Jaggery – 15+ Amazing Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects of Jaggery
Jaggery is usually made by boiling and concentrating the liquid extract of sugarcane. Jaggery is considered as better than sugar as it provides fewer calories to the body. Jaggery has many health benefits such as- ability to cleanse the body internally, aids digestion process and provides a good amount of minerals to the body.
What is Jaggery?
Jaggery is unrefined. It is extracted from concentrated raw sugarcane. It is a healthy alternative to sugar. Apart from sugarcane, Jaggery can be made from other sources like- Nolen Gur, Date Palm and Coconut sap. Although honey and sugar contain the same amount of calories, Jaggery is considered to be relatively healthy because it carries a variety of vitamins and minerals that are considered essential for the human body. Sugarcane extracted jaggery is more popular and used worldwide than other types of it.
There are three main types of Jaggery. They are- Pure, Liquid and Fine textured jaggery. The color of jaggery can be different depending on its type. The darker jaggery tastes sweeter than the light colored ones. It is eaten in different countries of South and South-east Asia. Jaggery is widely used in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Moreover, Jaggery is an important part of Indian cuisine. In dishes like- sambar, rasam jaggery is used in a small quantity. Chikki- a favorite sweet for all age groups from children to grownups is made by adding jaggery with peanuts. Not only this, jaggery is also used to make alcoholic beverages, chocolates, candies, drinks and cakes.
Although some sources claim that Jaggery was brought to India by the Portuguese, it is more likely to have originated in the subcontinent. The Government of India claims that Ayurvedic medicine has been used by all practitioners for over 3000 years.
Maharashtra is the world’s largest producer of Jaggery. It is consumed widely in the USA, Asia and Africa. Different types of Jaggery such as coconut jaggery, date palm jaggery, tari jaggery etc are available in markets.
Jaggery is especially healthy for our body. It has an important place in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine. It is rich in iron which helps to prevent anemia. Taking a small amount of jaggery after a meal helps to digest the food. According to Ayurveda, regular consumption of jaggery improves eyesight. It is also very useful for curing skin problems like pimples and also helps to maintain body temperature. Jaggery is rich in magnesium which helps in relieving muscle, nerve and blood vessel fatigue. Jaggery contains glucose and sucrose which are good sources of energy nutrients needed by the body to function. Consuming jaggery also helps the body to fight against cough, indigestion, asthma, migraine and other health issues. This sweet substance provides instant energy to the body, thus it is consumed in case of body weakness.
According to a study every 100gm of Jaggery contains the following elements
- Calories : 838
- Sucrose : 65-85 grams
- Fructose or Glucose : 10-15
- Protein : 0.4 gram
- Fat : 0.1 gram
- Magnesium : 7-90 mg, or about 20% of the RDI
- Potassium : 1050 mg or 30% of the RDI
- Manganese : 0.2-0.5 mg or 10-20% of the RDI
Apart from these Jaggery also contains- Vitamins B, Minerals, which includes Calcium, Zinc, Phosphorus and Copper.
Various lingual names of Jaggery
- English : Jaggery
- Sanskrit : Guda
- Hindi : Gud
- Tamil : Vellam
- Telugu : Bellam
- Punjabi : Gura
- Marathi : Gula
- Malayalam : Mulla
- Kannada : Bella
- Bengali : Gura
- Nepali : Gud
Uses and Benefits of Jaggery
- Prevents Constipation:
Jaggery is especially useful for treating constipation. The Jaggery activates the digestive enzymes of the body, stimulates the circulation of the intestines and thus helps in preventing and relieving constipation. Constipation is a condition in which the bowel faces difficulty to cleanse itself; it is usually associated with hard stool. It also acts as a diuretic that can help improve bowel movements. After lunch, a small piece of sugar can start digestion, which is the key to good overall health.
- Detoxes the liver:
Jaggery is a natural body cleanser that reduces the workload of the liver. Jaggery helps in cleansing the liver by removing harmful toxins from the body. So if you want to effectively detoxify your body then you can consume this amount regularly.
- Treats flu like symptoms:
Jaggery helps to fight against cold-coughs etc. Jaggery can be mixed with hot water and consumed. Jaggery can be eaten with tea instead of sugar tea. It increases body temperature, this is why jaggery is popularly consumed in the winter season. The warmth of jaggery makes it an amazing sweetener positively affecting flu-fever.
