Jaggery is a traditional form of sweetener that has been used widely in our country for years together. Jaggery is made out of Sugarcane and has been used as a natural sweetener for sweets and other delicacies. But in recent times sugar has taken over jaggery and the usage has been extensive. Sugar also comes from sugarcane but it goes under extensive refining method where it loses its nutrition value.
At a point jaggery became difficult to be used as it took so much time to dissolve, whereas sugar was instant and a lot of us started to prefer sugar over jaggery.
Jaggery has its own space in our Indian Culture and it is believed that Jaggery originated from India. We offer jaggery to God when poojas are performed. It is also used during festivals where jaggery is offered to god in the form of Chakkarai pongal, Panagam and also jaggery pieces are offered.
Jaggery is considered to be holy as it goes through the process where bone charcoal is not used. Sweet is the sign of happiness that brings smile on face,in our families we serve jaggery as a happy note when there is a happy occasion. We also follow the custom of eating jaggery at the end of every meal and it would be great if this myth is followed.
Jaggery and Sugar both come from sugarcane but process that they go through makes a huge difference in nutrition value. Lets check what is the difference in process between sugar and jaggery.
The processing method in sugar and jaggery vary at different stages, yet the first step remains same in both jaggery and sugar.
In the first step sugarcane juice is boiled. After this the sugarcane juice is treated with bone charcoal,through this unwanted particles are absorbed. Later transparent solution is added so that it becomes clear.This solution helps in condensation and crystallization of sugar.
The first step remains the same as sugar but jaggery doesn't go under any kind of charcoal treatment. The syrup is boiled continuously until it turns out be thick. As it doesn't go under any charcoal treatment Hindus find it sacred and use it for religious purpose. The thick paste which was formed after continuous boiling process is then poured into mold and we get blocks of jaggery which is ready to use.
Through the processing method the sugar loses its nutritional value and turns out to be unhealthy. But the process that jaggery goes helps it to retain its value. As jaggery retains its nutritional values it is used for many purpose, right from cooking to medication. When compared to sugar jaggery does has enormous benefits.
Let us look at some of the important benefits of jaggery.
- Helps in Digestive Disorder and Appetite – Jaggery which is high in digestive stimulant property help’s in good digestion and increases your appetite. Constipation is cleared and you start to have clear bowl movement when you start consuming jaggery regularly. The myth behind having jaggery after every meal is that it helps in better digestion.
- Prevents Anemia – Jaggery has rich content of iron which is absorbed by our body on consumption. The iron helps our body to maintain the blood count over all and prevents from being anemic. Pregnant women are advised to have jaggery as they need to have good blood flow throughout their pregnancy.
- Remedy or Chronic Cough and Cold - Jaggery can be used for curing cold. Jaggery has enough antioxidants that help’s the immune system of the body to improve. Mix a small amount of jaggery to peppercorns and eat it and you will find your cold level coming down. For cough if you eat a piece of jaggery before bed it will help in clearing the cough.
- Jaggery For Weight Loss – Jaggery helps in absorbing the excess water content in the body as it contains minerals. It also helps in body metabolism and gives good strength to build the body.
- Serves As A Blood Purifier – Jaggery also helps in purifying the blood by removing the unwanted toxins. If we consume jaggery on a daily basis it purifies the blood and the immunity is ultimately improved.
- Solves Menstrual Problem – Women face pain during their periods due to cramps and it is advised to consume Jaggery during periods,it helps the body to get relived from the pain. The nutritious content in Jaggery helps to overcome the pain makes you feel better from the cramps.
- Prevents Respiratory problems – Many have been advised to take jaggery and sesame seeds if they have any kind of respiratory problem. Asthma can be cured by this way and it gradually relieves you from the problems.
- Boosts energy – The energy levels go up as you take a small piece of jaggery. The carbohydrate present in the jaggery gives you instant energy and makes you feel active.
- Helps to Strengthen Bones - If you drink a glass of milk with jaggery it shall help in bone strengthening. The calcium content in milk and the iron in Jaggery help in joint
- Jaggery for clear skin and nourished Hair – Jaggery has astringent properties in it and can be used with face packs. By using it your pimples are cleared and you can enjoy your pimple free skin. For good hair growth iron is very essential and jaggery supplies ample amount of iron. If you have Iron and Vitamin c you will find nice hair growth.
You can consume jaggery in different form and through different recipes. Here are few recipes where jaggery is used, enjoy the recipes and try them at your home.