Post meals, do you often open the fridge door and look for something sweet to satiate your sweet cravings, only to feel guilty about all the calories later? What if we told you there’s one food that is sweet, does not contain as many calories and is good for your health? Yes, we are talking about jaggery! A natural sweetening agent prepared using fresh sugarcane, date or palm juice, jaggery is popularly known as gur in India. Growing up in an Indian household, you may have heard about a few health benefits of jaggery but are you aware of how jaggery benefits your skin?
In this article we will tell you all about the benefits of jaggery for skin and health, but before that, let’s find out how to identify pure jaggery to ensure you are getting the good stuff!
- Tips to buy pure jaggery:
- Benefits of jaggery for the skin
- Benefits of jaggery for the health
- Ways to include jaggery in your diet
- Benefits of Jaggery FAQs:
Tips to buy pure jaggery:
- It should from free crystals
- It should not taste bitter
- It should not taste salty
- It should be dark brown in colour
- It should be hard and not break easily
Benefits of jaggery for the skin
Prevents premature ageing
In Ayurveda, premature ageing is treated using the goodness of jaggery, sesame seeds and essential herbs. The reason behind it is, jaggery is a rich source of antioxidants that fights free radicals and postpones the process of ageing. So, if you have started noticing fine lines, wrinkles or age spots on your skin, it is a good idea to swap jaggery in place of sugar in your diet. Even a small quantity, consumed regularly, will give you the desired results.
Those with oily and acne prone skin often get pimples out of nowhere. No matter which face wash or cream they use, it doesn't seem to help matters. We have discovered that one of the many benefits of jaggery includes reducing pimples. So, if you’ve tried everything else for your pimples and acne, try eating a lemon sized piece of jaggery every day to keep pimples at bay. This will also clear the complexion, remove spots and make your skin look flawless. The reason why this works is because jaggery is a rich source of glycolic acid that mildly exfoliates and heals acne.
Glowing skin is always in, but environmental stressors like UV rays, pollution and dust rob our skin of its natural glow, making it look dull and lifeless. However, if you want that glow back, jaggery can be quite helpful. As mentioned earlier, it contains glycolic acid, which is an important ingredient added to many skincare products to improve the texture of the skin. Did you know you can reap the skin benefits of jaggery by applying it topically? Combine powdered jaggery with honey and lemon juice and apply the mix on the face and neck area. Wash after 5-10 minutes and pat dry.
Benefits of jaggery for the health
Eases menstrual pain
Is period pain bringing you down every month? The benefits of eating jaggery can help ease this pain and allow you to go about your day as usual. Jaggery water works as a magic potion in easing abdominal pain and cramps associated with periods. Eating jaggery can also help with PMS, as it relaxes your body by releasing endorphins – the happy hormones. So, the next time you are about to get your period, start eating jaggery or drinking jaggery water to make that time of the month go smoother.
Helps in weight loss
Jaggery helps in the proper functioning of the digestive system and boosting immunity, which is essential while trying to lose weight. A rich source of potassium, it helps in balancing the electrolytes as well as improving metabolism. It also reduces water retention, thereby helping you manage and control your weight. Further, it contains high levels of vitamins and minerals that enhance its ability to induce weight loss. It also helps eliminate toxins from the body which accelerates the weight loss journey. Anyone trying to lose weight should try to include jaggery in their daily diet.
Treats cough and cold
In India, the benefits of jaggery were identified centuries ago and have been used since then to treat common ailments such as cough and cold. Those suffering from cough and sore throat often find relief after consuming jaggery. The reason is that it has a soothing effect on the soft tissues of the throat, thereby reducing the itchy sensation. Eating it in its raw form is considered to be the most beneficial, but you can also add it to your tea or mix in water and drink it to get relief from the problem.
Ways to include jaggery in your diet
- Eating a small piece in its original, undiluted form
- Adding it to your daily cup of tea as a sugar substitute – preferably black or green tea Mix it with water and consume first thing in the morning to reap maximum benefits
- Make jaggery chapati by mixing melted jaggery, milk and flour. Knead it into a dough, roll out chapatis, cook on a tawa and eat it fresh.
- Make a delicious dessert by cooking rice in a pan along with ghee, jaggery, cloves and cardamom. Serve hot.
Benefits of Jaggery FAQs:
1) Is jaggery better than sugar?
A. Compared to refined sugar, jaggery is definitely better and more nutritious. It is a healthier substitute for the former and can be added to food items where you would normally use sugar. After reading all the benefits of jaggery mentioned above, we are sure you know why it's better than sugar!
2) Is jaggery good for hair growth?
A. Apart from offering a lot of skin benefits, jaggery is also beneficial for your hair. A rich source of iron, jaggery can make your hair stronger, healthier and boost hair growth.
3) Can we eat jaggery every day?
A. Most people prefer eating jaggery after a meal, as it detoxifies and cleanses the liver by flushing out toxins. Eating a piece of jaggery every day is quite beneficial for both men and women.