Jaggery, which is also known as Gur is more than just a sweetener in many Indian homes, it is medicine, dessert and a staple. It is a healthy, natural product gifted by nature. It's common in most Indian homes, for it is tradition of elderly people to consume jaggery after finishing their meal.
You will be surprised to know that there are myriad traditional dishes that includes jaggery as one of the major ingredients. The Indian subcontinent call it by different names in different regions, but the emotion towards this deliciousness remains the same.
How is Jaggery Prepared?
The prime source of jaggery is undoubtedly sugarcane, but there are many other sources from where it can be extracted; This includes date palm, coconut sap, etc. Jaggery prepared from sugarcane is the unrefined form of sugar, where the molasses and crystals remain in the product. The final product may be a shade of brown.
Sugarcane is crushed for the extraction of their sweet sap, which is then made to stand in large containers for a long time. This is to remove the deposited impurities. Then the extract is boiled for hours with constant stirring.
During this process more impurities are skimmed off until a thick paste of the sweetner remains. This is then passed into the moulds for hardening and preparation for consumption.
Nutritional Information of Gur
As, I have mentioned above gur has several benefits. Taking about nutritional information of Gur; 20 gram of it has 9.7 gram of sugar, 9.8 gram carbohydrates apart from 38 calories. Each 20 gram of Gur also has 0.01 gram of protein, choline, betaine, Vitamin B12, B6, folate, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, and manganese.
15 Amazing Benefits of Jaggery (Gur)
Jaggery is the best known supplement for processed sugar or white sugar. It is health benefits have been known for ages and used mainly by the people of India and Africa. The digestive properties of jaggery made way for the habit of people consuming it after their meal. Here are 15 health benefits of Jaggery or Gur that you should know:
1. Calories Count and Nutritional Value
One of the major problems faced by people is the calorie content in white sugar. This leads to other major problems like diabetes and weight gain. Hence, it is necessary to have an idea of the nutritional content and value of jaggery.
There is a carbohydrate content of 9.6g, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, etc are also in valuable amount in 10 grams of jaggery. These nutritional content makes it the perfect consumable product during the winter months. It has the ability to keep the body warm and boosts the immunity level.
2. Contributes for Weight Loss
The 13.9 potassium in 10g of jaggery makes it very effective in the process of weight loss. The metabolic process in your body will be boosted with the help of potassium. Electrolyte balance, muscle building, reduced water retention, etc are other benefits of this mineral.
Hence, the role of jaggery in weight loss can be summed up with the presence of potassium alone. It is also a great supplement for your sweet craving and avoiding the use of white sugar in different kinds of dishes or drinks.
3. Controls Blood Pressure
The presence of potassium in jaggery (Gur) has another great boon, it controls blood pressure. Besides potassium, sodium which is found in an amount of 3.2 mg in 10g of jaggery, plays a major role in the control of blood pressure in the consumer.
Both minerals have the capacity to properly maintain acid levels in the human body. This acid level on the other hand aids in the control of blood pressure. Therefore, it is recommended to add jaggery to the diet of someone who suffers from blood pressure issues.
4. Energy Booster
Many people are now facing the issues of energy loss or fatigue. It is found that many are reaching their lowest point of energy level in very small periods of time. The consumption of sugar is said to have the ability of providing energy to help a person throughout his/her daily chores.
But white sugar has the monstrous effect of increasing your blood sugar level, causing even more serious issues.
Even though both white sugar and jaggery are both carbohydrates, the latter is more complex. This property helps in the retention of jaggery in your bloodstream for a longer time than the simpler sugar particles.
Sugar gets easily absorbed, thereby the property of raising blood sugar. Jaggery on the other hand remains in the blood, providing energy and relieving you from the fatigue condition.
5. Relieves from Menstrual Pain
Menstrual pain is something most women suffer from. It is almost difficult to overcome the cramps when you are menstruating. To avoid the increased effects of pain, many sort to consuming medications. But this can prove to be even more dangerous because of the side effects.
