Benefits of Jaggery for Health – More than being just a Food
Just by the reason that the physical appearance is not so eye-catching the present generation avoids lot many edibles which have extremely positive effects on our health. One amongst those which is efficient in improving our health is “Jaggery.” The moment when you read the above line the first substitute you think off is “Sugar.” You may have doubt that when we have the purified and refined product sugar, why one should opt for Jaggery. But with this article, I am sure you will realize that health benefits of jaggery are damn high compared to sugar and almost equal to the highly efficient edible “Honey.” Though it is well known to the entire world, it has its prominence and efficient usage in East Asia countries like China, India, Japan, etc.
“Jaggery” widely used as a natural sweetening agent in cooking just like the white sugar. Though the prime purpose is to sweeten the taste it also has the medicinal values that help in maitaining the health. Even some medicines made in Ayurveda use it to add up jaggery health benefits to the medicine. One shouldn’t neglect the gospel truth that benefits of jaggery for skin and hair are noticeable.
An equal quantity of sugar and jaggery have the same amount of calories, but the benefits of Jaggery seems to be high, as its unrefined nature doesn’t dissolve into the blood as fast as sugar. It seems no surprising fact that our elders lived happily without affected by “Diabetes” as their diet consisted of “Jaggery” to make sweets instead of Sugar. Though the sugar alone is not the prime factor causing the disease, it also plays the catalyst role. Even doctors also suggest replacing the sweetening agent from white sugar to jaggery in our day to day life.
Rich in Vitamins and Natural Minerals:
Health Benefits of Jaggery are high as the preparation is so natural and not filtering out any useful substances of plant synthesized from it, Jaggery is very rich in minerals and vitamins and compared as healthy as raw sugarcane. It contains magnesium, iron and most importantly potassium. Jaggery is generally suggested for the disease “Anemia” (reduced red blood cells in the body due to the deficiency of iron) as it is rich in iron and also the minerals which help blood in absorbing iron.
Benefits of Jaggery for Health:
The manufacturing process itself makes Jaggery a good and healthy dietary product. Generally the crushed and unfiltered juice of sugarcane is treated with lime and exposed to heat until it becomes one-third of its original quantity, the dirt and wood remains are filtered by the centrifugal effect during the process of preparation. As a result, a thick semisolid substance called Jaggery is formed, which has sugars in the form of Sucrose (Hard to break compared to glucose). This property of jaggery is no short of sweetness and healthy as the sucrose particles are hard to break and dissolve in the blood increasing blood sugar levels. There are also the remains of sugarcane present in jaggery which are actually rich in fiber. So the manufacturing of jaggery has a unique importance that even if the filtration is not done properly, it has no side effects but aids to our health.
Jaggery is considered as the best purifier of blood. As it is abundant in minerals, it regulates the blood to cellular functions, thus preventing the impurities in the blood. People who generally work in areas of polluted air and dusty environments are advised to take jaggery as it cleans up the respiratory system by absorbing the settled dust particles in the ducts and respiratory canals and also maintains the functionality of digestive system sound. Even it is recommended by Ayurveda as Jaggery benefits are numerous in washing away the respiratory problems.
The rich source fiber in Jaggery reduces constipation and makes the bowel movements flexible. It is generally taken to reduce the joint pains and prolonged weakness. Jaggery though has its positive effect on entire health, but its main advantages get reflected on respiratory and digestive systems.
Prevents Blood Disorders:
Jaggery naturally a rich source of minerals. Especially, iron ensures the maintenance of proportion of red blood cell count required for preventing the disease called Anemia.
It maintains not only the number of blood cells but also the essential protein molecule “Hemoglobin” in blood. This substance mainly purifies the blood as it carries the fuel Oxygen to all body parts and carbon-di-oxide from body parts to lungs thus maintaining the respiratory system sound. This reason proves that the health benefits of jaggery are commendable regarding cleansing of the blood.
Treats Pregnancy and Menstrual problems:
As any other problems in the body are associated with the nature of the blood and its excellent functionality, the well-maintained blood relieves women from most of the menstrual problems. Jaggery keeps the blood in good condition and also due to the rich source of nutrients and minerals, it helps in wellbeing.
Due to the presence of high volumes of sugars jaggery benefits in providing instant energy and prevents us from weakness. Generally, elders suggest taking sugar or jaggery when we faint or get sunstrokes as they induce glucose and raise the blood sugar levels instantly.
Cough and Throat Infections:
Jaggery combined with ginger is an effective way to get rid of throat infections. The presence of high quantity of minerals absorb the toxic elements present in the air we inhale, thus preventing infections and cleansing up the respiratory system.
Also, Jaggery benefits get rid of headaches and migraine. It not only helps in reducing the headaches but also refreshes your mood by secreting the hormones which relieve tension. It is medically proven that premenstrual syndrome problems (Sudden mood changes in women during periods) can be avoided by having jaggery.
