Jaggery is a natural sweetener used widely in south and southeast Asia. It is also a healthy replacement of sugar. Nearly 75% of world’s jaggery is produced in India.
Jaggery is mostly made from sugarcane, palm and dates and is loaded with antioxidants, minerals and vital vitamins like B12 (cobalamin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folate), calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc and manganese.
Jaggery has tremendous health benefits and its high magnesium and potassium content strengthens digestive system, reduces acidity and maintains the acid level in the body. A small piece of jaggery post lunch and post dinner adds power to the digestive system. It boosts immunity, cures cough and cold and strengthens lungs. Due to an ample amount of antioxidants, it also helps to detox the liver. Jaggery acts as a natural cleanser of the body.
Minerals like zinc and selenium help in improving mental health. Selenium also improves memory and cognition, and zinc helps to recover from depression and improves sleep quality as well. Calcium in jaggery helps to strengthen bones. Hence, a glass of warm milk with added jaggery helps relieve joint pain.
Jaggery has iron, folate and B12 which help to combat anaemia. Jaggery, when taken with any fibre or protein, will help to absorb iron in the body. It increases the total count of haemoglobin in the blood. Eating a small piece of jaggery helps in PMS since it releases endorphins which helps to relieve stress, pain and relaxes the body.
In winters, hot water with jaggery and dry ginger powder keeps the body warm and in the summers jaggery soaked in normal water with added lemon and rock salt gives instant energy.
However, it is always advisable to eat it in limited quantities. So add this simple and natural sweetener to your food and avail its abundant benefits.