Health is wealth. The phrase reminds us every time of the fact that no money can buy good health. My father says, there are three “White things” excess of which can kill us: Sugar, salt, and dairy. Many people look for alternatives to sugar and there are many alternatives to sugar in the world including honey, maple syrup, apple jam and so on. But the age-old Indian alternative to sugar is Jaggery or Gur as it is known to us since birth. What is Jaggery? What are the health benefits of jaggery? Which is better in Jaggery Vs Sugar? Are there any disadvantages of jaggery? Let us answer all the questions you have in your mind right away.
Table of Contents
What is jaggery?
Jaggery is popularly known as unrefined sugar. It is raw and concentrated sugar cane juice that is intensively boiled until and unless it becomes solid. Jaggery is used as a sweetener while baking a cake, making tea, making pancakes or any sweet. It is interesting to know that jaggery is prepared without separation of molasses which gives it a caramel touch. The colour of jaggery ranges from light brown to dark brown depending upon the quality. Jaggery’s benefits will be discussed further in the article.
Jaggery was initially used in South and Southeast Asia. It became popular throughout the globe as people were in search of an alternative to refined white sugar. Moreover, jaggery has medicinal properties, it can be used to treat respiratory infections as Ayurveda medicine. It has various vitamins and minerals as compared to sugar. Let’s discuss the unbeatable health benefits of jaggery, jaggery vs sugar, jaggery benefits for the skin, disadvantages of jaggery, and more.
Jaggery is known as Gur in India. Pamela in Columbia, piloncillo in Mexico, Kokuto in Japan and Hula Melaka in Malaysia.
How Jaggery is made?
Well, it is known to us that jaggery is derived from sugarcane. The process follows the extraction, classification, and concentration of sugar cane into jaggery. The first step is extraction where the sugar cane is pushed into large machines to extract the sweet juice. The second step is known as classification. In this step, the juice is allowed to settle for a while so that all the sediments settle at the bottom of the container.
Later on, the Jews are strained to get a pure liquid. The strained juice is then boiled for a long period until it gets concentrated. Later on, a yellow dough-like thick paste is on the pan. This is moulded into hard blocks of jaggery. Purifying the Juice and filtering out the impurities remain an integral step in making jaggery.
In different parts of the world, jaggery is made differently. In South and Southeast Asia, jaggery is made out of the sap of a palm tree whereas in Myanmar jaggery is made from Toddy palm trees. The process of converting the sap of palm trees remains the same. Making jaggery is not an expensive refining process. This means that anyone can make jaggery, without investing much.
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Jaggery nutritional contents:
Jaggery is an exceptionally nutritious and healthier option. It is a superfood sweetener & a non-centrifugal sugar.
A hundred grams of jaggery may contain
- 383 calories
- 65-85 g of sucrose
- 10-15 g of fructose
- 10-15 g of glucose
- 0.4 g of protein
- 0.1 g of fat
- 70-90 MG of magnesium
- 1050-90 MG of magnesium
- 1050 MG of potassium
- 0.2-0.5 MG of manganese.
Apart from this jaggery contains vitamins and various minerals like zinc, copper, phosphorus, and calcium.
Jaggery health benefits-Unbeatable health benefits of jaggery
There are various unbeatable health benefits of jaggery and also skin benefits of having jaggery. here are a few health benefits of having jaggery.
- Respiratory problems– jaggery is good for the prevention of Asthma, bronchitis, and various other respiratory issues. Jaggery with sesame seeds; it is the best combination to treat respiratory problems.
- Weight loss– Jaggery is a good substitute for sugar and helps in weight loss. It is a great source of potassium and also helps you keep a balance between electrolytes; it boosts your metabolism and builds your muscles.
- Blood pressure– The presence of potassium in the jaggery helps maintain blood pressure in the body, and regulate blood flow.
- Source of energy– jaggery is one of the greatest sources of energy. You can replace sugar with jaggery. Jaggery also helps you prevent fatigue.
- Menstrual pain– Jaggery can relieve menstrual pain and cramps. It enhances your mood and reduces frustration.
- Anemia-jaggery regulates the flow of blood considering adequate levels of RBC which is required to maintain blood flow and HB. It puts iron and foliates in your body, which further prevents anaemia.
- Purifies blood– Jaggery is a natural cleansing agent, it purifies the blood and other parts of the body.
- Detoxifies the liver– jaggery removes all the harmful toxic gases from one’s body and also helps in the detoxification of the liver. It reduces the risk of various liver-related diseases.
- Constipation– jaggery stimulates digestion and bowel movements.
- Cough and cold– jaggery has medicinal properties and hence can prevent cough and cold. Consuming jaggery produces heat in the body, which helps to fight against the flu cough and cold. Jaggery is mostly consumed with milk or hot tea.
- Joint pain– Consuming jaggery can help people suffering from arthritis and give you instant relief. It is normally consumed with Ginger because both of them are medicinal elements.
- Immunity booster– it is the immunity booster as it contains zinc and selenium. It prevents your body from damaging and helps you fight against infections.
- Urinary tract problems– People suffering from urinary infections probably need to consume jaggery as it reduces inflammation of the bladder, improves smooth flow and stimulates urination.
