Jaggery (Gud in hindi) is used traditionally as a natural sweetener. Jaggery is made from sugarcane like white sugar. But white sugar is totally refined while jaggery is less refined. According to Ayurveda, jaggery has warming property and produces heat and instant energy. Therefore it is always better to consume jaggery in winter season. Jaggery is also good to balance the Vata Dosha.
Nutritional Value Comparison
If you see jaggery from a nutritional point of view, it has more value and medicinal property as compared to other sweeteners such as sugar.
Jaggery is a natural alternative to refined sugar. Iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin B-1, B-6 are found inside jaggery.
If we compare it with white sugar then refined sugar has just calories. Refined sugar has no vitamins, no protein, no iron, nothing except calories. So in this situation, jaggery is much better than sugar.
So if we compare it with sugar, we get many benefits from jaggery which we do not get from sugar.
Health Benefits of Jaggery
Many phenolic compounds are also found in jaggery and these belong to the family of compounds, which work to reduce oxidative stress inside our body and increase our immunity.
Consuming 10 grams of jaggery after meal provides you with iron and minerals that your body needs throughout the day.
Jaggery also improves our digestion and works to remove many toxic substances from the body. Eating a piece of jaggery after lunch provides relief from acidity and flatulence.
The sodium and potassium in jaggery regulates blood pressure.
In Winter the pain relieving quality of jaggery, this gives relief to joint pains.
If you suffer from cold and cough, eat a small piece of jaggery and drink warm milk before going to sleep at night.
According to Ayurveda, jaggery is an excellent remedy for treating respiratory disorders. It has anti-allergic property, it eliminates the toxins and any mucus out of the respiratory tract. It helps in treating asthma and congestion.
Whenever you feel weak or tired in a day, eat jaggery because it increases energy in your body.
You can protect yourself from various allergies by eating a small piece of jaggery every day.
Jaggery consumption improves vision because it contains vitamin-A.
Regular consumption of jaggery eliminates toxins from the body and skin remains healthy and glowing in Winter.
Jaggery has lots of iron. Consumption of jaggery daily prevents anemia.
Eating jaggery and ghee together reduces ear ache.
Now that we have seen so many benefits of jaggery, we should now know which jaggery is best to eat.
Choose dark and aged jaggery instead of light colored jaggery which may be likely treated with chemicals.
Now let’s talk about whether you can really use jaggery instead of sugar. If we use jaggery in place of sugar, are there any additional benefits apart from being more nutritious? We need to understand what is the difference between jaggery and sugar.
Calories Content Comparision
When you compare the calories of both, refined sugar and jaggery have similar calories. You will get almost the same calories in one teaspoon of powdered jaggery as you will get in one teaspoon of white sugar. So since it has the same amount of calories, using jaggery will not give you any benefit in terms of calories.
If jaggery is compared with sugar then jaggery has less sweetness. So if you take one spoon of sugar in tea then to get the same sweetness you will have to add about two to three spoons of jaggery. Therefore, by consuming jaggery instead of sugar, you will consume more calories.
You are getting nutritional value but it is in very less quantity as jaggery will give you more calories and can make you fat. So replacing sugar with jaggery will benefit only when you are eating jaggery in limit.
Is Jaggery Good For Diabetes
One good thing that you should know is that the carbohydrates present inside jaggery are quite complex, it consists of long chain carbohydrates. These long chain carbohydrates take time to digest. This happens because it is not in refined form so it gets digested in our stomach itself and does not enter the blood immediately.
It also takes some time to digest and enter the blood. So this gives you the advantage that your blood sugar does not increase suddenly. For example, if you eat sugar, your blood sugar level suddenly increases as soon as you eat it, then suddenly insulin starts coming and then the blood sugar level suddenly decreases. Which is very bad for you, it creates insulin resistance in you.
Now because jaggery has nice complex carbohydrates, they’re taking longer to digest, they’re taking longer to be absorbed into the blood stream. Being absorbed slowly, your blood sugar doesn’t spike immediately. This maintains your insulin level. Your risk of developing diabetes in the future is slightly reduced.
So using jaggery gives you this benefit because it is the unrefined form. Always consult with your health provider before making any change in your diet pattern. Thanks for reading this article on Garbhgyan.com.