Jaggery is an unrefined sugar product obtained by boiling the raw, concentrated sugar cane juice till it solidifies. It is also known as “non-centrifugal sugar because the nutritious molasses are not removed while processing. Also it is considered as a healthy replacement for sugar because there are different plant minerals and phytochemicals preserved in it and so, it is often referred to as a “super food sweetener.” Jaggery has a number of health advantages like its ability to cleanse the human body, it aids digestion and offers good quantities of minerals to our body. It is also made from date palm and the sap of coconut, but the one made from sugar cane juice is the most commonly used. It can either be golden brown or dark brown in color. The various types of Jaggery are Sugarcane , Date Palm , Palmyra , Toddy Palm , and Other Palm.
Nutritional Value –
It contains 98 % carbohydrate and 97% sugar content. We cannot determine the exact nutritional value of it because the nutritional content depends upon the plant from which it is prepared ie cane or palm.
Based on a study, 100 grams of jaggery may contain:
Sucrose: 65–85 grams.
Fructose and glucose: 10–15 grams.
Protein: 0.4 grams.
Fat: 0.1 grams.
Iron: 11 mg, or 61% of the RDI.
Magnesium: 70-90 mg
Potassium: 1050 mg
Manganese: 0.2–0.5 mg
It also contains a small number of minerals like calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and copper and vitamin B. That’s is why it is considered nutritious than refined white sugar. Because of all these nutrients present in it, it offers you a number of health benefits. Read below mentioned health benefits of jaggery that will make you adopt it as your go-to sweetener on daily basis-
1. Improves Digestion-
Jaggery is effective in maintaining proper functioning of the digestive system. It activates the digestive enzymes and itself changes to acetic acid in the stomach which speeds the digestive process and reduces strain on the intestines and the digestive tract. It also helps in stimulating the bowel movements, hence preventing constipation. Therefore it is always consumed after eating meat or heavy meal so that it facilitates digestion.
2. Provides energy-
As carbohydrates provide energy on oxidation and just like sugar is a simple carbohydrate which is absorbed in bloodstream and provides energy for a longer time. Similarly, it is a complex carbohydrate that provides an instant energy boost to the body for a longer time. This means that the levels of blood sugar do not get raised immediately because it is gradually digested and absorbed by the body, unlike white sugar. Therefore, whenever you feel lethargic or weak, consume a small piece of jaggery to get that instant boost of energy.
3. Purifies Blood-
It contains a high amount of iron. Therefore it is well known to purify blood and increase the total count of hemoglobin in the blood. It also removes the clotted blood from the body which further helps in cleansing the blood. It also prevents anemia by ensuring that a normal level of red blood cells is maintained. Regular consumption of it after meal help in removing all kinds of unwanted particles from the intestines, stomach, food pipe, lungs, and the respiratory tract successfully. Cleaner blood will mean a more healthy body and which will ensure that it is free from any disease.
4. Helps to Lose Weight
It is one of the trusted remedies to foster weight loss. Jaggery is a rich source of potassium which helps to balance the electrolytes in the body and building of muscles apart from improving the metabolism of the body. However high levels of potassium present inside jaggery also help in reducing the water retention from the body which is regarded as one of the major problem people face will losing the weight.
5. Prevention of respiratory problems
Consuming a small piece of jaggery can do wonders for your respiratory health by regulating the body temperature. The anti-allergy properties present in jaggery helps in the prevention of different respiratory issues like bronchitis and asthma. Jaggery, when taken with the sesame seeds, can be the perfect combination for curing the respiratory ailments. Research has shown that consumption of jaggery prevents the workers (who works in the dusty and smoky environment) from discomfort caused due to the smoke and dust by keeping the lungs warm and dilating the respiratory tract.
6. Relieves From Joint Pain-
Regular consumption of jaggery offers relief to the ones who are suffering from severe joint pain or even arthritis by nourishing and strengthening the bones. Jaggery, when taken along with ginger, alleviates the joint pain. Also consuming a glass of milk along with jaggery on a regular basis can help in strengthening the bones and in preventing bone and joint problems like arthritis.
7. Controls blood pressure
The high amount of potassium and calcium present in jaggery helps in maintaining the required acid level in the body which in turn maintains the normal blood pressure levels. Therefore, someone suffering from hypertension must include a small amount of this product to maintain a normal blood pressure level inside the body.
8. Detoxifies the Liver-
Jaggery is considered as a natural cleansing agent for the body, so it helps in cleansing the liver by flushing out harmful toxins from the body which further helps detoxify the liver. So anyone who is looking to detoxify his/her body should add a small piece of jaggery in their daily diet.
9. Boost Immunity-
The minerals and the antioxidants present inside jaggery prevent free-radical damage and also boost resistance against infections. Thus, supporting the immune system and helps people to recover from illnesses like the common cold and the flu.
10. Maintains good intestinal health
As jaggery is rich in magnesium that means every 10 grams of jaggery contains up to 16 mg of magnesium which is 4 percent of the daily requirement of this mineral. So regular consumption of palm jaggery will help in encouraging the intestinal health due to its good presence of magnesium content in it.
11. Cures urinary tract problems
Since sugarcane is a natural diuretic, so jaggery contains this property which helps in reducing the inflammation of the bladder, stimulating urination and improving the smooth flow of urine. Take jaggery regularly with warm milk to get rid of urinary tract infections and have a smooth and normal flow of urine.
12. Relieves menstrual pain
Jaggery is rich in many essential nutrients and so it is an effective natural treatment for menstrual problems especially providing relief from cramps caused during menstruation. Take up warm milk and add jaggery to it and drink a cup twice a day during your periods to ensure a happy period. It is also effective for those who experience mood swings or frustration before their periods. They should eat jaggery in small amounts since it helps to release endorphins that relax one’s body.
13. Generates heat inside the body
Since jaggery has hot potency so every gram of jaggery consumed produces heat within the body. In winters the blood vessels get constricted because of the weather conditions that’s why jaggery consumption is considered good in winters to dilate the blood vessels and improve the blood flow in the body. This is a winter season delight and is suggested because of the presence of high amount nutritious content like minerals, antioxidants, metallic elements like phosphorus, iron, potassium, zinc and more. Experts suggest taking date palm jaggery because it provides maximum warmth to the body.
14. Skin Benefits-
The nutritional properties present in it ensures healthy and glowing skin. The high amount of iron and vitamin present in it provides nourishment not only to your skin but also to your whole body. It also helps in preventing many skin problems like acne, pimples and early skin aging.
15. Treats Hiccups-
If you frequently suffer from hiccups problems then just take a small amount of it and mix it with dried ginger powder and take this mixture with a glass of warm water and feel relieved. It is advisable to mix 500 mg of ginger powder with 3 gm of it to get rid of this issue.
16. Jaggery Boosts Iron Absorption:-
Jaggery is very rich in Iron and helps in boosting the absorption of this mineral when consumed with citrus fruits like gooseberry, guavas, etc. If the good amount of iron is absorbed, it can promote good hair health, making it strong, shiny and lustrous.
Now as you are aware of the health benefits of jaggery, then don’t you think adding this food in your daily diet is a very good idea.
Note: It is suggested to consume it in moderation, since it is slightly higher in calories, containing up to 4 kcal/gram.