"Sugar is bad for you", don’t you hear this quite often from
your mother, gym instructor, dietitian, nutritionist? These
sweet white crystals are indeed laden with empty calories
only for us to put in our tea, coffee and recipes, since during
processing it loses all the essential phytonutrients including
vitamins and minerals.
Studies have also claimed that sugar intake is related to the
development of coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus,
obesity, and dental caries. A sweet toothed person usually
tends to eat this in excess thereby replacing other more
nutritious foods from the diet.
It is so important to maintain a healthy life in order to cop up
with day to day hectic lifestyle. However illness and diseases
can strike anytime and this can shatter you finances.
So, what is the healthy alternative and why?
For centuries, jaggery has been used throughout India as a healthy sweetener, as no chemicals or beaches are added during the processing.
Now, all good things do not come in a good package, which
holds true for jaggery. This is a dark yellow, amorphous
substance poured into moulds to give a cake like shape,
sticks to your hand and lips while eating. The surface is not
very clean though. But we eat lot more dust and pollutants
everyday while we breathe and talk, any doubts on this?
Sugar definitely tops the list of both natural and artificial
sweetening agents available in the market.
But jaggery helps us punch in some taste too along with the
sweetness. The first benefit of jaggery, specifically Date Palm
or Palmyra jaggery is that it is rather a tastemaker and color maker rather than being just a sweetener.
Energy Food -
The second most important benefit of jaggery is that it is a
more complex form of carbohydrate than plain sugar. So, it
is digested and absorbed gradually and hence releases
energy in a slow pace, thereby providing warmth and energy
for a longer period without harming the internal organs.
Self Cleaner -
Jaggery has been effectively proved to cleanse the
respiratory tracts, lungs, food pipe, stomach and intestines.
It pulls out dust and unwanted particles from the body.
It also helps in giving relief from constipation, perhaps
due to the presence of fiber in it.
Jaggery is good for lungs -
According to Ayurveda, jaggery protects our lungs and
is good for treating throat and lung infections.
Jaggery is also helpful for asthmatics!
Digestive Agent -
Although there is no sufficient scientific explanation
behind this, a little jaggery after heavy food facilitates
digestion. Jaggery is found to activate the digestive
enzymes and itself changes to acetic acid in the stomach.
Source of Minerals -
Jaggery has approximately 60 times the
mineral content of refined white sugar,predominantly iron.
While most of the iron in it comes through processing in iron vessels, other minerals such as Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Selenium, Manganese and Zinc come right from the
sugar cane juice as it does not undergo refining or bleaching during processing.
Jaggery is a medicine -
This wonder sweetener also helps to cure dry cough, cough with sputum, indigestion and constipation. It contains many antioxidants which protects your body’s cells against ageing. It is also used for treatment during jaundice and for people who get migraine (severe headache).
Other benefits -
It has been observed and often prescribed by doctors to switch over to jaggery if you are suffering from acidity due to sugar. Since it is high in potassium and low in sodium, it helps in maintaining balance in your body.
It is not yet late, switch over from sugar to jaggery today and feel the difference. Stay healthy always.