Otherwise referred to as raw sugar, brown sugar is that sugar whose production does not involve refining processes. Unlike white or refined sugar, brown sugar is produced directly from sugar cane juice, which is literally boiled and left to cool and crystallize over time. Crystallization of brown sugar takes a lot of time, at times up to months. The major characteristic of brown sugar is its brown color and strong taste, which is due to the presence of molasses. Refined sugar can also be turned into brown sugar by simply adding molasses in proportionate amounts.
Basically, brown sugar contains between 3% to 7% molasses as is naturally moist. Brown sugar particles are in most cases less granulated than white sugar particles. Nutritionally, brown sugar has a lower calorie value mainly because of the presence of water. It however packs more densely than white sugar. On average, a hundred serving of brown sugar contains 97g sugar, 0.12g fat, 94.5g sucrose and 1.3g water. It does not contain any fats at all. There are different types of brown sugar, depending on manufacturing process.
Raw sugar (not white sugar turned into brown sugar) is widely used in baking and making of sauces where it replaces white sugar. This is mainly because brown sugar contains adequate amounts of minerals. Note that white sugar contains reduced minerals as a result of refining processes. There has been of late debate on whether there are any health and beauty benefits derived from consumptions and use of brown sugar. While those against brown sugar indicate that brown sugar is the same as white sugar, those for put forward several benefits that accrue. The fact however is the two different manufacturing processes produce sugar of different values and health benefits.
Raw or brown sugar is actually beneficial to good health. It contains varied properties in organic form, properties that are easily absorbed by the body. Consumption of brown sugar has been established to improve blood circulation, enhance digestion and increase the production of blood cells. Women can benefit in a great way by consuming brown sugar. Drinks that contain brown sugar have the effect of soothing menstrual cramps. Consumption of brown sugar has also been established to aid in fast recovery by women after giving birth. For many decades traditional women have been known to be given brown sugar drinks as medication to treat painful uterine contractions.
Brown sugar has been used for decades as remedy for colds. Brown sugar has always been added into boiling water containing ginger slices, which is then drunk to treat both cold symptoms and constipation. In this case, brown sugar is used in place of natural honey. The positive effect of brown sugar on the skin cannot be underestimated and it is not surprising that brown sugar is used as an ingredient in some of the best makeup products available. Brown sugar reduces swelling on the skin, hydrates the skin, increases cell regeneration and protects cells from damage caused by free radicals.