Jaggery also known as gud, is the storehouse of healthy nutrients. This golden-yellow somewhat brownish, irregularly rotund-shaped superfood is gaining popularity all over the world.
This natural sweetener is fast replacing sugar as a healthy option. Also called “non-centrifugal sugar” or “superfood sweetener”, jaggery is the unrefined sugar produced mainly in Asia and Africa. About 70% of the world’s jaggery is produced in India.
It is most commonly made from sugarcane by boiling raw, concentrated sugarcane juice till it becomes solid. In some countries it is also made from the sap of coconut and date palm.
Color of jaggery can range from golden-yellow to dark brown. The colour and texture are the determining factors in grading jaggery. The lighter jaggery contains more than 70% sucrose.
Jaggery is mainly sold in solid forms but is also found in liquid and granulated forms. Powdered jaggery is also gaining popularity for its ease of use.
Winter being the season of fresh jaggery, jaggery is best consumed in winter months.
Health benefits of jaggery :
- Jaggery prevents constipation by aiding digestion
- Jaggery is a good detox. It cleanses the liver by flushing out toxins from the body
- It is a good antioxidant, loaded with zinc and selenium. These minerals prevent free radicals that are responsible for early ageing
- Jaggery is loaded with many vital vitamins and minerals, as such, it boosts immunity and helps fight infection
- Jaggery controls the temperature of the body and helps in treating cold and cough by keeping the body warm
- Jaggery is known to prevent premenstrual symptoms in women like mood swings, abdominal pain and menstrual cramps
- Being a natural sweetener, jaggery provides energy for a longer period of time
- Jaggery is a great blood purifier. If consumed regularly and in moderation, it cleanses the blood and keeps body healthy
- Being rich in Iron and Folate, jaggery prevents anaemia. It is also good for intestinal health
Some precautions while consuming jaggery
- Being high in calories, it is suggested that you consume jaggery in moderation
- Even if it is a natural sweetener, diabetic patients are advised to monitor the consumption of jaggery as it can fluctuate blood sugar levels
- Consuming jaggery can lead to weight gain
How to eat jaggery?
- One of the most heavenly ways to eat jaggery is with Makki Ki Roti or parantha topped with a generous dollop of ghee
- Sipping the aromatic tea with the piece of jaggery is an experience of pure bliss
- Gud Ki Roti (naan filled with powdered jaggery or liquid jaggery mixed with saunf) is one delicacy that most Indians have grown up eating
- A piece of jaggery can be eaten post-lunch or dinner every winter
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