Molasses is a thick syrupy substance that is the by-product from the commercial processing of sugar cane and sugar beets into refined sugar. Molasses for human consumption most often comes from sugar cane. Molasses is a sugar by-product, from which most of the sugar has been removed after several passes of boiling the sugar cane juice. Molasses is a thick dark brown syrup that is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially the B vitamins. Molasses is sometimes used as an alternative to processed sugar due to its nutrient content and distinct flavor.
Molasses is a good source of niacin, also known as vitamin B3. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 1 cup of molasses contains 3.13 mg of niacin, about 20 percent of the recommended daily intake. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the recommended daily allowance of niacin is 14 mg for adult females and 16 mg for adult males. Niacin helps lower bad cholesterol and helps raise good cholesterol. Bad cholesterol, also known as low density lipoproteins, increase the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Good cholesterol, also known as high density lipoproteins, helps to remove plaque build-up in the arteries. A diet rich in niacin may also lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Vitamin B5 and B6
Molasses is a good source of vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 1 cup of molasses contains 2.7 mg of vitamin B5, a little over half of the daily recommended intake. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the recommended daily intake of vitamin B5 for adults is 5 mg, while pregnant and breastfeeding women need slightly more. Vitamin B5 may help reduce the level of fats in the blood with people who have high cholesterol. Vitamin B5 may also help reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, but more clinical studies are needed.
Molasses contains a substantial amount of vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine. The United States Department of Agriculture states that 1 cup of molasses contains 2.25 mg of vitamin B6, well over 100 percent of the recommended daily intake. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that the recommended daily intake of vitamin B6 is 1.3 mg for adults 19 to 50 years of age and slightly higher for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Adequate intake of vitamin B6 may help reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Vitamin B6 may also help reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, commonly known as PMS.
Choline, Thiamin and Riboflavin
Molasses contains the B vitamins choline, thiamin and riboflavin. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 1 cup of molasses contains 44 mg of choline, but only trace amounts of thiamin and riboflavin. According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, the recommended daily intake for choline is 550 mg for adults 19 and older. Choline may help in preventing cardiovascular disease, cancer and certain pregnancy complications. Choline may also help in improving memory and treating Alzheimer's disease. According to the American Cancer Society, thiamin and riboflavin help produce energy and play an essential role in the enzymes that affect muscles, nerves and the heart.