- Intestinal health – jaggery is rich in magnesium and fulfils the daily requirement of 4% and minerals in our lives. Hence, eating jaggery is good for your intestinal health and also other parts of the body.
- Healthifies Skin -Jaggery cleanses the blood and boosts haemoglobin levels, making it helpful in treating acne and making the skin healthier. Jaggery contains glycolic acid, which helps repair skin irregularities and promotes clean skin. The skin benefits of jaggery are enhanced when combined with sesame seeds.
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Jaggery benefits for skin
It is not only beneficial for the internal body but can also help your skin glow and bring glamour in Day to day lives. Here is how jaggery can help your skin to improve. skin benefits of having jaggery are
- Eating jaggery helps you reduce pimple pain and agony. Consuming one cube of jaggery daily helps remove spots on the skin makes complexion fair and relieves you from pimples. It is one of the skin benefits of jaggery.
- Consuming jaggery can also be said as an anti-ageing element. It prevents your skin from wrinkling and is treated as an Ayurveda medicine Taken with sesame seeds and essential herbs. It is an aid to premature ageing.
- Jaggery also helps in hair extension. You can mix jaggery with Multani Mitti and water, and apply it for 10 minutes on hair. Rinse your hair well to get strong and shiny hair
- Jaggery also acts as a skin-softening agent. Mix honey with lemon juice and jaggery, apply it on your face for a few minutes and wash it with lukewarm water. This makes your skin look fresh and rejuvenating as it is a skin benefit of having jaggery
- It helps in removing pigmentation from the skin. Apart from this it even lightens your skin texture and makes you look fair. Generally, one cube of jaggery is mixed with 1 tablespoon of tomato juice and lemon juice along with turmeric powder. It is applied to the skin for 15 minutes. Once it starts drying massage it and wash it off with lukewarm water. The process is simple and helps your skin look active. there are various skin benefits of having jaggery.
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Jaggery vs sugar
Numerous health experts propose combining sugar with jaggery to provide a sweetener with better quality values. Although all can be refined, sugar is mainly transparent, white crystals, while jaggery is be colour light brown or dark brown.
The former undergoes stringent industrial procedures, such as charcoal treatment, which is the reason why its nutritional value is lost. On the other side, the latter does not require undue treatment, save for boiling sugarcane syrup. It preserves traces of titanium, mineral salts, and fibre.
More on Jaggery Vs Sugar
These minerals and phytochemicals from plants are valuable treatments for a variety of illnesses. Apart from a variety of other mind-blowing health advantages, this natural sweetener is an excellent way to enhance immunity, control body temperature, strengthen the skin, improve digestion and relieve joint pains. Jaggery is naturally cooked without the use of any ingredients, preservatives or synthetic additives.
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Hence, it contains many proteins, nutrients, and vitamins. mostly golden brown sweeteners and brown sugar were considered the same. Nonetheless, brown sugar is derived either directly from cane juice or from raw sugar processing. All situations require molasses, syrups, and demerara to be included in a number. And brown sugar also contains unhealthy additives. It is easier to add brown sugar than to add processed white sugar but jaggery is a much better option. This is enough about jaggery vs sugar and obviously, jaggery wins.
Disadvantages of jaggery
There are always two sides to a coin. Jaggery also has some disadvantages apart from the advantages. It is a fact that it helps your body and skin to remain healthy and functioning. There are various health and skin benefits of having jaggery but have disadvantages too. Sometimes it is harmful to have jaggery in large quantities, especially for diabetic persons. So here is a list of disadvantages of consuming jaggery.
- Consuming a large amount of jaggery leads to weight gain. It contains 385 cal in hundred grams which are a burden to lose. Consuming less amount of jaggery would not lead to weight gain but then the large amount will lead to weight gain. Jaggery is rich in carbs which is not an essential element for weight loss. So if you’re planning to go on a diet, avoid using large chunks of jaggery.
- Jaggery helps in maintaining sugar levels but if you consume it in a large amount, it can inflate your sugar levels. 10 g of jaggery contains 9.7 g of sugar which is sufficient to enhance your blood sugar level.
- People consuming large chunks of jaggery are prone to parasitic infections making it a disadvantage. This happens because at times jaggery is not prepared properly and has impurities in it. Hygienic conditions can also be a cause of parasitic infections.
- It can lead to indigestion and diarrhoea if eaten in a large amount. It prevents constipation but that does not mean that it won’t have any disadvantages.
- Jaggery is a warm substance and can lead to nose bleeding. It is advised to avoid eating large chunks of jaggery, especially in summer due to extensive heat. It is one of the most threatening Disadvantages you need to avoid.
- Other disadvantages can be that it leads to various other problems like rheumatoid arthritis and can increase inflammation.
In the end, we can say that consuming jaggery in a small amount and at the right point of time are advantageous to your body and skin. But if you consume jaggery in large amounts then it may cause harm. Especially people who have fluctuating blood pressure, sugar levels, weight gain and diabetes should avoid consuming jaggery, consuming jaggery is a Disadvantage and would harm the body.
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