What is Jaggery ?
Jaggery also known as "Gur" is basically unrefined sugar which is obtained from raw, concentrated sugarcane juice by boiling. The word jaggery comes from the Portuguese jágara, and from the Sanskrit sarkara (gritty substance, sugar)
Jaggery is the sugarcane based traditional Indian sweetener. Jaggery is nutritious .
Jaggery is a wholesome diet. It contains 0.6%-1.0% minerals; important among them are iron (11mg %), calcium (0.4%), magnesium and phosphorous (0.045%). Jaggery also contains reducing sugars including glucose and fructose (10-15%), protein (0.25%), and fat (0.05%). Daily use of jaggery may increase human life span. Incidence of less diabetes is reported in jaggery consuming areas compared to sugar consuming areas. The nutritive value of jaggery as compared to sugar is presented.
Sugar needs extra heat for digestion. It takes calcium and potassium from the body without which it just cannot be digested. Gur is often called the medicinal sugar and possesses nutritive properties of high order. Ancient medical scripture, Sushrata Samhita state how it purifies the blood, prevents rheumatic afflictions and bile disorders. The preventive action of jaggery on smoke-induced lung lesions suggests the potential of jaggery as protective agent for workers in industry in smoky environments. . Magnesium found in jaggery strengthens the nervous system and potassium conserve the acid balance in the cells and combats acids and acetones. Jaggery is very rich in iron and prevents anemia. Jaggery supplements the requirement of iron and calcium in women and children and also increases vitality in men and help in digestion. . The micronutrients present in jaggery have antitoxic and anti-carcinogenic properties. Its dietary intake can prevent the atmospheric pollution related toxicity and the incidence of lung cancer
Common benefits of jaggery include:
- Prevents constipation
- Detoxes the liver
- Blood purifier
- Boosts immunity
- Cleanses the body
- Prevents anemia
- Boosts intestinal health
- Prevents respiratory problems and relieves joint pain
Health Benefits of Jaggery
- Prevents constipation - Jaggery activates the digestive enzymes in the body, stimulates bowel movements and thus helps prevent and relieve constipation.
- Detoxes the liver: Jaggery helps cleanse the liver by flushing out harmful toxins from the body. So if you want to effectively detox your body, bite into a piece of jaggery .
- Treats flu-like symptoms - Fight symptoms of a cold and cough with the help of gur. All you need to do is mix it with warm water and drink up, or even add it in your tea instead of sugar to reap the benefits.
- Blood purifier - One of the most well-known benefits of jaggery is its ability to purify the blood. When consumed on a regular basis and in limited quantities, it cleanses the blood, leaving your body healthy.
- Boosts immunity - Jaggery is loaded with antioxidants and minerals such as zinc and selenium, which in turn help prevent free-radical damage and also boost resistance against infections. Jaggery also helps increase the total count of hemoglobin in the blood.
- Cleanses the body - Jaggery is one of the best natural cleansing agents for the body, hence it is advised to eat jaggery to remove unwanted particles from the body. It efficiently cleans the respiratory tract, lungs, intestines, stomach and food pipe. Eating jaggery is highly recommended for people working in heavily polluted areas such as factories or coal mines.
- Eases menstrual pain - Jaggery, due to its richness in many essential nutrients, is an effective natural treatment for menstrual problems, especially providing relief from cramps. In case you experience sudden mood swings just before your period, you should eat a small piece of jaggery daily to combat symptoms of PMS since it leads the release of endorphins. These endorphins relax your body, thereby preventing premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Prevents anemia - Jaggery is rich in iron and folate which help prevent anemia by ensuring that a normal level of red blood cells is maintained. This is especially beneficial for pregnant women.
- Boosts intestinal health - Jaggery also boosts intestinal strength due to its high magnesium content. With every 10 gram of jaggery, you get 16 mg of magnesium, which is 4 percent of the daily requirement of this mineral.
- Cools the stomach - Jaggery helps in maintaining normal body temperature which helps in keeping your stomach cool. Experts recommend drinking Gur Sharbat (jaggery soaked in ice cold water) during the summer months to cool off.
- Controls blood pressure - Jaggery contains potassium and sodium, which play an important role in the maintenance of acid levels in the body. It makes sure that a normal level of blood pressure is properly maintained.
- Prevents respiratory problems - By consuming jaggery regularly, you can prevent many respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, etc. Experts recommend eating this natural sweetener with sesame seeds for wonderful benefits for the respiratory system.
- Relieves joint pain - If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, eating jaggery can provide you with much-needed relief. You can eat it with a piece of ginger to alleviate joint pain, or even drink a glass of milk with jaggery every day to help strengthen the bones, thus preventing joint and bone problems such as arthritis.
- Weight loss: Jaggery is surprisingly effective as an aid for weight loss. This is because jaggery is a rich source of potassium, which is a mineral that helps in the balance of electrolytes as well as building muscles and boosting metabolism. Potassium also helps in the reduction of water retention, which helps in managing your weight. These factors play an important role in effective weight loss, so if you're looking to lose some unwanted pounds, include this food in your diet.
- Good source of energy - While sugar is a simple carbohydrate that gets absorbed in the bloodstream instantly and gives instant energy, jaggery is a complex carbohydrate that gives energy to the body gradually and for a longer time. This means that the levels of blood sugar do not get raised immediately. It also helps prevent fatigue and weakness of the body.