Jaggery, or gur as popularly known in India, is a natural sugar that is unrefined, nutritious, and full of essential vitamins and minerals. Made from sugarcane, jaggery has nutritional facts which is a natural sweetener and good for health and improving body metabolism. It comes in three different forms: powdered, liquid, and solidified jaggery, and there are innumerable health benefits associated with it. According to Ayurveda, the medicinal health benefits of jaggery date back hundreds of years, and it is widely known for its Vata, pitta, and Kapha balancing capabilities.
Ayurveda is one of the world's oldest healing systems. Its age-old practices focus on holistically treating the body of its diseases by working on our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. The nutritional facts of Jaggery have the same spiritual values mentioned therein. The benefits of eating jaggery ensure that all three health components are perfectly balanced.
Jaggery Benefits That Will Blow Your Mind
Prakruti, or a person's innate constitution, is determined at the time of birth, due to which we inherit certain permanent and individualistic physical and emotional traits. Your innate constitution decides who you are. Many different constitutions exist, but for the sake of practicality, Ayurveda defines them into three major categories - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which roughly translates to "Air," "Fire," and "Earth," respectively. Understanding our constitution helps us take a positive step towards our health and understand the foods we should consume.
We can see that each dosha has different characteristics, and they exist in the body in certain proportions. If a dosha exists beyond its natural proportion, this imbalance acts as a breeding ground for disease in the body.
In Ayurveda, every form of treatment has efficacy. These treatments mainly are but are not limited to herbs, meals, drinks, surroundings, colors, fragrances, and lifestyle changes. These treatments, when combined, alleviate all sorts of dosha imbalances and make healthy living a dream come true. Gur or Jaggery has to be used in moderation by diabetic patients; since it is less evil compared to other supplements of sucrose.
Ayurvedic principles suggest that the food we consume is the most effective medicine we can give our body, so we mustn't ignore what we put in our system. Let's take a look at some of the most well-regarded benefits of jaggery and how we can use this superfood to solve our day-to-day health troubles. Most dieticians prefer Jaggery or Gur over white sugar among diabetic patients as it contains iron, phosphate and calcium which is not available in white sugar.
Here are the top ten benefits of jaggery -
Jaggery is a powerful substance that easily converts acetic acid present in the food and should be consumed in small quantities daily to aid digestion. One of the top health benefits of jaggery is that it acts as a digestive stimulant in the body and naturally stimulates digestion. According to Ayurveda, the accumulation of mala or toxins in the body is the root of all diseases, and constipation is a big sign that we must take note of. Many naturopaths also recommend consuming a little bit of jaggery with fennel seeds to reduce abdominal heaviness after meals. As jaggery plays a major role in weight loss, taking it as per advice ensures there are no digestive issues. However, using gur or jaggery by diabetic patients has side effects, so consuming it should be avoided by them.
Treats loss of Appetite
Another important health benefit of using jaggery is Appetite Loss. Ayurveda associates the loss of appetite with Agnimandya or weak digestive fire. Loss of appetite is common when dealing with an illness but is also caused by aggravated levels of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in the body. When there is a loss of appetite, there is incomplete digestion of food in the body, which leads to weakness and fatigue. Jaggery helps enhance the Agni or digestive fire and improves the digestive enzymes and their activity in the body. Jaggery acts as a great digestive stimulant and should be consumed daily to treat loss of appetite.
The health benefits of jaggery are not just limited to aiding digestion and treating loss of appetite. Jaggery also stimulates the digestive enzymes in the body and works on regularizing bowel movements to help prevent and relieve constipation. Constipation causes difficulty in completely emptying bowels and could also lead to toxins in the body. A little piece of jaggery every day post-lunch can help improve digestion and prevent constipation. Hence using jaggery in our routine life is good for health due to its medicinal value.
Aids in Weight Loss
Jaggery works on the inflammation present in the throat and has soothing effects on the throat's soft tissues. According to Ayurveda, jaggery produces warmth in the lungs and clears up the respiratory tract. It helps treat cough, asthma, and all kinds of breathing troubles, making it a great alternative to sugar for treating all kinds of health concerns. The health benefits of jaggery also include the treatment of chronic cough. Hence using jaggery is always good for health suggested by most dieticians for effective weight loss.
A person with a high metabolic rate can make use of Jaggery to burn the fat significantly. Not to mention the health benefits of Jaggery, it acts as a supplement in providing vital minerals and vitamins in the absence of regular dieting food. So Jaggery can best be used in aiding weight loss among people of different ages.
