Gur or jaggery is generally made by boiling concentrated and raw sugarcane juice until it solidifies. It is better in comparison to white sugar which simply adds extra calories to the human body. Jaggery comes with a number of health advantages like its ability of cleansing the human body; supporting digestion and offering good quantities of minerals.
Jaggery is unrefined sugar which is called “Bellam” in Telugu, “Gur” in Hindi, “Sharkara” in Malayalam, “Vellam” in Tamil, “Gul” in Marathi and “Bella” in Kannada. It is derived from concentrated raw sugarcane juice. However, it can also be made using different other sources like nolen gur or date palm and coconut sap. Jaggery that is made from the juice of raw and concentrated sugarcane is the one that is commonly used. Jaggery is made by boiling the juice of sugarcane and then heating it for producing thick crystals. Jaggery consists of sugar in the form of sucrose and is widely used in different food products in the form of a sweetener. It is considered healthier in comparison to refined sugar because there are different plant minerals and phytochemicals preserved in jaggery. There are a lot of people who avoid having jaggery mainly because of its raw appearance that is not very appealing. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to make it a regular and integral part of one’s diet because it offers essential nutrients and also because it is one of the most effective remedies for different medical problems.
The carbohydrate content of jaggery is around 98% while its sugar content is 97%. 10 grams of this unrefined sugar offers 38 calories. This Indian sweetener is one of the healthiest substitutes of chemically processed or industrial sugar. It is to be noted that the nutritional value of this unrefined sugar might not satisfy the mineral and vitamin requirements of individuals. However, these nutrients are also not found in the refined sugar that people have on a regular basis. Jaggery comes in colors ranging from dark brown to golden brown and consists of 20% invert sugars, 20% moisture and 50% sucrose. It is also effectively combined with coconut, peanuts, white sugar and condensed milk.
One of the most popular advantages of jaggery is that it possesses the ability of purifying blood. If consumed regularly, jaggery goes a long way in cleansing blood and in leaving the body healthy. It also helps in preventing different blood disorders and diseases by boosting the count of hemoglobin. Jaggery also boosts immunity and thus helps in the prevention of different blood-related problems
Jaggery is packed with minerals and antioxidants like selenium and zinc and these help in preventing free-radical damage. These minerals and antioxidants also help in boosting the body’s resistance to different infections.
Jaggery proves to be highly beneficial when used for beauty treatment. It comes loaded with several natural properties ensuring the health of the skin for a very long span of time. It is rich in its content of different minerals and vitamins and thus offers proper nourishment to the skin. Proper nourishment for the skin means healthy and glowing skin. Jaggery is also effective in preventing and treating different skin problems like pimples and acne
It is quite effective in maintaining proper functioning of the digestive system. Properly functioning digestive system means proper prevention of digestive issues and improvement in digestion at the same time. Jaggery stimulates the secretion of digestive enzyme and therefore speeds up the procedure of digestion. Proper digestion helps in regulating bowel movement and in preventing issues like constipation, intestinal worms and flatulence
The high mineral content of jaggery and high levels of potassium helps in the management of weight. This is done by reducing the retention of extra water in the human body. The potassium content of jaggery maintains electrolyte balance, improves metabolism and builds muscles help in weight loss.
Jaggery is one of the richest sources of iron and therefore it should be eaten in combination with foods that are rich in vitamin C. This helps in the absorption of iron within the body. Jaggery is considered one of the best sources of getting long, smooth, strong, black and healthy hair. Applying jaggery paste on hair prior to shampooing can help in making hair naturally long and beautiful.
Minor health issues like water retention, migraine, bloating and cough and cold that are experienced by individuals on a regular basis can easily be dealt with the help of jaggery. The only thing that needs to be done is mixing jaggery with warm water or adding it in tea for reaping instant benefits.
Women who experience mood swings prior to having their periods can greatly benefit from having jaggery. Mood swings are the cause of fluctuating hormone levels in the body. Jaggery helps in the release of happy hormones called endorphins. These relax the body making women feel better.
Jaggery also helps in preventing major issues faced with the nervous system of the body. It contains several natural properties which are of good help in keeping the nervous system functioning properly. This in turn helps individuals in staying healthy and normal.
Having jaggery on a regular basis can help in prevention of different respiratory issues like bronchitis and asthma. Experts are of the view that taking jaggery in the form of a natural sweetener in perfect combination with sesame seeds can be highly beneficial for the respiratory system in human beings. Jaggery contains properties that help in regulating the temperature of the body and this is something that is highly beneficial for the patients of asthma. It is also worth noting that jaggery contains anti-allergy properties as well
Jaggery by many people is used as a lining to coat the walls of earthen ovens. In many rural parts of India, jaggery has for decades been used a toothpaste. Inferior quality jaggery mixed with a little dust of tobacco and is used to clean the teeth. Jaggery is also used in cattle feed during winters as it helps them keep warm. it also increases the milk yield.
Consuming high amount of jaggery for a long time can lead to increase in weight. If not consumed in moderation, it may lead to increase in blood sugar levels. Consuming jaggery for a long period can result in intestinal worm infestation and parasitic infections.