am pretty sure every household in India is quite familiar, (familiar would rather be an understatement), and accustomed to using Jaggery, also referred to as sweet superfood.
Since times immemorial, Jaggery has been dominating the Indian household especially as a form of dessert or even a meal.
From Mithai to constituting a full meal of Roti and crushed Jaggery topped with a huge dollop of Ghee.
Be it whichever region in India, Jaggery (or Gur, as it is widely known as) is quite a popular food item, with some just wanting to relish its taste, while others trying to get the best of the health benefits that it provides.
I used to always wonder why my grandparents or parents ever encouraged us to eat Jaggery as a replacement for sugar. And now I clearly understand why!
Let us see further, what are the most important health benefits of Jaggery and why should we consume it more often.
Now, this is where all the secret of your health lies.
Jaggery is obtained from unadulterated raw sugarcane juice, which is boiled till it hardens or rather crystallizes. Or simply you could say – it is unrefined sugar. And this is how most of the minerals and phytochemicals stay intact in Jaggery, due to the presence of Molasses.
Molasses is generally removed while refining sugar and is present in Jaggery, which truly makes it better by adding the necessary micronutrients, than our regular refined sugar, which simply adds on the extra calories and poses greater health risks going further.
It can also be obtained by pressing and distilling date palms and coconut saps. But the ones obtained from Sugarcane are the widely relished ones.
Well, before we straightaway jump into the health benefits, let me show you what exactly does every 100gm bit of Jaggery comprises of:
Nutrient Components of Jaggery
Phew!!! Who would ever want to avoid these healthy minerals and vitamins, that too in its sweetest form?
Now let us come back to the real part – The Health benefits of Jaggery!
1. Helps Prevents Anaemia
This is one of the most common and popular health benefits that you would get to hear almost everywhere.
You must have come across patients (generally women) suffering from Anaemia or lower iron and folate content, are advised to eat Jaggery with peanuts (in the form of a Laddoo) to increase their iron content sooner. This provides instant energy and reduces weakness in the body.
2. Helps provide relief from menstrual cramps
Yes! Consumption of Jaggery to get relief from menstrual cramps has also been proved and women are usually suggested to have a small piece of Jaggery in order to ease on the menstrual pain and even combat PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndromes).
Jaggery leads to the release of a few endorphins (also known as the Happy hormones), which are supposedly known to reduce the PMS symptoms such as, mood swings, cramps, etc. and relax the body in turn.
3. Helps to detoxify the body
These days, nobody has much control on what we eat and feed our bodies. The harmful toxins thereby make their home in our bodies creating the entire ruckus inside.
Jaggery being the natural cleanser detoxifies and cleanses our bodies, especially the Liver, helping us get rid of the harmful toxins by flushing them out of the body.
Therefore, have a small piece of Jaggery to maintain a detoxified body and a happy Liver.
4. Helps overcome constipation
A clear bowel leads to a holistically healthy body. But some people are not blessed with a clear bowel; they suffer from constipation like conditions, which thereby leads to many other ailments.
Jaggery is a key ingredient in our diet, which helps in activating a few good digestive enzymes invigorating a great bowel movement, preventing constipation, which in turn keeps you healthy.
5. Helps in the purification of blood
Apart from simply having a clear bowel, your blood also needs to be cleaner. Having healthier and cleaner blood indicates a healthy body and keeps you away from any kind of infections and improves your immunity as well. Jaggery is known for the blood purification process.
Therefore having Jaggery in smaller amounts daily could help you overcome blood impurities as well.
6. Helps maintain body temperature
You must have come across many recommendations to include Jaggery in ice-cold water, making a GurSharbat, especially during the summer months.
The only reason being, Jaggery has proven benefits to cool off your stomach and help maintain your body temperatures during the summers.
7. Helps in treating respiratory disorders
People with bronchitis or asthma are reported to have breathing disorders. Jaggery is said to overcome these respiratory issues by soothing your inflamed respiratory tract and providing immense relief with your breathing disorders.
Experts have suggested having Jaggery in small proportions in combination with some sesame seeds to avoid respiratory disorders.
8. Helps in losing weight
Indeed! As a result of the increased levels of sedentary lifestyles including improper eating habits, a majority of the population is suffering from weight issues these days.
Jaggery can help you fasten the process by helping you with increased metabolism and preventing water retention in our bodies.
Getting rid of the extra kilos is certainly possible with small amounts of Jaggery as a part of your daily diet, since the potassium content present in it helps in electrolyte management, or rather balancing them, which as a consequence results in increasing muscle mass.
9. Helps in achieving beautiful skin and hair
Jaggery is said to have beneficial properties, which can help reduce skin issues such as, acne, pimples, and provide the required nourishment to your skin and hair as well. This results in having a blemish-free good-looking skin and long and lustrous hair.
So in case you are trying to visit expensive parlors to get rid of your skin and hair issues, perhaps it is about time to introduce Jaggery to your diet and see the magic happen.
Well, as mentioned above, the benefits have reason enough to make you include Jaggery as a part of your daily diet.
But as said and done, make sure you have it in extremely lower amounts, (as low as less than 20gm per day) to ensure a healthy lifestyle.