In Puerto Armuelles we have a multitude of street vendors that sell everything from fresh vegetables to flowers. Today I tried one of the vendors that sells “Jugo de caña “, or sugarcane juice, at the round-a-bout . My eye caught the sign he had in front of his little stand which listed the BENEFITS of drinking this healthy juice. Of course, when I got back on the internet, I decided to research this.
My first thought about drinking sugarcane juice was that it must be like drinking pure sugar and probably unhealthy. Boy, was I wrong! The juice is only mildly sweet and has a sort-of wheat-grass after taste. This makes sense because sugarcane is a tall grass. I also discovered that there are actually many health benefits including:
1. Sugarcane juice is a diuretic which means that it helps treat urinary tract infections, kidney stones and helps ensure proper functioning of the kidneys.
2. According to Ayurvedic practices sugarcane juice helps strengthen your liver and is thus suggested as a remedy for jaundice.
4. Sugarcane juice exhibits laxative properties thereby improving bowel movement and relieving constipation.
5. Sugarcane juice also has alkaline properties which means it’s good for treating acidity and a heartburn.
6. It has a low glycemic index (GI) so it comes highly recommended for diabetics.
7. Sugarcane juice is extremely rich in minerals which helps prevent tooth decay and bad breath.
I also read that is important to consume the juice as soon as it is extracted because it tends to get oxidized within 15 minutes. The vendor I bought from today had it in an ice chest, but I often see the vendors with big juice extractors around Puerto and the Frontera and they juice it upon order. I paid $1 dollar for a bottle and have seen the same price posted for a cup of fresh squeezed.
I recommend trying a cup of Jugo de caña the next time you spot a vendor on the side of the street ~ it’s good for you!