (1) (2)
We can eat sugarcane as it is by chewing the stalk or by making juice out of it.
How to make Sugarcane Juice?
- In India, you can easily find many roadside vendors selling the Sugarcane Juice/Ganne ka ras using a machine or manually. A glass would cost you around 10-15/- approximately. You can store the juice in the fridge for a day and consume it. Please check the hygiene if you are buying from an outside vendor.
- Nowadays you can find readymade sugar cane bottles in supermarkets. You should know that it is very difficult to preserve sugarcane juice as it is quickly spoiled by bacteria and yeast within a few hours. However, you can store it in a fridge for 1 day but its freshness will be lost. So if you are buying canned sugar cane juice Check for the shelf Life and the preservatives which are added to keep up the shelf life.
- You can also make sugar cane juice at comfort in your home. Let us check the process of making ganne ka ras at home.
Make sure you pick fresh sugarcanes and ensure they are washed properly.
- Sugarcane (medium-sized)
3.Strainer or muslin cloth
5.Lemon juice (optional)
6.Mint leaves (optional)
8. Ice cubes (optinal)
1. Wash the sugarcanes well and peel the hard outer layer of the cane with a big knife.
2. Now cut them into small pieces and blend them along with a ginger piece (optional). Add some water and grind it again. Make sure you have ground the sugarcane well.
3. Take out the sugarcane extract along with the juice in a big container.
4. Take another container and place a muslin cloth or strainer on it. Squeeze the juice out of the extract pressing through the cloth or strainer.
5. Strain the juice again as it may still have some extract. You can add some lemon juice,mint leaves and a dash of black salt along with ice cubes and serve chilled.
PS – No need to add additional sugar as the juice is naturally sweet.
How Much Sugar Cane Juice is safe to consume?
Like any other healthy drink, Sugar cane juice must be consumed in Moderation.
Do not go overboard in the case of sugarcane juice too. You can have a glass of sugarcane juice 3 times a week.
In summers you can relish this drink daily to cope up with the heat. It is beneficial to consume sugar cane juice during day times. It has natural coolant property so it will be better to avoid it during night times.
In the case of liver disorders, sugarcane juice can be consumed every day once or twice as per doctors and nutritionist advice. In case of Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) and heart diseases consult a doctor before opting for sugarcane juice.
Is Sugarcane juice is Safe for Diabetics?
Sugarcane Juice/Ganne ka Ras is completely safe for diabetics. Even though cane juice tastes very sweet and has high sugar content, it is good for diabetic patients. It contains natural sugar which has a low glycemic index that prevents a steep rise in blood glucose levels in diabetics, so it can act as a substitute for aerated drinks for them. However, people with Type-2 diabetes should consume it in moderation and after consultation with their doctors.
Another reason why the sugar in sugarcane juice is not bad is that the sugar present in the juice is processed in your liver rather than in your small intestine. This makes the absorption of sugar that is derived from the sugarcane juice all the slower making it beneficial for diabetes patients.
How about people who are completely off from Sugar for well-being?
There are five tastes that are naturally contained in all foods. In Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, each taste is correlated with a season, a type of warming or cooling energy, and a specific body organ or system. Theoretically, each taste nourishes a specific organ or organ system. The more you consciously include a variety of five tastes in food preparation, the more satisfying and nutritionally balanced your meals will be. So Sugarcane is naturally sweet and comes from our mother Earth. What more explanation is needed to include this mighty cane in our diet. (16)
Side effects of sugarcane juice/ganne ka ras
- Sugarcane juice does give a fair amount of calories. 1 glass of juice provides around 242 Kilo Joules of calories. If taken in excess it may lead to weight gain and diabetes.
- Policosanol compounds in sugarcane may cause head spinning and insomnia in a few individuals. This can also lead to blood thinning and can cause excessive bleeding. So people who are using blood-thinning medications must completely avoid sugarcane juice.
- Sugarcane Juice becomes toxic very quickly. It starts fermenting in 15 minutes. This oxidized juice can be toxic when consumed. So it is always advisable to consume it freshly.
- If you are buying from roadside vendor risk of infection is always more. As they maintain very poor hygiene. They do not wash the canes properly which may contaminate the juice with bacteria and pesticides. This can make you fall sick.(17) (18)
The liver is a vital organ in the human body performing various key functions.
To maintain good health it is very important to strengthen our liver health. Instead of going for highly-priced artificial detox supplements opt for mighty sugarcane juice/ ganne ka ras for liver detox. Not only it aids in toxin removal but replenishes the injured liver with proteins and electrolytes for quick recovery.
In hot summer days, it is a cooling drink. A little lime juice may be mixed in the juice to improve its flavor. Let go of those artificial soft drinks and go for ‘Sugarcane Juice’. But, be safe and drink it keeping hygiene conditions in mind. It is local, it is sweet, it is natural and it is Immensely nutritious. This summer quench your thirst and strengthen your liver mindfully with Sugarcane.