By Joan Odafe
Lagos, Jan. 30, 2021 Some nutrition experts have recommended regular intake of sugarcane to boost immune system and prevent cancer and other diseases.
The experts made the recommendation in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on Saturday.
Mrs Olufunmilola Adewumi, Asst. Chief Nutritionist at the Orile Agege General Hospital, Lagos State, said sugarcane was rich in antioxidants helping to fight infections.
According to Adewumi, raw sugarcane does not contain fats, cholesterol, proteins and sodium.
She added that it contained significant amounts of nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin B2, magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus.
Adewumi said that sugarcane juice would be good for hydration, adding that it helped in weight loss, boosting of metabolism, improving digestion, preventing infections, fighting fevers and curing common cold.
“Its alkalinity makes it counteract the effects of hyperacidity, heart and stomach burns; it also helps in preventing cancer.
“It helps to reduce accumulation of bacteria and oil in the pores, thereby preventing acne; it is an excellent source of Alpha Hydroxy Acids such as glycolic acid used as an anti-aging and anti-wrinkle agent in creams.
“It is an effective diuretic: meaning it can keep kidneys functioning optimally, thereby preventing health issues such as kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
“Due to its low glycemic index, diabetic patients can enjoy it without any fear when taken in moderation. It prevents spikes in blood glucose levels,” she said.
Adewumi, however, cautioned against overconsumption of sugarcane juice to avoid stomach upset, dizziness, headaches and unnecessary weight loss.
The nutritionist also cautioned against drinking water after eating fruits, saying it hindered digestion and absorption processes.
She recommended taking of 200ml of sugarcane juice daily and waiting for an hour before drinking water.
Mr Soromtonna Okwuosa, Co-founder, Ambrosia Juice, told NAN that sugarcane juice was a natural instant energy booster.
“Boosting the immune system shouldn’t just be because of COVID-19; there are other diseases out there that are deadly.
“Lots of people don’t know that their lifestyle, what they eat or drink, has serious impacts on their health,” he said.
He said that high immunity would give a person greater chances of surviving a disease.
Okwuosa, who produces sugarcane juice, said that many people did not take it and enjoy its health benefits because of fear of complications from sugar.
He noted that busy individuals regarded as timewasting, sitting and eating the quantities of sugarcane juice they would need.
He recommended extraction of the juice and storing in refrigerators.
He said that adding flavours such as lemon, ginger and orange would give additional health benefits to sugarcane juice.
Okwuosa, however, cautioned against consumption of sugarcane juice after six hours of production if not stored in a refrigerator as it could have turned sour.