Organic jaggery is the best sugar alternative to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your health.
Sugar is the most common sweetener used in Indian households. It is used for sweetening tea, coffee, lassi, and many other beverages. It is also used for making common desserts and snacks like cakes and biscuits.
Jaggery is also a common sweetener but is used less often in Indian cuisine nowadays. It is often used in making ladoos and sweet dishes for prasad.
Even though both of these ingredients are used for adding sweetness to food, they have a very distinct flavor. Jaggery has a much stronger flavor compared to sugar.
Since, sugar is devoid of any flavor of its own, it blends in easily with many dishes and beverages.
However, the consequences of indiscriminate sugar consumption can be harsh. Refined sugar is highly processed and increases the Glycemic Index and Glycemic load of any food to which it is added without providing any beneficial nutrients.
Many nutritionists would thus, refer to processed white sugar as “empty calories”. The rise of obesity in many countries is related to the increase in refined sugar consumption.
Refined sugar increases the risk of several diseases like diabetes, heart attack, and stroke by increasing insulin resistance and inflammation in the body.
On the other hand, organic jaggery is called “medicinal sugar” in Ayurveda because of its beneficial healing properties.
Jaggery is full of goodness and is considered to be a beneficial addition to daily diet.
Nutrition Profile ( per 100g ):
- Calories: 383kcal
- Carbohydrates: 98.0 g
- Fat: 0.1 g
- Protein: 0.4 g
- Calcium: 80.0 mg
- Iron: 5.4 mg
- Magnesium:160 mg
- Phosphorus: 40.0 mg
- Potassium: 140 mg
- Sodium: 30.0 mg
- Selenium: 1.4 mcg
- Niacin: 2.0 mg
- Vitamin: B6 0.4 mg
- Pantothenic Acid: 1.0 mg
How Is Organic Jaggery Produced?
Jaggery is made from different raw materials like sugarcane and date palms. In India, sugarcane is the most common raw material for jaggery production.
For organic jaggery, the raw material is grown organically, without the use of any chemical pesticides and insecticides. Organic sugarcane juice is extracted and boiled in a huge pan.
A tiny amount of baking soda or okra stems are added to the boiling juice to clean the impurities.
Then it is filtered thoroughly and poured into another pan where it is turned and stirred with a ladle until the thickened juice turns powdery and lime juice and organic coconut oil are added to achieve optimum consistency.
Then the jaggery is pressed down until it completely solidifies.
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Benefits of Organic Jaggery:
Unlike sugar, which contains no nutritive value, jaggery is full of nutrition.
With organic jaggery you can be free from worries of contamination from harmful chemicals as the full process of jaggery production does not contain any harmful chemicals.
Many brands also source the sugarcane required for making jaggery from their organic farms.
1. Good for anemia and menstrual pain
Jaggery contains plentiful iron and folate which may be extremely beneficial for women, particularly for those of reproductive age. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia in India and it is highly prevalent among women.
Consumption of jaggery can help to bridge the nutrition gap in women with Iron deficiency.
It also helps release happy hormones called endorphins which may help to tackle problems like premenstrual syndrome, mood swings, fatigue, and cramps faced by women during menstruation.
Jaggery also helps to regulate hormones which leads to regular and less painful periods. Sugar, on the other hand, does not provide any such benefits.
2. Free from dangerous chemicals
As already mentioned, the process of making organic jaggery does not require any harmful chemicals and toxins, and organically grown sugar cane is used for the making of organic jaggery.
This means you don’t need to worry about harmful toxins that can mess up with your metabolic and hormonal balance and bring a host of different diseases.
Moreover, the presence of toxins also reduces the absorption of nutrients. But with organic jaggery, there is no toxin to hinder the absorption of all the goodness so you get maximum benefits.
3. Low in calories
Organic jaggery is fairly lower in calories when compared to refined sugar, which means it’s a great sweetener for those on a weight loss or fitness journey.
Jaggery is made up of long and complex chains of sucrose which is why it takes longer to digest.
On the other hand, sugar is made of simple sucrose which is so quick to digest that it increases insulin resistance and craving.
Organic jaggery can help you feel more satiated and full for a longer time and therefore can be a great addition to weight control diets.
4. Rich In multiple minerals
Unlike sugar, jaggery does not provide “empty calories”. It is full of minerals like zinc magnesium and potassium. Mineral deficiency leads to fatigue, lower immunity, and several other problems.
Eating organic jaggery is a great way to ensure you meet your recommended daily amount of these micronutrients.
5. Helps in digestion
Organic jaggery is known to increase the production of digestive enzymes which helps ease the process of digestion. This in turn helps with other conditions which are the result of indigestion like bloating, abdominal pain and constipation.
So, instead of having a sugary cake or ice cream, try to have a piece of jaggery or a dessert sweetened with jaggery after meals to help your gut health.
This natural sweetener combined with ghee also helps to relieve constipation and makes bowel movements smooth.
Jaggery consumption also helps to cleanse the body and remove toxins from different parts including the stomach, intestine, food pipe, and respiratory tract by allowing easy passage of food.
6. Rich source of antioxidants
Organic jaggery contains some powerful antioxidants like riboflavin and thiamine, niacin, and some antioxidants like flavonoids and caffeic acids, and phenolic acids.
These micronutrients and antioxidants help to decrease the level of inflammation by reducing the effect of free radicals.
Thus, unlike sugar which increases inflammation in the body, organic jaggery is helpful for decreasing chronic inflammation and keeping many diseases like diabetes, cancer, and arthritis at bay.
Organic jaggery is produced from organically grown sugarcane and is a minimally processed alternative to refined sugar.
Refined sugar contains high GI and provides no nutritional benefits while organic jaggery provides different vitamins and minerals which confer various benefits like reducing blood pressure, and anemia, improving liver health, and removing toxins from the body.
It also aids in digestion and increases immunity. The antioxidants like riboflavin, niacin, and caffeic acids present in jaggery help to prevent inflammatory diseases.
Satisfy your cravings for sweets with some ‘Gur’ instead of delicacies loaded with white sugar this winter to ensure freedom from winter illnesses.