#HealthBytes: Here's why you should be consuming jaggery regularly
Jaggery is often considered as a naturally healthy sweetener. Made from sugarcane or dates, this golden brown food has a distinct taste. It is stored in the form of blocks or powder, and is often used to make sweets. Although jaggery may be more nutritious than sugar, but it's still high in calories. So, consume it in moderation to reap its benefits.
The reason why jaggery is eaten as an after-meal sweet is because it helps in proper functioning of the digestive system. It stimulates digestive enzyme secretion, and gets converted into acetic acid. This reduces the load on the digestive tract and speeds up the process of digestion. Eating jaggery also helps in regulating the bowel movement and preventing digestive problems like constipation.
One of the well-known benefits of jaggery is its ability to purify the blood, making your body healthy. It also helps in boosting hemoglobin in the blood and pumps the immunity that, in turn, helps in preventing blood disorders. Since it is rich in iron and folate, jaggery prevents anemia by ensuring the required level of red blood cells.
Unlike sugar that offers instant but short-lived energy boost, jaggery provides gradual energy that lasts for a longer time. This means that the levels of blood sugar do not spike instantly. Jaggery can also help prevent fatigue and weakness of the body. It is, however, suggested to consume it in moderation, as it is slightly higher in calories, containing up to 4 kcal/gram.
Jaggery contains components such as zinc and selenium that help in preventing free-radical damage caused by oxidative stress. Along with that, due to its richness in various minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients, it can be immensely helpful in boosting the immunity system. And as we just mentioned, eating jaggery increases total haemoglobin, which is important for maintaining a good immune system.
Jaggery is generally used to fix cold and cough, because it leads to the production of heat in one's body. The other reason why it is consumed during winter season is because it may protect you against the respiratory illnesses that are common in those months. It is also said to be effective against the onset of asthma, bronchitis, cough and colds.