Health & Lifestyle

Why should we eat Jaggery (Gur) in winter?

Why our elders end meal with a jaggery or Gur? Is it because the flavour of gur that is so heavenly or is it the benefits that make it the most favourite sweet after dinner? 

Gur is made from the juice of sugarcane, which is heated to produce thick crystals. It contains sugar in sucrose form and is used in many food products as a sweetening agent.  Interestingly, it is considered healthier then refined sugar as phytochemicals and minerals are preserved in it. 

Gur in English is called ‘Jaggery’, ‘Bellam’ in Telugu, ‘Vellam’ in Tamil, ‘Sharkara’ in Malayalam, ‘Bella’ in Kannada and ‘Gul’ in Marathi. 

Uses

It is used as a lining in coating the walls of earthen ovens. In rural India, it is used as toothpaste and cattle feed during winters as it helps them keep warm and increases the milk yield. 

Health Benefits

1. Purifies Blood

Gur purifies blood and prevents various blood disorders and diseases by boosting the hemoglobin count and immunity. 

2. Rich in Iron

Jaggery has very high content of folate and iron. It prevents anemia, fatigue and weakness of human body. 

3. Rich in Minerals

Gur has minerals and antioxidants like selenium and zinc. It prevents free radical damage and boosts body’s resistance to different infections.  

4. Makes Skin Healthy and Shiny 

Jaggery having a rich content of minerals and vitamins is very good for your skin. It is the best facial cleanser. It nourishes the skin and makes it glowing. It prevents acne and pimples. 

5. Good for Digestion

Consuming jaggery after meals prevents digestive disorders, boosts secretion of digestive enzymes, prevents indigestion, constipation, flatulence, intestinal worms. Thus, improves overall digestion. 

6. Good for Weight Loss

Gur boosts body metabolism, potassium present in it helps in the balance of electrolytes, reduction of water retention and improves the metabolism in the body. These factors help in reducing body weight. 

7. Hormones

Consuming Gur helps in the release of happy hormones called endorphins which helps the women suffering from mood swings prior to having their periods. 

8. Prevents Respiratory Problems

Jaggery prevents various respiratory issues like bronchitis and asthma. Taking it as a natural sweetener with sesame seeds is beneficial for respiratory system in human beings. It regulates the temperature of the body and contains the anti-allergy properties as well. 

9. Prevents Joint Problem

Gur, when taken with ginger work, wonders in alleviating joint pain. Taking a glass of milk with our strengthens bones, prevents bones and joint problems like arthritis. 

10. Nutritional Value

In jaggery the carbohydrate content is around 98 percent whereas the sugar content is 97 percent. 10 gm of unrefined sugar has 38 calories. It is one of the healthiest substitutes of chemically processed or industrial sugar.  It consists of 20 percent invert sugars, 20 percent moisture, 50 percent sucrose. It is also combined with coconut, peanuts, white sugar and condensed milk. 

Side-Effects

Consuming high amount of jaggery for a long time results in weight gain, increase in blood sugar levels and intestinal worm infection and parasitic infections. 



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