Detoxifies the Body
Our modern lifestyles and fast-paced lives are filled with toxins plaguing our bodies at an astonishing rate. With the menace of air pollution taking over our cities and towns, the cases of breathing disorders are growing every year. In such a scenario, consuming superfoods like jaggery is a must. Jaggery contains powerful anti-allergic properties and must be incorporated into our daily diet. Hence eating jaggery has the health benefit of overcoming the breathing issues to an extent. As jaggery detoxifies the body, it may help in weight loss by burning unwanted fats that may result in diabetes. Knowing the secret of using jaggery by a non-diabetic person at a moderate level ensures proper weight loss and avoids getting hyper level blood sugar.
Its anti-carcinogenic quality is a highly effective remedy for all breathing-related disorders as it relaxes our respiratory muscles and clears the body of all kinds of toxins. The health benefits of jaggery are endless, and consuming this superfood daily is a great way to detoxify the body naturally. However, using Jaggery in excess has side effects in few people and hence the usage has to be at certain levels.
When there is a lack of hemoglobin in the blood, the body experiences a condition called Anemia. In Anemia, the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood gets compromised. In Ayurveda, an imbalance in Pitta dosha causes Anemia and can lead to problems like prolonged weakness and fatigue. The health benefit of using Jaggery improves blood flow thereby increasing the blood flow of the person significantly. Jaggery greatly helps to reduce the symptoms of Anemia and can pacify an aggravated Pitta dosha. It aids the overall health of a person and cleanses the body of all toxins, ensuring that there are no side effects in using jaggery.
Eases Menstrual Pain
It is common for women to experience discomfort around their abdomen and thighs during the onset of their menstrual cycle. As the cycle begins, the muscles of the womb contract and relax to prepare for the shedding of the period. Easing menstrual cramps is one of the many health benefits of jaggery, as it is rich in many essential nutrients like iron and folate that prevent loss of hemoglobin.
Other nutrients like potassium and sodium treat menstrual cramps and prevent weakness. In addition to cramps, jaggery also helps combat PMS symptoms as it leads to the release of endorphins, thereby relaxing the whole body. Hence using jaggery is good for health at regular phase for women during the menstrual period for avoiding discomfort.
Aids in Weight Loss
It is common for women to experience discomfort around their abdomen and thighs during the onset of their menstrual cycle. As the cycle begins, the muscles of the womb contract and relax to prepare for the shedding of the period. Easing menstrual cramps is one of the many benefits of jaggery, as it is rich in many essential nutrients like iron and folate that prevent loss of hemoglobin. Jaggery plays a major role in weight loss without disturbing or reducing the necessary nutritional benefits to the human body.
Other nutrients like potassium and sodium treat menstrual cramps and prevent weakness. In addition to cramps, the nutrition facts of jaggery also help combat PMS symptoms as it leads to the release of endorphins, thereby relaxing the whole body. Though there are few side effects of using Jaggery among certain people, the health benefits to the majority of the people are huge..
Energizes the Body
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and is known to get absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. This gives the body instant energy that crashes down even faster. On the other hand, jaggery is a complex carbohydrate that gets absorbed in the body gradually and energizes the body for a longer time. People who are on diet control for weight loss may or may not get energy sufficient nutrition and minerals. But jaggery nutritional fact value tends to help in weight loss and also ensures that the energy for the human body is maintained. It also prevents weakness and fatigue in the body and does not raise blood sugar levels instantly. Apart from all its health benefits, jaggery is high in calories and should be consumed in moderation. Hence, Jaggery is Gur for diabetic patients that may have some side effects such as sugar when absorbed by the body. But jaggery can be used as a replacement of sugar among non-diabetic patients as it has more health benefits.
Provides Daily Dose of Minerals
Jaggery is an underrated superfood that holistically completes our body's mineral requirements. Apart from the health benefits of using Jaggery, there are nutrition facts that make it a supernatural food. It is rich in fortifying minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, and zinc that naturally balance our body's acidity levels, reduce hypertension and production of free radicals in the body and protect our cells from getting damaged in the long run. Unlike sugar, jaggery is unrefined, Gur for diabetic patients, and this spike the blood sugar levels. Hence use of jaggery has slight side effects among diabetic patients.
Authored By : Tanya Thukral
About Author : Tanya is an Ayurvedic doctor who has a deep interest in spreading the message of healing and restoration through the age-old systems of Ayurveda and Yoga.