Jaggery is a very common sugar cane product in regions of the world where sugar cane is grown. It is basically produced from sugar cane juice that is boiled and left to cool before being poured into specially designed containers where the juice settles and crystallizes, forming a hard sugary substance that can be either brown or dark in color. Jaggery contains about 50% sucrose, 20% sugars, 20% moisture and the remaining percentage being fibers, proteins, and other insoluble matter.
Jaggery is commercially used for varied purposes. It is used as an ingredient in making sweets and in preparing savory dishes. It is also used in religious ceremonies such as in India where it is offered during worship. In certain regions of the world where sugar can is grown, Jaggery is used in making alcoholic beverages.
Because of how it is manufactured, jaggery contains a lot of nutrients compared to refined sugar. It is full of calories, proteins, varied mineral salts and vitamins. Its nutritional value can only be compared to that of sugar cane.
Health Benefits of Jaggery
Jaggery has been established to have a lot of health benefits, some of which include:
- Jaggery is very rich in iron, which makes it very healthy for anemic people and pregnant women. Pregnant women can effectively consume Jaggery for iron supplementation instead of relying on commercial supplements.
- Jaggery is very low on sodium, which makes it very suitable for regulating blood pressure. Consuming Jaggery effectively maintains a healthy blood pressure level. It also purifies blood.
- Consuming Jaggery has the effect of reducing water retention in the body. This effectively controls body weight.
- Jaggery is very rich in anti-oxidants. These help in fighting free radicals in the body.
- Jaggery is very rich in magnesium, which is very helpful in reliving body fatigue. Consuming Jaggery also relaxes body muscles and nerves. It also strengthens the body’s nervous system.
- Consuming Jaggery is one of the most effective ways of controlling indigestion and preventing constipation.
- Due to its anti-oxidant properties, consumption of Jaggery has been established to effectively combat throat and lung infections. It is particularly effective in preventing breathing problems associated with asthma.
- Consumption of Jaggery has been found to be very helpful in preventing rheumatism.
- Consuming Jaggery in places heavily polluted by smoke and dust has been established to aid in easy breathing.
- The varied minerals and vitamins contained in Jaggery are very effective in preventing and treating skin conditions such as acne. Communities known to consume Jaggery have been established to rarely suffer from acne attacks, instead exhibiting healthy and smooth skin. Because the nutrients that help in achieving healthy skin are also beneficial to hair, individuals in such communities have also been noted to have strong and healthy hair.
It is not surprising that varied skin health products contain sugars. Such sugars are mostly those extracted from Jaggery. Although only common in sugar cane growing areas, Jaggery can be found in food stores and other outlets packaged in different sizes.