Many of us have grown up seeing our grandparents such on a piece of jaggery after their meals. It is not only that they crave sweets, but jaggery has numerable health benefits as well. It is not just a raw sweet or an agent to add sweetening to dishes, but also a wonderful remedy for many diseases such as anemia, asthma, joint or menstrual pains. It also helps in the digestion of food, makes blood pure and keeps acne and pimples away. Being high in natural sugar, it is a superb energy booster as it provides instant energy.
It can be had in its raw form – a yellowish, dark brown solid or if you don’t like it in its raw form, you can make jaggery laddoos or balls as well. These have lots of dry fruits such as almonds, cashew nuts, walnuts and peanut along with jaggery which makes them nutritious and tasty.
How Is Jaggery Obtained?
Known as ‘gur’ in Hindi, it is basically unrefined sugar. It is produced from raw, concentrated sugar cane juice by first boiling it and then cooling it into blocks. The process of making jaggery does not involve any chemical agents and is hence, the end product and has full of natural mineral salts in it. Jaggery can also be prepared from date palm and coconut sap.
It is used to make sweets, chikkis, candies, toffees, cakes and also in the preparation of alcoholic beverages. Some communities also use it to sweeten dals and vegetables. Unlike white sugar, jaggery is healthier. It is available as a solid, liquid or even powder form.
Some of The Benefits of Jaggery Include:
Prevention of constipation: Jaggery helps relieve constipation by encouraging bowel movements. It triggers the digestive enzymes in our body and prevents constipation. Hence it is normally consumed after meals.
It Is Rich In Iron: Jaggery is a good source of iron. Hence, it is dark brownish in color. Iron prevents anemia and eating a small quantity of jaggery everyday can give you the iron boost you need.
It Is High In Minerals: Jaggery has a high mineral content and micronutrients found in it are very important for our body to perform certain physiological functions. Quite often it is also referred to as medicinal sugar.
It Cleanses Your Liver: A small piece of jaggery will effectively detoxify your body. It helps cleanse the liver and flush out the toxins from the body.
Helps To Treat Minor Health Problems: Everyday irritants such as a cough, water retention, bloating, migraines and so on can be effectively curtailed with the help of jaggery. Have it with warm water or even add it in your tea instead of sugar to make it sweet and take in its benefits.
It Reduces PMS: During menstruation there is hormone fluctuation leading to mood swings and depression at times. This can be controlled to a certain extent with the help of jaggery. Consumption of gur leads to endorphins being released in your body which help relax your body and make you feel happy.
It Helps Boost Immunity: Our immune system is the army who guards our body against infections. Jaggery is rich in anti-oxidants; zinc and selenium – all which help prevent free radical damage and hence strengthen the body’s immunity.
It Acts As A Cleansing Agent: Jaggery is known to be one of the best natural cleansing agents for our body. It is useful in cleaning the respiratory tract, your food pipe, lungs, stomach and intestines.
It Promotes Relaxation: Regular intake of jaggery helps in the relaxation of muscles and nerves and blood vessels and hence helps them to function optimally.
It Relieves Fatigue: Jaggery being a good source of magnesium is rich in minerals, mainly iron with traces of other mineral salts. Hence, it is beneficial for the muscles, nerves and blood vessels and may also help relieve stress and fatigue. It is also very good for anemic people, as it increases the blood hemoglobin level in the body. It helps regularize the menstruation cycle in women being a splendid source of iron.
It Has Anti-Oxidant Properties: Jaggery has strong antioxidant properties to protect our body from the damage that free radicals cause due to oxidation. It helps purify blood and in regulating the liver function.
Although jaggery is very beneficial, diabetics should consume it with caution. For normal individuals, including it in your daily diet can give you multiple benefits and help keep your body full of energy, your spirits high and keep you in a happy mood.