Jaggery and Weight Loss

In ayurveda, jaggery has been used since ages to help treat a wide range of health problems including anxiety, migraines, indigestion, cold, flu and fatigue. We’ll discuss in this article about the benefits of jaggery and if it is good to eat for weight loss. We’ll also discuss about the possible side effects of consuming too much jaggery. Jaggery is a concentrated product of cane juice called gur in hindi. Other names of jaggery are gul, bella, bellam, vellam etc. You can also use palm jaggery and coconut jaggery.

Sugar and Jaggery

  • Both sugar and jaggery have the same amount of calories
  • Both contain roughly around 18 calories for 1 tsp quantity
  • Sugar contains empty calories where as jaggery has some minerals like potassium, iron, sodium, calcium etc

Sugarcane / Palm / Coconut jaggery

Sugarcane jaggeryCoconut jaggeryPalm jaggery
Mostly fructose Sucrose Some minerals and nutrientsAntioxidants More minerals like iron, folate, magnesiumContains iron, potassium, folate, calcium Has lowest glycemic index

Benefits of Jaggery

  • Improves digestion, activates digestive enzymes and stimulates bowel movement
  • Detoxifies liver
  • Purifies blood and boosts immunity
  • Prevents constipation
  • Helps treat flu symptoms
  • Cleanses system, clears respiratory tract
  • Fights against pollution
  • Eases menstrual pain
  • Prevents anemia, increases HB in blood
  • Boosts intestinal health
  • Helps control BP
  • Weight loss : Jaggery is a natural sweetner, helps maintain electrolyte balance, reduces water retention, boosts metabolism
  • Prevents nervous system problems
  • Helps control temperature
  • Prevents and treats UTI
  • Jaggery is used in ayurvedic treatments

Side Effects if Consumed in Excess

  • Increase in blood sugar (insulin)
  • Can cause weight gain
  • Jaggery has hot properties (can cause other side effects)
  • Can cause nose bleeding

Ayurvedic Properties of Jaggery

  • Nature          :        Hot potency
  • Taste            :        Sweet
  • Quality         :        Easy to digest
  • Dosha          :        Balance and pacify pitta and vatta, aggrevates kapha

Pure and Adulterated Jaggery        

  • Desi methods : Kohlu traditionally sugar cane juice is strained and tranferred in large kadai
  • From this kadai, it is transferred in other kadai to transfer impurities
  • Solutions made with stems of wild ladyfinger used to extract impurities
  • Now a days, calcium carbonate is added to increase weight, sodium bicarbonate, artificial colour and other additives are also added 412

How to identify pure jaggery ?

  • Dark colour, no yellow hue
  • Taste : slight bitter not a lot, slightly but not a lot
  • Jaggery semi hard not very soft
  • No crystal formations on top
  • Not excessively heavy

Whole jaggery vs Jaggery powder

  • Jaggery powder is slightly less cooked and spread in open air, it is made cold using cut fold method – less warm in nature
  • Sugar cane juice is cold in nature
  • Whole jaggery is more concentrated : warm in nature
  • 1-2 tsp (7-14 grams) on daily basis is safe
  • Maximum use should not go beyond 20 grams in a day
  • For pre diabetics : palm jaggery is good
  • For weight loss, jaggery can be used in making herbal teas, can be used in making desi chai
  • Jaggery is also used in making a number of sweet recipes

Tip     :        Keep jaggery in sunlight once purchased and then cool down in natural air before storing it in winters

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