Jaggery happens to be an integral part of the Indian household. Right from being a part of authentic sweet porridges to sherbets, Jaggery or Gur has been a crucial part of our diet. It is known for its distinct taste and multiple uses. It is an unrefined sugar that is made from raw, concentrated sugarcane juice. This juice is then boiled until it solidifies to form Jaggery. Jaggery is usually prepared with Sugarcane juice; however, it can also be prepared with coconut sap and date palm.
It is known by different names across India and some of those names are Gul (in Marathi), Vellam (in Tamil), Bella (in Kannada), Sharkkara (in Malayalam), Gol (in Gujarati), Guda (in Oriya), and Gor (in Kashmiri).
But how beneficial is Jaggery for women and how much is okay to consume daily?
What is its Calorific Value?
While jaggery happens to be another form of sugar, it is usually considered a better bet than refined sugar. Thanks to the nutrients it has been endowed with!
However, the primary form of sugar found in jaggery is sucrose (65-85% in 10gms). For example, 20 gm will contain 38 calories, 9.8 gm of carbohydrates, 9.7 gm of sugar, and 0.01 gm of protein. Hence, diabetics shouldn’t go overboard or consume it regularly.
Nutrients like Calcium, Iron, Folate, Magnesium, Selenium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamin B12, Choline, Betaine, and Vitamin B6, are also present.
How is it beneficial to women?
Jaggery can be beneficial for women in various ways and a few of them have been listed below.
– Suffering from Anemia?
Women in India suffer from Anemia pretty often and hence, including enough iron and folate becomes imperative. It is rich in iron and folate and is usually recommended to adolescents and pregnant women.
– Are your menstrual cramps getting difficult to tolerate?
Jaggery can be your savior. With a wide array of nutrients, especially magnesium and selenium, It can help in reducing period pain or cramps, efficiently. It can ease pain and help you in relaxing during ‘’that time’’ of the month.
– Troubled by PMS often?
Premenstrual syndrome can get troublesome, at times, thanks to the mood swings and never-ending cravings. As per research, consuming small amounts of jaggery can lead to the release of happy hormones or endorphins, making for a happy and relaxed you.
– Do you suffer from Urinary tract infections (UTI)?
Women are at a greater risk of going down with UTI’s and it can be painful and draining. Sugarcane is considered to be a natural diuretic and jaggery possesses the same property. It can reduce inflammation in the bladder, stimulate urine, and aid in the smooth flow of urine to name a few. Hence, it needs to be a part of your diet if you have the tendency of attracting UTI.
– Looking for a blood purifier?
Many women complain of acne, skin issues, and pale skin and look for blood purifiers or skin tonics. Jaggery comes in handy in such cases, as it is known to purify blood which means healthier and radiant-looking skin.
– Is your weight troubling you?
Women have to struggle with weight issues, more often than men owing to monthly hormonal fluctuations and water retention. Water retention becomes a problem especially for women who suffer from Thyroid and menstrual issues (PCOS, Endometriosis, etc). Jaggery is known to be a good source of potassium that can reduce water retention/bloating, maintain electrolytes, and moderately boost one’s metabolism. Hence, adding it to the diet is a good choice.
Does it have any side effects?
It’s important to understand that moderation is the key, even if it is considered to be healthy
- Excessive consumption of the same can lead to weight gain and raised blood sugar levels.
- Individuals prone to allergies must be watchful about the consumption of jaggery.
- If you have a history of edema or swelling, you must keep jaggery at bay for good.
- People with Ulcerative Colitis must avoid it as much as possible.
- In some cases, freshly prepared jaggery may lead to indigestion (diarrhea) and nose bleed.
- Many times, jaggery isn’t prepared in hygienic conditions and hence may lead to parasitic infections.
And finally, you can consume no more than one small piece of jaggery, 10-15 gms in a day. Our nutrition is essential for our body. What we take in can determine not only our fitness but also our menstrual cycle. Read more about proper nutritional practices right here. You can also read up on expert Huda Shaikh’s articles here.