Want to satiate your sweet cravings without worrying much about the calories? Jaggery can be your panacea as it has numerous health benefits including weight loss. Jaggery, a natural sweetening agent is prepared from fresh sugarcane juice, date or palm juice. However, the one made from sugarcane juice is the most common. Jaggery is known by various names throughout India- ‘Gur’ in Hindi, ‘Bellam’ in Telugu, ‘Vellam’ in Tamil, ‘Sharkara’ in Malayalam, ‘Bella’ in Kannada, and ‘Gul’ in Marathi.
In addition to its distinct flavour and aroma, there are also many nutrients in jaggery making it an obvious healthy replacement for refined sugar. Continue reading to know more about the incredible goodness of jaggery.
- Rich source of minerals and phytochemicals:
Unlike refined sugar, production of jaggery is less processed and mostly free from chemical processing methods. So jaggery retains some of the minerals and plant phytochemicals that are found in sugarcane and hence it is good for health.
- Detoxifies the liver:
The main function of the liver is to remove toxins and other impurities from the body. Jaggery’s cleansing property simplifies the work of the liver and also detoxifies it. Eating 5 grams of dry ginger with 10 grams of jaggery strengthens your liver and thus helps to cure jaundice.
3. Treats flu-like symptoms:
Drinking warm jaggery water or even adding it to your coffee or tea instead of refined sugar provides relief from cold and cough.
- Blood purifier:
Consuming limited quantity of jaggery regularly cleanses the blood. Thus it prevents many blood-related diseases and leaves your body healthy.
- Boosts immunity:
Jaggery helps in boosting the total count of haemoglobin in the blood. This boosts immunity and thus provides resistance to various diseases.
- Cleanses the body:
Jaggery is a natural cleansing agent for the body. It flushes out unwanted particles and impurities from the respiratory tract, digestive tract, and the intestines. Therefore people working in highly polluted areas such as factories and mines can include gur in their food to combat the effects.
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7. Eases menstrual pain:
Eating jaggery results in the release of endorphins, the happy hormones. These relax your body, thereby preventing premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Jaggery water is a magic potion that not only relieves you from mood swings but also prevents the abdominal pain and cramps during periods.
- Prevents anaemia:
The rich iron and folate content in jaggery helps in increasing the number of red blood cells. Pregnant women and people with anaemia can eat roasted chick peas mixed with jaggery once a week as the combination of both is the richest source of iron and folic acid.
- Boosts intestinal health:
Due to its high magnesium content jaggery also maintains the health of the gastro-intestinal system. Every 10 gram of jaggery contains16 mg of magnesium and thus provides about 4 percent of the daily requirement of magnesium. Consuming a mixture of jaggery, fennel seeds and powdered banyan tree root expels out the intestinal worms.
- Prevents constipation:
Jaggery activates the digestive enzymes in the body, regulates bowel movements and thus helps prevent and relieve constipation, flatulence, etc.
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- Prevents indigestion:
As jaggery triggers the production of digestive enzymes, it reduces the chances of indigestion. Eating a small piece of jaggery after lunch or dinner aids the digestive process. Sour burp can be removed by eating a mixture of jaggery and rock salt.
- Increases appetite:
Jaggery regulates the process of digestion by increasing the production of the digestive enzymes. This helps in improving appetite and can thus help in healthy weight gain.
- Cools the stomach:
Jaggery helps in keeping your stomach cool. Consuming jaggery with one glass of water or milk aids in cooling the stomach.
- Controls blood pressure:
Jaggery contains an adequate amount of potassium and sodium to ensure that a normal level of blood pressure is maintained.
- Prevents respiratory problems:
Eating jaggery with black sesame seeds or mustard oil regularly can help prevent many respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, etc. Jaggery is also said to make the lungs warm and dilate the respiratory tract.
- Relieves joint pain:
Eating jaggery with a piece of ginger aids in alleviating joint pain. Drinking milk with jaggery every day strengthens the bones, thus preventing joint and bone problems such as arthritis, osteoporosis, etc.
- Weight loss:
Jaggery is a rich source of potassium, which helps in the balance of electrolytes, reduction of water retention and in boosting metabolism. Thus consumption of jaggery in limited quantities along with daily exercise and diet can lead to considerable weight loss.
- Good source of energy:
Unlike refined sugar, a simple carbohydrate that gets instantly absorbed into the bloodstream and gives instant energy, jaggery is a complex carbohydrate that gradually provides energy to the body and also for a longer time. Thus jaggery provides relief from fatigue and general weakness.
The vital vitamins and minerals present in jaggery provide nourishment to the whole body especially your skin. Gur’s purifying properties help in removing toxins from the blood and hence your skin becomes less acne prone and flawless.
20. Reduces ear pain:
Eating jaggery with ghee or clarified butter helps you get rid of ear pain and infection.
- Improves eyesight:
- Ensures quality sperm production:
Eating gur with amla powder regularly enhances the quality and quantity of semen, reduces weakness and other reproductory disorders in men.
- Jaggery for hair:
Eating jaggery with foods that are rich in vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron in the body. This results in healthy, long, smooth, and strong hair. Mixing powdered jaggery with fuller’s earth and curd on the scalp twice a month before washing, makes hair grow beautiful and long.
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- Strengthens nervous system:
Jaggery has the natural tendency to prevent various nervous disorders and also enable smooth and healthy functioning of the nervous system.
- Prevents early ageing:
Jaggery is a rich source of antioxidants which helps to assuage the harmful effects of free radicals and thus slows down the process of ageing.
- Treats hiccups:
Consumption of dry ginger powder with jaggery and warm water provides relief from persistent hiccups.
- Relieves migraines:
Regular intake of jaggery by mixing it with tea or warm water provides relief from severe headaches. Mix powdered jaggery with one teaspoon of ghee and eat it twice a day to cure migraines.
- Jaggery for coughs and sore throat:
Jaggery has a soothing effect on the soft tissues of the throat and thus reduces throat irritation. Eating jaggery with cooked rice can be a solution to coughs and voice problem.
- Cures urinary disorders:
As a natural diuretic jaggery regulates the urination process and reduces inflammation of the bladder. It can be taken along with a glass of hot milk or clarified butter, and gooseberry powder to cure urinary tract infection and other disorders.
- Reduces the risk of diabetes:
Unlike refined sugar, jaggery is not instantly absorbed by the blood and so the glucose level in the blood increases gradually and not instantly. This reduces the risk of diabetes to an extent.
- Gives a warming effect:
Due to the presence of carbohydrates digestion of jaggery is slow and thus in the process, provides warmth to the body. Eating date palm jaggery serves the purpose well as it provides maximum warmth to the body.
- Cures muscle strain and ruptured tendon:
Jaggery helps in getting rid of muscle strain and ruptured tendon. It also provides relief from muscular strain or muscular pull.
- Protects your heart:
Jaggery is cardiotonic, and so it is used to treat heart weakness and related ailments in Ayurvedic system of medicine.
- Strengthens your teeth:
Jaggery contains a considerable amount of calcium. 10 g of jaggery contains about 8mg of calcium. Hence eating jaggery regularly in limited quantities helps in strengthening your teeth.
- Promotes muscular strength:
Eating 2 teaspoons of grated jaggery with a glass of warm milk promotes muscular strength. Hence it can be consumed by those who are involved in heavy physical work as it also provides energy.
However, jaggery should be consumed in moderation as it is slightly higher in calories, containing about 4 kcal/grams. Long term use of the jaggery may lead to weight gain, intestinal worm problem, etc. It should be avoided by those suffering from diabetes and ulcerative colitis.
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