Often times, you must have seen your elders ending their meals with jaggery. Its sweet taste makes them a favorite among children as well, but it is the youth who stays away from eating it. But you would be surprised to know that a small bite of jaggery can provide you with enormous health benefits.
Primarily, jaggery is made of concentrated and raw sugarcane juice, which is boiled until it solidifies. The best thing about jaggery is that it is a kind of unrefined sugar. It is commonly known as ‘Gur’ and can even be prepared with the sap of coconut or date palm.
Including jaggery in your everyday diet can provide you with tons of benefits. Here, read this post to know why jaggery is better than sugar, honey, and even brown sugar.
Nutrition Value and Calorie Count
Jaggery is sweet in taste. Despite this, it contains only 38 calories including 9.8 grams carbohydrates, 0.0-gram protein, 9.7-gram sugar, betaine, choline, folate, iron, calcium, Vitamin B6, B12, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. It is free from fat and hence can be consumed even by those who are on a diet. But since it has some part of sugar, so, patients suffering from diabetes must avoid its excessive intake.
Jaggery or Sugar – Which is Healthier
A large number of health professionals suggest substituting sugar with jaggery as it has higher nutritional content. Though both of them are processed, sugar is available in translucent, white crystals while jaggery is obtained in dark brown or golden brown color. Sugar undergoes a rigorous manufacturing process like treatment with charcoal. For this reason, its nutritional content is lost.
Contrary to this, jaggery does not undergo excessive treatment except that sugarcane juice is boiled. This way, it retains its nutritional value, including mineral salts, fiber, and iron. The plant phytochemicals and minerals are great to cure multiple ailments. Even, consuming a little amount of jaggery every day boosts immunity, regulates the temperature of the body, improves digestion, enriches the skin, cure joint pain, and offer more other benefits.
Jaggery or Honey or Brown Sugar
Jaggery is made with natural means without the use of any preservatives, chemicals or toxic additives. It includes a number of vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Some people get confused by considering it as an equally rich source as brown sugar. However, brown sugar is prepared by refining raw sugar or directly from cane juice, both of which needs the addition of numerous syrups, demurrer, and molasses. Hence, there is very little quantity of additives included in brown sugar as well.
Definitely, brown sugar is a better alternative to sugar. But if you compare it with jaggery then brown sugar loses that point.
Another alternative to sweetener is honey, which is rich in Vitamin C, B, and potassium. But, jaggery is rich in magnesium, iron, and copper.
Health Benefits of Jaggery
Some of the prominent health benefits of jaggery are:
1. Prevention of Respiratory Issues
For those who suffer from regular respiratory issues, jaggery is really beneficial. It is great to prevent bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory ailments. Consuming jaggery with sesame seeds is great to cure respiratory ailments.
2. Regulates Blood Pressure
The presence of sodium and potassium in jaggery helps maintain the acid levels in the body. It maintains normal blood pressure levels. Hence, if you are suffering from low blood pressure then including jaggery in your diet is of great help.
3. Aids Weight Loss
Weight gain is an issue with most of the people. A reliable remedy for weight loss is moderate consumption of jaggery. It is a rich source of potassium, which balances electrolytes, boost metabolism and build muscles. Also, potassium reduces water retention in the body and plays a pivotal role in weight loss.
4. Prevents Anemia
Jaggery helps in to maintain adequate levels of RBCs. Also, it supplies the body with folate and iron. Hence, an excellent way to prevent anemia is to consume jaggery. For this reason, doctors suggest pregnant women and adolescents consume jaggery every day.
5. Rich Source of Energy
While sugar supplies short-term energy to the body, jaggery offers gradual energy, which lasts a longer time. It is because jaggery is unrefined that ensures the blood sugar levels do not alter immediately and energy rises slowly.
6. Detoxifies the Liver
Another great benefit of jaggery is that it is a natural cleansing agent, particularly for the liver. This sweetener helps to flush out harmful toxins from the body. So, if you are suffering from ailments related to liver, you must consume jaggery.
7. Alleviates Joint Pain
People suffering from joint pains or arthritis can get immense relief with jaggery. It can be consumed along with ginger to avail improved results.
8. Prevents Constipation
Consuming nutrition-packed jaggery helps to stimulate bowel movements and activate the digestive enzymes in the body. Consume jaggery is you are suffering from the problem of constipation.
9. Treatment for Cough and Cold
Jaggery helps to fight various flu-like symptoms like cough and cold. It leads to the production of heat inside the body and thereby helps to fight against cold. To avail better benefits, one must consume jaggery with warm milk.
10. Boosts Immunity
Minerals and antioxidants like zinc and selenium present in jaggery help to fight against free radical damage. At the same time, they are great to build resistance against numerous infections. Hence, to combat winter allergies it is wise to consume jaggery.
11. Excellent Digestive
Jaggery when combined with fennel seeds (saunf) is an excellent digestive and mouth cleanser post meals. Not only does it satiate the sweet craving but also gets the digestive juices flowing aiding digestion.
Jaggery is readily available across India. However, while purchasing it, make sure you pick an authentic and 100% natural one. Consume jaggery on a daily basis and soon you will start witnessing its benefits on your own.