As sankrat is nearing, thought of sharing my views and knowledge on Jaggery aka as “Gud”. Jaggery is the base used to make the special Til ladoos for this festival of kites. As this festival approaches ladies are busy making til ladoos, rice puffs ladoos, etc.
Jaggery is one of the common sweeteners used in the preparation of various dishes in many parts of the world. Although jaggery and sugar are formed from the same sources, they are much different in their appearance, properties and benefits. Jaggery is prepared from the sap or juice of plants such as sugarcane and date palm. It is used to make candies, toffees, jaggery cakes and many other sweet preparations. It is also used in the preparation of alcoholic beverages. Jaggery is a healthy alternative to white sugar and is commonly known as ‘medicinal sugar’, because of its various health benefits.
Jaggery is used to make numerous sweet and savory preparations, especially is Asian population. Gujarati’s use jaggery in all their food preparations. Jaggery have many health benefits as compared to sugar.
Benefits of Jaggery
- The process of making jaggery which does not involve any chemical agents will have all natural mineral salts retained in it.
- Cleansing Agent: Jaggery is one of the best natural cleansing agent for our body which effectively cleans the respiratory tracts, food pipe, lungs, stomach and intestines. It helps the body to get away with unwanted particles and thus provides relief from constipation.
- Better Digestion:Jaggery improves digestion. Jaggery activates the various digestive enzymes and itself gets converted to acetic acid, thus speeding up digestion.
- Mineral Source: It is considered as a nutrients storehouse. It has minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, etc. Jaggery is a rich source of many vital minerals that are required by the body for normal growth and functioning.
- Jaggery is used since many decades as medicine to treat problems such as dry cough, cold and asthma.
- Jaggery helps in treating conditions like indigestion and constipation.
- Jaggery helps in promoting relaxation of muscles, nerves and blood vessels, thus enhancing their functions.
- Jaggery is also a good source of magnesium which is beneficial for the muscles, nerves and blood vessels and may also help relieve fatigue.
- Jaggery helps to relieve the most uncomfortable and painful headaches, Migranes.
- Jaggery is a rich source of iron and is therefore, very good for anemic people, as it increases the hemoglobin level in the blood. It helps regulate menstruation cycle in women and is a good source of iron.
- Jaggery has strong antioxidant properties and protects our body cells from the damage caused by free radicals due to oxidative stress.
- Jaggery has the ability to purify blood and helps in regulating the liver function.
- A mixture of jaggery and dry ginger powder (suth ) taken with warm water can stop hiccups.
- Jaggery helps in maintaining blood pressure and also helps the body to flush all the toxins.
- Jaggery is loaded with many essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, that play a key role in many metabolic processes.
- Jaggery has potassium, helps in reducing bloating and water retention.
Though Jaggery has above benefits, Diabetics are not allowed to consume it as it is also a form of sugar. It can be included in your diet only with consultation of your diabetologist and Registered Dietitian.