Jaggery, the Superfood

The healthier alternative to refined sugar is loaded with benefits
Jaggery, the Superfood

In a world grappling with the ill effects of refined sugar, jaggery emerges as an unsung hero—uncorrupt and remarkably beneficial, if you buy it from an authentic source. As we struggle with the overconsumption of refined sugar and its side effects, recognising the virtues of jaggery becomes imperative. Processed, refined sugar is a prime contributor to inflammatory diseases and is often deemed an addiction we struggle to break free from. Alarming levels of sugar intake demand a closer look, especially when considering children under five, who should ideally be shielded from its clutch.

Jaggery was a staple in the diet of our ancestors; its significance resonated in their meal customs. This unrefined sugar acted as more than just a sweetener; it was a warmth-inducing elixir, dilating blood vessels, aiding blood flow, and easing the burden on high blood pressure patients. This humble yet potent substance stimulates digestive enzymes, fostering better digestion and curbing bloating, acidity, and gas. Ending a meal with jaggery can obliterate the desire for commercial sweets and chocolates, serving as a healthier alternative, often referred to as the poor man’s chocolate. Let’s look at some of the benefits of this functional food.

A treasure trove of goodness
Jagg-ery supports many bodily functions. Rich in fibre, it acts as a mild laxative, easing constipation issues. Its zinc and selenium composition makes it a detoxifier and blood purifier, aiding liver health and overall well-being.

Remedy for cold
As seasons change, so do our dietary needs. During winters, a teaspoon of jaggery in hot water emerges as a go-to remedy for cold, flu, and throat irritations. For smokers and those residing in polluted cities, its detoxifying properties offer solace to ailing lungs.

Soothing elixir
For joint pain, a mixture of half tsp dry ginger powder, black sesame seeds, and jaggery in ghee acts as a soothing elixir. Women experiencing painful PMS can find relief in jaggery and black sesame seed laddoos. However, caution is advised for diabetics due to its impact on raising blood glucose levels.

Calorie bombs
Jaggery’s incorporation in cakes and baking often labelled sugar-free can transform them into calorie bombs. Moderation and balance are key—savouring commercial sweets occasionally while weaving them into a robust, wholesome lifestyle.

In summer, its cooling properties provide respite when added to cold water. Jaggery is nature’s sweet bounty, offering multifaceted benefits when embraced within the tapestry of a mindful lifestyle.

Deepika Rathod
Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. The writer is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.

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