What did you resolve to do for your health in the new year? I know about friends, who promised to exercise more, and others who resolved to eat healthy. And, there are some who vowed to stay off sugar for better health and hence opted for a healthier sweetener–JAGGERY.
There have been discussions and arguments on whether jaggery is, indeed, better than sugar, or, if it is really a healthier option.
It really depends upon the processing of the sugarcane juice that decides which is better–sugar or jaggery.
Sugar and jaggery are both prepared from sugarcane juice. However, in the case of sugar, it goes through a longer process wherein charcoal is introduced to help get rid of the extraneous particles. This refining process robs the sugar of all its nutrients.
In the case of jaggery, once the sugarcane juice has been boiled, the resultant thick paste is poured into moulds to give it a solid shape. This process retains the nutritive value and gives jaggery an edge over sugar.
Let’s take a look at how nutritions jaggery really is.
5 reasons to replace sugar with jaggery:
- Jaggery is full of antioxidants and helps not only treat minor ailments, but is also used to strengthen the immune system and keep infections at bay.
- A piece of jaggery eaten after meals aids digestion. It helps find relief from constipation by activating the digestive enzymes in our body. Digestive enzymes break down proteins and fats and assist in their digestion.
- Jaggery works as a great detoxifying agent by flushing out toxins from the liver.
- A small piece of jaggery eaten everyday may also help deal with mood swings, menstrual cramps and abdominal pain during menstruation.
- Jaggery works as a better energy booster as compared to sugar as it is also full of minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper as well as B vitamins. Sugar, on the other hand, has zero nutritional value. It is considered to be a source of “empty calories” and is shunned by health and fitness freaks.
However, one needs to limit their intake of jaggery, especially those suffering from diabetes as it does contain a lot of calories (383 per 100 Gms).
So, go ahead and swap the sugar with jaggery (in powder form) in your coffee or tea to boost your energy and mood.
Or, consume a piece of jaggery with raw peanuts to keep your joints healthy.
Or, eat a piece of jaggery after meals to aid digestion and also as a dessert if you are on a weight management program.
But, do so in moderation, because as you know, too much of something can be bad for you!