- Blood purifier:
The benefits of Jaggery can be seen in purifying blood. It is one of the most common benefits of it if consumed on a regular basis. It cleanses the body, which in turn makes the body healthier. Clean blood means a healthy body and will make it free from any disease.
- Boost immunity:
Jaggery contains antioxidants and minerals such as zinc and selenium, which helps prevent free radicals damage as well as increase the body’s ability to fight against infections. Jaggery helps to increase the total count of hemoglobin in blood.
- Cleanses the body:
Jaggery is one of the best natural cleansers for the body, so it is recommended to eat jaggery to get rid of unwanted particles from the body. It efficiently cleanses the respiratory tract, lungs, intestine, stomach and alimentary canal/esophagus. People working in highly polluted areas such as factories, coal mines are advised to eat Jaggery.
- Eases Menstrual pain:
Jaggery – a nutrient rich sweet is an effective natural remedy for menstrual cycle disorder including cramps. If you have mood swings and PMS symptoms just before the menstruation period, you need to take a piece of jaggery regularly to fight the mentioned problems as it helps in releasing endorphins. These endorphins relax the body, which results in preventing premature menstruation.
- Prevents Anemia:
Jaggery contains iron and folate, which helps to prevent anemia by ensuring the normal levels of Red Blood Cells are maintained. It is also especially useful for pregnant women. In addition, it gives instant energy to the body.
- Boost Intestinal health:
Jaggery also increases intestinal strength due to its high magnesium content. Each 10 gram of jaggery contains 18 mg of magnesium which is 4% of the daily requirement of this mineral.
- Cools the stomach:
Jaggery contributes to maintaining a normal body temperature which helps in keeping the stomach cool. Experts suggest eating drinks/ juice made with chilled water and jaggery in summer seasons.
- Controls Blood pressure:
Jaggery contains potassium and sodium which plays an important role in maintaining the balance of acid levels in the body. This ensures that the normal level of blood pressure is maintained properly.
- Prevents Respiratory Problems:
Regular consumption of Jaggery can prevent many respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Experts recommend eating jaggery with oil to get its amazing benefits for the respiratory system.
- Relieves joint pain:
If you suffer from arthritis, eating Jaggery can help with health problems, says Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja of Sukhda hospital. It can be consumed with ginger to reduce joint pain and make them strong. Or you can eat jaggery mixed with milk; it will reduce joint related health issues.
- Weight loss:
Jaggery is especially effective in weight loss. This is because jaggery is a rich source of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain a healthy balance of electrolyte in blood as well as contributing in muscle build and improving metabolism. These factors play an important role in effective weight loss. Therefore, in order to lose unwanted body weight, jaggery can be considered as an important part of diet.
- Good source of energy:
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream and provides instant energy, while Jaggery is a complex carbohydrate that provides the body energy gradually and for a long period of time. This means that blood sugar levels do not rise immediately. It helps to prevent fatigue and weakness. However, it is recommended to consume a limited amount of jaggery as it contains few calories.
Uses of Jaggery
Jaggery can be used in many different ways –
- We can directly eat a small piece of it on a regular basis.
- We can make a variety of sweet dishes using jaggery.
- We can also eat jaggery by mixing it with milk, ginger, curd, hot water etc as a medicinal remedy.
- Jaggery can also be used to make traditional alcoholic beverages; such as- palm wine.
- It can also be used in various medicinal recipes for different types of health issues.
List of Jaggery Products
- Jaggery Powder Organic
- Jaggery Sugar Free
- Jaggery Biscuits and Cookies
- Jaggery Sugar Free Chocolate
Side effects of Jaggery
With all the benefits of Jaggery, there are some side effects too. They are –
- Consuming excessive amounts of jaggery for a long period of time can lead to weight gain.
- Excessive amounts of jaggery can also lead to increased levels of blood sugar.
- Consumption of jaggery for a long period of time can also result in intestinal infection and parasitic infections.
Of course, it is not advisable to use too much of anything. Thus, it should be used in the right amount on a regular basis considering the advantages and disadvantages of Jaggery in order to gain its benefits. It is especially useful in the prevention of diseases, although it should be taken with the advice of a doctor/expert before using it for any medicinal purpose.
From the above article, you must have come to know about Jaggery till now. The article included the types, major elements, uses, health benefits, and side effects of Jaggery. We hope the information carried by the above article will help you in different ways for various health problems. Thank You!