Jaggery, otherwise known as gur, is a pure, unrefined form of sugar and is used as a healthy sweetener in many dishes (1). This natural sweetener is healthier than sugar. It comes from the process of boiling sugarcane, date palm, and toddy palm tree. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which are more beneficial to hair care, skincare, and all-over health (2). Its essential nutrients are eliminated during the refining cycle to get sugar.
Besides, adding too much white sugar to your diet may increase the health risks in your body. Since the winter season can create many health risks like cold, fever, skin irritations, etc., it is advisable to include jaggery as part of your daily diet instead of white sugar, which offers multiple health benefits.
Common Health Benefits of Jaggery
1. Treats Common Cold and Flu
Jaggery helps protect your body against common flu and cough as it is the goodness of minerals and vitamins. It is an easy and effective home remedy to prevent flu-like symptoms. Just add a little pinch of gur in your tea instead of sugar, or mix it with ginger powder and warm water to prevent cough naturally.
2. Relieves Menstrual Cramps
Jaggery is rich in essential nutrients and is an effective natural treatment for menstrual problems, especially menstrual cramps. It can make you feel good and provides relief from menstrual cramps. Regular consumption of jaggery can help release Endorphins, the happy hormones in the body, and regulates blood flow. Drink a glass of warm milk by adding a small amount of jaggery twice a day, ensuring a happy period.
3. Promotes Skin Health
Your skin gets too dry in the winter months, so you have to take more care of them to get healthy and soft skin. No worries, jaggery provides extra nourishment by eating it every day. When your skin gets proper hydration can help to stay glowing and healthy. It also helps prevent skin problems such as pimples, acne, wrinkles, and dark spots.
4. Boosts Immune System
Jaggery fights against certain infections in the human body as it has high levels of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. It can also help protect your lungs from poisonous pollutants in the air (3). Besides, jaggery helps purify the blood vessels and increases hemoglobin levels in the blood. It is high in iron, which can help to prevent anemia.
5. Helps Indigestion
The main reason for indigestion is weak digestive fire. Jaggery aids in improving digestion by activating the digestive enzymes in the stomach, thus helping in the proper digestion of food (4). Eating a small piece of jaggery every day helps enhance the digestive fire within the body; it stimulates the proper bowel movement and boosts digestion, preventing constipation and other digestive problems.
6. Aids Weight Loss
Metabolism helps to burn the fat around the belly area faster. Jaggery helps lose weight as it is a high amount of potassium, which is responsible for improving metabolism and reducing water retention in the body (5). Therefore, consuming this sweet nutrient-rich food in monitored amounts daily can aid in weight loss.
Here we list some food combinations with jaggery you must try in the winter;
- Peanuts with jaggery – Peanuts are a good source of proteins, fat, and fiber. Eating jaggery with peanuts can regulate appetite and reduce cravings. It can assist lose weight and enhance the nutritional quality of your diet.
- Coriander seeds with jaggery – It provides relief from period pain and helps regulate the blood flow during menstruation. It can also help women with PCOD problems.
- Ginger with jaggery – Ginger powder with jaggery is the best combination to treat bacterial and viral infections during the winter season. It can also help activates the digestive enzymes in the stomach. Drink a small cup of ginger tea daily morning to help manage your weight.
- Ghee with jaggery – This combination can help remove toxins from the body. Consuming a teaspoon of jaggery with ghee after your meal can help prevent constipation and maintain hormonal imbalance.
- Fenugreek seeds with jaggery – Fenugreek contains polyunsaturated fatty acids that improve hair complexion and thickness. So jaggery with fenugreek combination can help prevent hair fall and dandruff.
- Turmeric with jaggery – Turmeric has lots of medicinal properties. Mix a teaspoon of jaggery and a pinch of turmeric powder in milk and drink up every night to treat the common cold and flu and boost your immunity.
- Sesame seeds with jaggery – Sesame seeds contain a high amount of zinc, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. In winter taking sesame seeds with jaggery can assist reduce the risk of cough, cold, and flu.
Jaggery is a pure, unrefined form of sugar. Also, it is used as a healthy dessert in many dishes. This natural sugar is sweeter and healthier than normal sugar. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, as well as iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium. It is very effective for hair care, skin care and overall health.