October 19, 2018

Benefits of Agave

health properties of the agave plant

Next time you’re looking to sweeten up your drink or a recipe, it might be time to put down that sugar and reach for agave instead. Agave is a natural sweetener that is derived from varieties of the agave plant common in Mexico, South America, and the Southwestern USA. It’s also the source of one of my favorite drinks – tequila! (more detail on that here)

Besides being sweet, it has a number of health properties that are beneficial for everybody looking to boost their overall wellbeing.

What Health Benefits Does Agave Have?

While agave has been popular as a sweetener for foods and drinks for centuries, its use in medicine dates back thousands of years. The following reasons are why it has been so widely used as a natural remedy by native populations.

Low in the Glycemic Index

One of the reasons it is commonly used is because of the sugar content in is a complex form of fructose known as inulin. This is a naturally occurring sugar that is found in many fruits and vegetables, but particularly in this sweet fruit. This fructose is very low on the glycemic index.

This means that it gives you that sweetness, while also avoiding the spike in your blood sugar levels that cause a “sugar rush”. It is a great alternative to sugar for those who are on a diet, are diabetic, or just generally health conscious.

Protective Properties

There are several compounds contained in the agave plant that have protective benefits for your body. Agave contains saponins, compounds that bind to HDL and LDL in your body and lower your overall cholesterol level. These compounds may also help to slow the growth of cancerous tumors.

In addition, as mentioned above, agave contains inulin, which is a natural probiotic. In other terms, it is a natural, good bacteria for your gut that aids in the digestive process. On top of that, agave is rich in fiber which can promote better health in your digestive tract. It can provide relief for those with constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, or other gastrointestinal disorders. Have a nice dose of agave nectar, pull out your squatty potty (more detail here), and you’ll have the easiest time in the bathroom.

Weight Loss

It may be time that you switch out the refined granulated sugar in your kitchen with agave nectar instead. While agave does contain calories, it is rather low with just 21 grams per teaspoon. As compared to regular granulated sugar, it is lower glycemic food that is overall better for your health.

Rich in Nutrients

Just one serving of agave nectar can provide so many vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your body. A 100-gram serving agave can provide almost 2 mg of iron, which comprises almost 50% of your recommended daily value of this important mineral. It also a great source for calcium and zinc, two other essential minerals for wellness.

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T.J. LaPanta is a Florida based aspiring comedian and health nut.
When he's not trying to hack his way through a post-graduate degree, he's slaving away in the kitchen, working out, or trying to score a date.

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