used by my elders but neglected by me the question is why? I was not aware of the benefits of jaggery (gur), gur takes me down memory lane when I was a very small girl visiting my (late) grandma in Pakistan, how she would end her meal with a piece of jaggery but it would make me wonder, why? when there was indulging desserts sitting in front of her, why would she want to eat a piece of jaggery, she must have known the benefits, She was a beautiful woman who aged very gracefully. Not till recently I was researching white sugar alternatives, it was then I came across jaggery, I had a quick read through I was amazed by the health benefits of jaggery.
what is jaggery
jaggery is a unrefined sugar made from the sap or juice of the plants mostly sugar cane and date palm juice, the juice is extracted and placed into a enormous bowl it is boiled at various temperatures and left to cool down, no chemicals are added during the process of making the jaggery so all the nutrients are retained, it is golden to dark brown in colour, it’s taste reminds me off rich mollases, it is usually made in Pakistan and India and other countries too but Known with a different name which I am not very much aware of.
Health benefits of jaggery (gur)
jaggery is rich in nutrients and minerals, jaggery is rich in fibre, it is known to activate the digestive enzymes in the body, it stimulates bowel movements thus preventing constipation. Jaggery is a natural internal cleanser which cleanses and detoxifies the liver, flushes out the toxins from the body, it cleans the respiratory tract, stomach and intestines.
Jaggery contains calcium which helps in strengthening your bones and relieving joint pain, jaggery is beneficial to those suffering from arthritis due to its warm nature it can ease the pain of arthritis, just by adding a spoonful of jaggery or jaggery powder into a glass of warm milk and drinking it everyday. Jaggery can help you with your height if you are under the age where the growth hormone stops.
jaggery can help to calm your mood as it contains magnesium which is why it is recommended when you are menstruating, it can help with pre menstrual tension and the cramps you have during your period, it is also beneficial for women to take after giving birth for a certain amount of time as you lack magnesium in the body after giving birth. It can help relax the nervous system.
Jaggery can also aid in regulating the blood pressure, the sodium present in the jaggery ensures that your body keeps the right balance of acids in its cells. Feeling low on iron, just take a bite of a piece of jaggery, it contains iron which can offset the deficiency that causes anemia.
jaggery can help with headaches, it can aid in weight loss, jaggery is considered the best to take during the winter as it is fresh during the season, it boosts your immunity so you do not suffer from viral infections and colds due to the weather change, it can help control sinus infections, chesty coughs, dry coughs, itching due to dryness.
jaggery contains the same amount of calories as white sugar but white sugar is refined and has no benefits, jaggery is unrefined, it contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, jaggery is also available in the form of powder which is known as shakkar it is widely available in all the countries where jaggery (gur) would be hard to get.
Jaggery should not be consumed by those who have diabetes as it causes high blood glucose response, If you consume too much jaggery it can cause you indigestion, too much of anything can be bad for the health.
Even though jaggery contains a high amount of minerals and vitamins it does not mean that you should exceed the daily amount as it contains the same amount of calories, just alternate the white sugar for jaggery powder which you can buy in your local Indian store. I will add some recipes later on my blog using shakkar as gur is not available to me in the uk, i have bought some in the past but it tasted completely off, so I prefer using shakkar. If you live in Pakistan and India and other surrounding countries where jaggery is available take full advantage by incorporating jaggery in your daily life. Make sure you take 100% pure jaggery as some do contain nuts and other things.
it is important for you to know what is good for your body, your skin and your hair, if you are allergic to jaggery then please do avoid it, so take care of yourselves, remember to keep smiling as you are amazing just the way you are!!