Jaggery or Gur has been an integral part of Indian culture for centuries. It is prepared by boiling sugarcane juice or date palm syrup or even the sap of coconut trees. With the introduction of refined white sugar, the use of this amber coloured sweetener in our cuisine has diminished over the years. However, unlike white sugar, Jaggery is unrefined and packed with nutrients.
A Gradual introduction of jaggery into the daily diet is recommended as it beneficial to our health in the following ways:
Jaggery is known to activate our digestive enzymes enabling proper digestion of food. It facilitates bowel movement and prevents constipation. Sprinkle black pepper on a bite size piece of jaggery and have it after dinner for best results.
Thanks to its unrefined nature, Jaggery is loaded with iron which is the building block of haemoglobin in blood and thus boosts the red blood cell count remedying anaemia. It works well for pregnant women.
Jaggery has a high calcium content owing to which it imparts solidity to the bones. Try pieces of jaggery with salads for the bursts of flavour and goodness for the body.
Being rich in essential minerals like zinc and selenium jaggery boosts our immune systems against infections. The antioxidants contained in this sweet treat fights free radicals in our body slowing the ageing process. Have two teaspoons of grated jaggery with warm milk daily to improve Immunity.
Relieves Flu Symptoms
Jaggery is widely used to cure cough, cold, migraine and inflammation. Drink a sweetened glass of warm water or ginger tea with jaggery for best results.
Raises The Spirit
Feeling low due to something bad that happened or suffering from frequent mood swings before or during periods? Binginng on a small piece of jaggery can be the unlikely cure as it induces the production of endorphins or happy hormones which relaxes the nerves easing tension off the muscles.
Nourishes The Skin
Jaggery is rich in many essential minerals that nourish the skin and prevents the occurrence of acne and pimples. The antioxidants keep the skin glowing and wrinkle free. Apply a mixture of jaggery and ground seasame seeds on the face once a week for healthy skin.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Jaggery contains potassium and sodium which keep our blood pressure at optimum levels. Also, potassium reduces the water retention capability of the body thereby keeping the weighing scale on a check. A habit of consuming jaggery daily in any form will work wonders for the body.
Remember, Moderation is the Key
-Patients with complaints of poor heart health, blood sugar, diabetes and obesity related issues should follow a their doctor’s advice about consumption of jaggery
-Substitute sugar with jaggery wherever possible but do not just gorge on it for the nutritional value.
-Also, lessen the use of any sweetener including jaggery after sundown as our metabolic rate slows.
-One can expect to reap benefits by limiting the consumption to about 2-3 teaspoonful daily.
So, go ahead and embrace this delicious and traditional sweetener as part of your diet and reap the countless health benefits that it has to offer. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!