Hyderabad: This summer, Hyderabadis turn to sugarcane juice to beat the heat. With the temperature soaring, sugarcane juice vendors claim that they are able to sell nearly 300 glasses on a daily basis. With each glass priced at a mere Rs 10 or 15, it is the top preference for commuters in the city and hence, sugarcane stalls have popped up on every other street.
Referred to as the best thirst quencher, the juice is also known for its health benefits. Dr T. Unnikrishnan, general physician, says, “What makes it such a popular drink during summer is that even diabetic patients, who normally shy away from most fruit juices, can drink sugarcane juice. It has a low glycemic index, and it has been noticed that it does not raise blood sugar substantially, making it the ideal choice for all. However, one can and should choose not to add extra sugar.”
He also stated that sugarcane contains proteins and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium, which helps in keeping one hydrated and also provides necessary electrolytes for the body. Dr Krishna Goud, a general physician, says, “It is extremely healthy because of the low fat content and presence of antioxidants. It boosts the body’s immunity with the proteins it contains and this can help in fighting off the troublesome infections one attracts during summer, such as a common cold.”
Nutritionists have also deemed the drink as “refreshing”. Deepthi Srinivas, a nutritionist says, “Sugarcane has alkaline properties, which helps with stomach burn and acidity. The only concern should be the hygiene of the stall and surrounding area. I would ask regular consumers to ensure that they do not include ice in their juice as you can never guess the source of the water. In fact, sugarcane juice by itself has a cooling effect and additional ice is not necessary.”
Vendors have also begun to ensure that their stalls are advertised properly. Shameer Ahmed, a vendor from Madhapur says, “It is really competitive now and we have to ensure that our stall is cleaned and maintained well. The busiest stalls are the ones near bus stops and railway stations. We are also able to procure sugarcane easily now and at a lower price. We can also pick out the canes ourselves and are buying a stack at Rs 100 or so.”...