More and more people are becoming interested in blue agave. This is mostly because people are learning more about the health facts behind this key component of tequila and agave syrup.
So, what are these health facts? What does blue agave do for you? Keep reading to find out the answers to these questions and more.
Related: What is a Skinny Margarita?
What Is Blue Agave?
Blue agave is a type of agave plant. It is a type of succulent defined by its large, fleshy, spiky leaves. The plant can grow to become 16 feet tall, while the leaves can get as long as 7 feet.
The plant grows in Jalisco, Mexico. There, the sandy soil and high altitude allow the plant to grow best.
The plant is known for producing agave, a delicious syrup on its own and a critical piece in tequila production. This is created by taking the heart (or piña) of a mature agave plant. This heart is then heated, crushed, and filtered to produce the sugar solution. This solution is then harvested and used for a variety of purposes.
How Is Blue Agave Used?
Blue agave is primarily used for two purposes. These include the production of tequila and agave syrup.
In tequila, agave forms the base of the liquor. This sugary liquid is allowed to ferment in a way that produces alcohol. Once this is produced, the mixture is distilled and distilled again to form tequila. Sometimes, this tequila is sold directly, and you can find it labeled as silver tequila, which is generally what you should use to make a margarita. Other times, it is aged further, which you can find as gold tequila.
Meanwhile, agave syrup or agave nectar is essentially a sweetener all on its own. Think of it like honey, as both are naturally-produced sugar substitutes. However, unlike honey, agave is vegan. You can use this sweetener for anything you use sugar or honey. However, it is primarily known as a key ingredient in margaritas.
While these are the two primary uses of agave, there are other less common uses as well. This includes the production of agave wine.
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Blue Agave Health Facts
So, what exactly are the health facts surrounding blue agave? Why do people consider it one of the healthier options when it comes to a sweetener?
The answer comes from several different factors. These include the fact that it is low on the negative features that typically come with sweeteners while providing some unique health benefits of its own.
Lower in Calories
For starters, blue agave is relatively light on calories. It contains about the same number of calories as honey. However, it has about 75 fewer calories per 100g when compared to regular sugar.
This makes it a great way to cut calories regularly. You can choose to sweeten things with agave that you would typically sweeten with sugar. A change like this will have only a small impact on each dose, but over time, these doses really start to add up. Incremental changes like this ultimately play a big part in any weight loss journey.
This is particularly helpful for agave, which is often used in drinks. Sugary mixed drinks add up to a lot of calories, so many people try to find less sugary alternatives. Agave helps with this.
Related: What Does 100% Agave Mean and Why is it important?
Low Glycemic Index
Blue agave is a type of sugar. However, not all sugars are built the same way. Different sugars will have different impacts on your body and will ultimately affect your health in different ways. One way in which this is measured is through the glycemic index.
The glycemic index is a measure of carbohydrates in food. Foods high on the glycemic index are higher in carbs than those on the lower end of the scale.
Your body quickly absorbs foods on the higher end. Meanwhile, foods on the lower end will take more time for your body to absorb. This is important because the length of time it takes for your body to absorb something impacts how quickly you feel hungry after eating. Foods that absorb quicker will leave you feeling full for less time than food that absorbs slower.
This means your body will get hungry again sooner when you consume high-glycemic foods. In general, this is something you want to avoid, as it can lead to other health problems.
Blue agave is low on the glycemic index when compared to other sugars. This means it will play a lesser part in making you hungry faster. Meanwhile, other sugars can drive you to want to consume more sugars in a quicker period, which has obvious negative repercussions.
Agave even has chemicals within it that actually help your body. Specifically, it contains saponins. These are plant steroids that have a positive impact on your health.
Saponins have anti-inflammatory effects. Reducing inflammation within your body can do a lot of good for your body. This is true because chronic inflammation is a factor in causing health problems like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s. By consuming anti-inflammatory foods, you lessen your likelihood of dealing with these problems.
Alongside this, saponins have the potential to boost your immune system. The benefits of a boost to your immune system are obvious, as no one wants to deal with a greater chance of sickness. This is true now more than ever before.
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Finally, agave is a probiotic. Probiotic foods are an important part of keeping your gut happy and healthy.
Agave provides the beneficial bacteria within your gut with a source of food. This helps promote the number of gut bacteria you have and improve your system as a whole. This can have a wide range of positive effects, such as helping to alleviate constipation and even assisting with weight loss.
The Health Facts Behind Blue Agave
Blue agave is an interesting and incredibly unique plant. It can be enjoyed as a delicious tequila-based drink or a wonderfully sweet sugar substitute. Now that you understand the health facts behind it, you can enjoy it even more, as you have one less issue to worry about.
Related: The Best Gluten-Free Alcohol Options