We all love our little dose of sweetness at least once in a while, but this craving is always accompanied by the fear of ill-health. Indeed, it is advisable to stay away from sugar – completely if possible – because its drawbacks outweigh its possible benefits (if any). But, still when you feel the need to consume something sweet, don’t suppress the desire completely instead try a healthier alternative like jaggery.
Jaggery is an excellent and naturally healthy sweetener. Made from the sap of plants (usually some types of palm or sugarcane) that contain a good quantity of sucrose, it is golden brown in colour and has a distinct taste unlike the plain sweetness of sugar. It can be stored in the form of blocks or powder, which can then be mixed into the dish being prepared. Jaggery can also be used to make sweets.
Here are six health benefits of jaggery powder:
- Healthy source of carbohydrates
Jaggery is a storehouse of carbohydrates, which the body needs to produce energy. However, unlike sugar, which has a simple form that easily breaks down to give instant energy, jaggery has a more complex form of carbohydrate. This slows down the release of energy and spreads it over a longer period of time. Thus, damage to the internal organs due to a sudden rise in energy levels can be avoided.
- Boon to the digestive system
Rich in fibre, jaggery makes the bowel movements easier, thereby relieving constipation. It also activates digestive enzymes and facilitates digestive functions, reducing pressure on the intestines.
- Storehouse of minerals
Jaggery, especially traditionally or organically made jaggery, is rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. Since it comes directly from sugar cane juice which is not put through refinement or bleaching, it retains all the original minerals.
- Purifier and cleanser
Jaggery purifies the blood and cleanses the respiratory tract, the lungs, and also the digestive tract. By eliminating toxins from the body, jaggery also serves as a means to improve general immunity.
- Rich in antioxidants
Selenium, magnesium, and some vitamins with antioxidant properties are present in jaggery. This enables jaggery to protect the body from damage done by free radicals, keeping some kinds of cancer at bay as well as resisting skin damage.
Jaggery has the medicinal property of fighting allergic asthma, lung infections, sore throats, etc. It is used in Ayurveda as a remedy for respiratory illnesses.
There are several tasty ways to include jaggery powder in your diet. Here are some tips on how to use jaggery powder to enhance the taste of some commonly consumed foods:
- Instead of using sugar in your tea or milk, you can mix jaggery powder.
- If you have raagi malt or oats for breakfast, add some powdered jaggery or a small block of jaggery to it. You can also experiment with your breakfast cereal.
- If you make sweet dishes such as kheer at home, use jaggery as a sweetener instead of sugar. You can also try the jaggery candy sweets made with peanuts or sesame seeds moulded with melted and hardened jaggery.
- And, of course, you can always simply consume jaggery powder directly, as it is.
Jaggery allows you to indulge your sweet-cravings without having to compromise on your health. Organic jaggery has the added benefit of being completely devoid of harmful chemicals that are otherwise used during cultivation and processing. 24 Mantra’s organic jaggery powder is grown without synthetic pesticides and GMOs and has 100% organic certification. Visit this link to order some organic jaggery powder right away! http://www.24mantra.com/products-page/sugar-and-jaggery/jaggery-powder/