Have jaggery with your meal and it would not only speed up digestion but also treat many other health conditions. Our ancestors used to have jaggery as a sweet dish and even today, you would see rural people having gur with nearly all their meals especially in winters. They even add jaggery to their tea and replace sugar with jaggery in most desserts. Not only it is healthy but also cheaper and tastier than sugar. There are two variants of jaggery namely sugarcane jaggery and coconut palm jaggery(the latter is healthier than the former). Onlymyhealth reached out to Diet and Nutrition expert Dr. Swati Bathwal to understand the health benefits of jaggery in detail. Let’s read it together.
Nutrition breakdown of Jaggery
Jaggery is a powerhouse of nutrients. The reason why it is considered safe and healthy is because of its nutrient-rich profile. Here is a rundown of the vital nutrients that organic jaggery contains:
- B vitamins
An interesting fact is that jaggery is made from the same source as refined sugar and contains nearly the same calories but it is healthier. Why? Because jaggery is loaded with nutrients while sugar has empty calories. In simpler words, sugar only has calories with zero nutrients while jaggery has some vitamins and minerals to offer the consumer.
But that doesn’t mean you can have as much jaggery as you want. There is a limit.
How much jaggery to consume in a day?
Dr. Swati Bathwal says that the advised amount is 5gm -10gm a day. This is equivalent to a small piece of jaggery. As explained above, jaggery does contain nutrients but in smaller amounts. It offers calories that you would receive the most upon increasing the amount. Thus, be careful and do not go overboard with jaggery just because it is healthy.
Also Read: 3 Types Of Jaggery And Reasons Why You Should Switch From Regular Sugar
Marvellous Health Benefits of Jaggery
Let us now tell you what health benefits do jaggery offer. Remember that these advantages can only be availed if you consume jaggery daily(in the advised amount).
Aids Weight loss
If you are trying to lose a few kilos and tone your body, add jaggery to your diet. Surprisingly, this sweet food is effective in weight loss. The reason behind this is the potassium content in jaggery that is a powerful mineral. Potassium helps in balancing electrolytes, boosting metabolism, controlling water retention, etc. All these functions contribute in weight loss. Besides, potassium also helps in muscle building, so don’t worry about muscle loss when you have jaggery daily.
One of the most important things that we are looking out for lately is immunity. We are emphasizing consuming immunity-boosting foods to strengthen our immune system and prevent coronavirus and other autoimmune diseases at bay. Jaggery has some amount of essential immune minerals like selenium and zinc that hold antioxidant properties. These prevent free-radical damage and shield the body against bacteria and viruses. Also, jaggery is found to boost haemoglobin in the body. Having a piece of gur can also keep infections at bay.
Controls blood pressure
If you are a patient of blood pressure, you must have jaggery daily. This food is said to normalize blood pressure levels by maintaining the acid levels in the body. Jaggery has potassium and a very little amount of sodium to conduct the mentioned processes. Thus, we would suggest all the BP patients have gur.
Also Read: Can High Blood Pressure Cause You To Feel Anxious?
Prevents respiratory problems
Air pollution and winters together are troublesome for the respiratory system. You must wear a mask daily and keep yourself indoors as much as possible to escape the pollution and its harsh effects on the body. In addition to this, you must also consume jaggery which is wonderful for the respiratory system. It aids several respiratory illnesses like asthma and bronchitis. You won’t get to see the results instantly but in a couple of weeks as you get consistent with jaggery consumption.
Detoxifies the liver
Pollution, smoking and drinking largely impact the liver. It becomes very important to cleanse or detoxify the liver especially in the winters and when pollution is at its peak. Consuming jaggery daily would not only eliminate harmful toxins from the body but also process liver detoxification for a healthy liver. This helps in reducing load on the liver. Additionally, consuming jaggery also carries full-body detoxification that includes all vital organs.
Also Read: This Fruit Is A Secret Remedy For Diarrhea and Constipation
Overeating or eating heavy meals can upset the stomach. A lot of people deal with constipation and gastric issues. This happens due to poor digestive functions. If you are also troubled with such issues, you must have jaggery as it activates digestive enzymes to initiate digestion and regulate bowel movements. This would help you get rid of painful defecation. Jaggery has diuretic properties that make it a great food for digestive distress. It works best when you have jaggery with your meals as it would then stimulate the enzymes for faster digestion.
Treats flu-like symptoms
Seasonal change is accompanied by flu. People with poor immunity tend to suffer from cough, cold, sore throat and other flu-like symptoms. Well, jaggery or gur can relieve these with ease. Jaggery has heat-producing nature which is why it is counted amongst warming foods. Winters are the best time to have gur to give heat to the body and stay safe from winter illnesses. Along with eating it, you can also prepare jaggery drink or replace sugar with jaggery in your tea. Just sip it hot to get relief.
Eases menstrual pain
Period pain is one of the most dreary experience for a woman. PMS or pre-menstrual symptoms make it worse. To ease them, you can have jaggery as it soothes the stomach and releases endorphins to calm the mind and body. This helps in alleviating menstrual pain.
This is another potential benefit of jaggery. This possesses blood-purifying properties. Upon consuming gur daily(in the advised amount), you can eliminate impurities from your blood. The perk of pure blood is that it is supplied to the entire body. Impurities in the blood reach out to other vital organs also and can hinder their functions. This is why blood purification is very important for a healthy, disease-free body.
Also Read: How Anaemia Affects Health And Overall Productivity Of Men?
Anaemia is when the red blood cells in the body decrease. This is a serious issue as it can bring numerous health problems. To combat anaemia, you need to increase RBC count in the body. Jaggery has a good amount of folate and iron to restore red blood cells. Pregnant women must consume iron as its deficiency can harm them and the baby. The easiest option to optimise iron is having a piece of jaggery daily.
Boosts intestinal health
Jaggery has magnesium which is good for intestinal health. Magnesium regulates the functions to allow intestines to work properly and digest the food well.
In a nutshell, jaggery is something that you must include in your diet. Having a small piece of jaggery daily with your meal can provide you these many benefits. It has got a rich nutritional profile that would suffice some percent of the daily requirement of vital nutrients. Substitute your sugar with jaggery powder to upscale your health. However, do not consume a lot as it may give you high calories. Only 5-10 grams a day is advised by the nutritionist.
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