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Jaggery, also known as ‘Gur’ in Hindi, is quite a popular natural sweetener used as an alternative for sugar. It is essentially a type of unrefined sugar made primarily from raw, concentrated sugarcane juice that is boiled until it solidifies. Gur is not just better than white sugar—which only gives the body empty calories—it also cleanses the body, assists digestion, and provides decent amounts of minerals. Before we dig into understanding how jaggery benefits a healthy lifestyle, let us know how distinct it is from white sugar, honey, and brown sugar.
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Understanding Jaggery Nutritional Value and Facts
Jaggery is filled with Molasses, a nutritious by-product of the process of producing sugar, which is typically extracted when refined sugar is produced, which makes it a nutrient-rich product. As compared to refined sugar, the nutrition level in jaggery is quite high.
100 grams of Jaggery may contain:
|Total Carbohydrates||98.0 g|
|Minerals||Calcium (80.0 mg), Iron (5.4 mg), Magnesium (160 mg), Phosphorus (40.0 mg), Potassium (140 mg), Sodium (30.0 mg), Selenium (1.4 mcg)|
|Vitamins||Niacin (2.0 mg), Vitamin B6 (0.4 mg), Pantothenic Acid (1.0 mg)|
Takedown from the figures of Jaggery Nutritional Value: Jaggery has little to no signs of any kind of fat, so without thinking about excessive fat consumption, you can easily add it to your diet. However, its sugar content is close to that of white sugar, so overconsumption should be avoided in patients who have diabetes. So, though replacing refined sugar with a sweetener that has more vitamins and minerals may be slightly ‘healthier’, dominating jaggery in your diet is not advisable.
How does Jaggery Benefits our Day-to-Day Diet?
Planning to try and add jaggery to your diet? Here are some primary advantages of jaggery which you must know.
1. Jaggery and Weight loss
It is one of the most popular benefits of eating jaggery, it facilitates quick digestion. Jaggery helps in cleansing the body by flushing out the toxins and also purifies the blood. The nutrients help to preserve the balance of electrolytes, thereby improving metabolism, and the presence of potassium allows water retention from which weight can be handled effectively.
2. Jaggery for Diabetic Patients
People with diabetes sometimes see jaggery as a healthier alternative to sugar, but the fact is that it often contains high sugar levels. In 10 grams of jaggery, almost 65% to 85% of sucrose is present. People with diabetes are also advised not to eat it daily. If you have diabetes and considering jaggery as an alternative for sugar, you should consult your doctor and then jump to any conclusion.
3. Helps in Preventing Constipation
It regulates certain digestive enzymes in the body which helps in proper bowel movements, thereby preventing constipation. Eating a small piece of jaggery serves as a diuretic that can help promote the bowel movement.
4. Helps in Boosting Immunity
It contains antioxidants and essential minerals such as zinc and selenium, which can help prevent free-radical damage and improve infection tolerance. Jaggery also tends to boost the overall blood haemoglobin count. Hence, it is great for your overall immunity.
5. Helps in Preventing Respiratory Issues
It may be one of the most effective solutions for people with chronic respiratory tract issues. By having the same in a regular diet, one can stop asthma, bronchitis, etc. The trick is to eat jaggery along with some sesame seeds. It is a perfect blend to cure respiratory problems.
6. Helps in Fighting Cold and Flu
It helps in inducing heat in the body, which makes it a suitable companion in winters. Jaggery has a naturally soothing influence, which helps in fighting the common cold and flu. You can mix Jaggery in warm milk to get the best results or use it as a sweetener in your tea.
7. Detoxifies the Body
By flushing out toxic chemicals from the bloodstream, it helps cleanse the liver and further helps detoxify the liver. So, if you want to detox your body quickly, bite yourself into a piece of jaggery.
8. Controls Blood Pressure Levels
Jaggery contains essential nutrients like potassium and sodium that help in maintaining a proper balance of acids in the body, thereby controlling the blood pressure levels. People with high blood pressure issues should have it regularly to have positive effects.
9. Purifies Blood
Jaggery is a natural blood purifier. It cleanses the blood, leaving a healthy body. A healthy body would mean safe blood, which will guarantee that it is protected from all illness.
10. Boosts Energy
Unlike sugar, Jaggery is a complex carbohydrate that gradually energizes the body and keeps it energized for a longer period. It can also help in preventing weakness and fatigue.
11. Joint Pain Reliever
Many doctors recommend jaggery in the regular diet of an individual with joint pains. It should be eaten with a piece of ginger or with milk to pacify pains.
12. Cooling Effect in Summers
Jaggery can help in maintaining the normal body temperature which is why Gur sharbat is largely consumed during summers to render a cooling effect in the body.
13. Relieves Menstrual Pains
Women often undergo severe menstrual pain and cramps during periods. Having warm Gur/jaggery with milk can help in soothing cramps and relieving pains.
13. Helps in Preventing Anaemia
Jaggery is high in iron as well as folate, which helps to produce RBCs in the body, making it a safe way to avoid anaemia. Doctors also prescribe teenagers and pregnant women for their consumption.
14. Ensures Proper Intestinal Health
Jaggery has a rich magnesium content. 16 mg of the mineral is found in every 10 g of food. So, if even 10 grams of it were eaten, he or she would have reached 4% of this mineral’s everyday requirement in our lives. Consuming it daily will also result in healthy intestinal health.
15. Prevents Urinary Problems
Jaggery is considered as a natural diuretic. Any problems that this nutritious food item daily consumption can quickly assist with are reducing inflammation of the bladder, promoting urination, and improving the steady flow of urine.
Jaggery is undoubtedly more nutritious than white sugar, and it is filled with nutrients and essential minerals. However, it is high in calories, which should not be avoided in any case. This implies that you may add jaggery or use it as a natural alternative for sugar in your daily diet, but it is not advisable to have jaggery in large quantities.