Hand me roll of chapati with ghee and jaggery (gur), and I become that kid who could not have enough of this delicacy. So simple and yet so tempting. Come to think of it, jaggery always played a huge part in my family’s kitchen – whether as a snack, as a cure for cough (with some turmeric) or as an essential ingredient in making sweets.
In most modern households, jaggery’s importance might have diminished, but the gur-ol’ sweetener is healthy!
Here are 12 reasons why you must include jaggery in your diet:
- Do your parents and grandparents wind up their meals with a bite of jaggery? Jaggery is not just an easy dessert but also stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes and helps in the digestion of food.
- If you have had a very heavy meal, a bit of gur will accelerate digestion and prevent constipation, keeping your system happy.
- The golden sweetener also contains high iron levels which help in restoring haemoglobin levels. This helps purify blood.
- Purification of blood is good for the whole system – including the biggest organ, the skin. Clear, radiant skin is a sign of blood which is clear of toxins and regular consumption of small portions of gur allows you to have that soft skin you have always dreamt of.
- The lack of folic acid and iron are both responsible for anaemia (folate deficiency anaemia and iron deficiency anaemia, respectively). Jaggery is an excellent source of both these minerals, the regular consumption of which helps you prevent such conditions.
- Jaggery also contains traces of zinc and selenium as well as antioxidants – three necessary ingredients to boost your immunity. Wonder why our parents and grandparents made sweets with gur at the onset of winters? This is why! Pack your kitchen with healthy snacks.
- Do menstrual cramps restrict you to your bed? Periods need not be that bad. Make it a habit to have some jaggery regularly and the nutritious sweetener, with its many mineral contents, will help relax your cramps.
- Just 10 grams of jaggery gives you 4 per cent of your daily requirement of magnesium (16 mg magnesium in 10 grams of jaggery). Magnesium keeps your intestines healthy and strong.
- Also a great source of potassium, gur helps boost the metabolism of your body. Potassium is crucial for cellular biochemical reactions, for metabolism as well as for the synthesis of proteins from amino acids. It is also responsible for converting glucose to glycogen and storing it in the liver for energy.
- The sodium contents of jaggery, along with potassium, can also help regulate blood pressure.
- Dr Manoj Ahuja, tells NDTV, “If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, eating jaggery can provide you with much-needed relief.”
- Jaggery is also a very well-known body cleanser. From blood purification, as discussed above, to cleansing the respiratory tract, oesophagus, lungs, stomach and intestines, the sweetener will help clear your digestive and respiratory system.
Fair warning, don’t go overboard. After all, jaggery is also a form of sugar and though it is much healthier than processed sugar, its consumption needs to be regulated.
Secondly, there are several cases of jaggery adulteration in India. Processed sugar, extra sweetening processes and chemicals all form a part of this adulteration. Don’t fall for it.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)