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Friday, August 9, 2013

Say No to Sugar, Opt for Jaggery

"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? 

Sweetener -

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.

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