Improves Digestive System:
Over the past 2-3 decades, it lost the prominence but our elder’s advice to have a piece of jaggery after the meal as it promotes the digestion of food. Jaggery benefits in secreting the enzymes like lipases, proteases, and acetic acid which are used to facilitate the digestion process.
It is not the astonishing fact that the modern day restaurants make the desserts mostly made of jaggery after the meal just inspired by the ancient traditions but not losing the importance of its health benefits.
Jaggery also helps in cleansing up the intestinal linings and wash away the undigested food from the body thereby preventing the formation of toxic substances from stagnant food.
Jaggery Health Benefits Weight Loss:
Though it is a rich source of sugars which increases the body density as these sugars are insoluble in blood they usually get washed away from the body in the process of metabolism. The abundant levels of minerals especially the potassium helps in converting the body fats to muscles this, in turn, reduces the body weight. Jaggery taken combined with sprouts is an effective way to lose the weight.
There is a misconception in some people who go to the gym that they gain weight and body mass by taking jaggery and sprouts, but they actually convert the body fats to muscles. So I recommend people who are skinny not to use excessive amounts of jaggery.
Jaggery for Increasing Bone Density:
Not just because of the presence of calcium in the milk is it recommended for bones but also contains the minerals like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium which maintains the bone health. These minerals are in enormously in high levels in jaggery when compared to milk. So it is suggested for thin people to take jaggery for health maintenance of bones. Often people end up taking jaggery after having the excessive foods which cause joint pains. One of the bone disease named “Arthritis” can be effectively eliminated by consuming milk and jaggery on a daily basis.
Liver Functions and Urinary Problems:
Liver is the key organ in the human body which helps in breaking up sugar molecules in the blood. The minerals present in the jaggery detoxifies and boosts up the liver functioning by sharing the workload.
Just as the way Lime water and sugarcane juices in summer regulates the water content in the body and reduces the sunstroke effects thereby lessen the problem in urine passing, the byproduct of sugarcane also helps in relieving humans from such problems. Health benefits of jaggery extend its importance not only to the invisible inner parts of the body but also for skin and hair.
Jaggery In Various Treatments:
Jaggery not only useful to treat urinary problems for men but also plays an effective role in increasing the sperm production and maintaining its density.
Generally, jaggery taken along with ginger or any citrus fruits increases the capacity of the blood to absorb iron which helps maintain the sound health of hair.
Jaggery helps maintain the body temperature. The insoluble sugars and carbohydrates present in it keep the warmth in blood. People who are suffering from asthma are advised to take jaggery which helps in maintaining the body temperatures constant all the times irrespective of environmental conditions.
The taste itself is so sweet; it induces the sugars into the blood so fast as compared to any other edibles. This is the prime factor for generating instant energy in the body and keeps us away from illness and any other weakness.
Our subconscious mind works in different ways according to our likes and dislikes. Generally, the sights, feelings, the taste of the food we consume decides the hormone secretion in our body. Jaggery health benefits in secreting endorphin hormone also known as happy hormones. So it is also suggested to take for the sudden mood swings. So “Jaggery for health” can not only be stated in terms of physical fitness but also aids man psychologically.
Jaggery for Skin:
Along with the rich source of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, it is also “Glycolic Acid” in sufficient quantities to maintain the good health of the skin. This glycolic acid helps to get rid of skin blemishes like scars, wrinkles, acne and also aging of the skin. Not only as the raw form but jaggery can also be applied to the skin as a face pack. The well-known ingredients honey, lime which helps to make the skin glossy can be mixed with jaggery powder and when applied to the skin can drastically change the skin and makes it more soften and attractive.
Benefits of Jaggery for skin shows marvelous results even on the hereditary skin diseases. Hyperpigmentation, a skin disease inherited from the ancestors and also the dark spots on the skin can be treated by jaggery. 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of black tea, 3-4 tablespoons of any citrus fruit juice applied along with jaggery powder for fifteen minutes and twice a week can improve the skin to a great extent.
Benefits of Jaggery for Hair:
Jaggery also helps in maintaining the health condition of hair. As it is a rich source of iron and another mineral it reduces the hair fall and also makes it silky. A paste made with the mixture of jaggery powder, fullers earth, and water when applied to the hair regularly makes the hair shiny, silky and strong.
Knowing all these health benefits, one cannot simply avoid taking it regularly. Unlike in the past decades even the manufacturers also taking steps to make this ingredient more attractive and the filtration process has also improved. So I suggest you all have it more and lead a healthy and happy life.
Kranthi Kumar Maska is a profound blogger, entrepreneur who predominately writes on Health, Travel, Lifestyle. He is a certified writer in Nutrition, Health care, and Diet. “The best in you comes out when you have nothing in your favour” is what Kranthi believes in. He has a lot of interests, out of which writing is his love, and “Digital Marketing” is his passion.