Another very difficult situation fought by menstruating is the uncontrollable mood swings and associated anger problems. Jaggery is a very effective solution for all these problems. Consuming a small portion of it daily can prove to be helpful.
The high mineral content helps in avoiding the cramps and the release of endorphins by eating jaggery can help in fighting the other PMS syndromes. This has no side effects like other medicines and can be taken with absolute confidence.
6. Prevents Anemia
Anemia is often found to be the deficiency of iron from the body. This then leads to the lowering of red blood cells causing fatigue or notable loss of energy from the body. It is normally pregnant ladies who are affected by this condition.
They will be having a loss of iron and folate from the body, causing energy loss. It is recommended that pregnant women include jaggery in their daily diet, to avoid this situation. The iron content in jaggery helps in maintaining the required amount of red blood cells. Thus anemic condition is prevented.
7. Purifies the Body
Human body may be filled with all kinds of impurities or toxic elements. It is necessary to get rid of these unwanted foreign elements from the blood, thereby cleansing the body as a whole. Jaggery has the ability to clean the respiratory tract, stomach, intestine, etc.
Thus the addition of this unrefined natural sugar helps in the total purification of the body. Many people who work in highly polluted surroundings are advised to consume a certain amount of jaggery to achieve clean and purified body.
8. Detoxifies Liver
As mentioned in the previous point, jaggery has very effective body cleansing properties. The toxins consumed through the daily diet is said to be piling up in the liver. This needs to be flushed out to avoid causing great levels of damage to the organ.
The consumption of Gur helps in removing these piled up toxins along with the other particles from your body. Thus your liver is detoxified as your body is cleansed by the consumption of jaggery.
9. Prevents Constipation
Constipation is a condition which can cause great amounts of distress to any person. It is also the sign of an unhealthy body. The metabolic activities will also seem to be at a great stress due to constipation. The hardened feces are another condition associated with constipation.
Jaggery helps in the activation of digestive enzymes in your body. This is a major step in relieving yourselves from the condition of constipation. Hence, the Indian tradition of slipping a piece of Gur into the mouth after a hearty meal!
10. Prevents Cold and Cough
The production of jaggery usually happens during the winter season. Its consumption also is at the peak during this time. This is because jaggery can help in providing warmth to the body. Adding jaggery to hot tea, coffee or water can help in preventing the cough and cold symptoms of the seasonal flu.
11. Reduces Joint Pain
Many people suffer from the problem of joint pain, causing distress in their day to day work. Jaggery helps in strengthening the bones, thereby reducing joint pain to a great extent. It is recommended to consume it by mixing in milk or eating with ginger.
12. Cures Respiratory Problems
The current atmospheric conditions caused by increased pollution levels have led to the hike in respiratory problems among people. Jaggery is a renowned remedy for these issues caused to the respiratory system, leading to conditions like asthma, bronchitis, etc.
Consuming jaggery with sesame seeds is said to have great effect in avoiding various respiratory problems. This natural sweetener has the ability to heal the airways and thus providing relief.
13. Boosts Immunity
The various contents in jaggery consists of antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium. There are all very effective in increasing immunity of the human body. This is done by providing a rise the level of hemoglobin in the system, thus leading to better immunity. The consumption of jaggery also reduces free radical damage in the body.
14. Cures Urinary Tract Problem
Since its obtained from sugar cane, jaggery possess the property of a diuretic. This simply helps in the smooth flow of urine by stimulation and reduction inflammation in the urinary bladder.
15. Keeps the Body Temperature Intact
We had already discussed the properties of jaggery when consumed during the winter season. It provides the necessary warmth to your body. But during summer this natural sweetener does the exact opposite.
When consumed with cold water, it can be very effective in cooling down your body. Thus it has a major role in maintaining the body temperature at any season.
Jaggery is therefore not just a sweetner, it is an overall health supplement. Follow the tradition of your elders by eating a piece of this sweetner after every yummy meal!
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