Jaggery, a popular sweetener quickly becoming an excellent healthy replacement for refined sugar, is more evidently found in Asia and Africa. This unrefined sugar by-product is not stripped of the nutritious molasses and is available in Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America with different names in different parts of the world:
|Tapa Dulce||Costa Rico|
How is Jaggery Made?
Jaggery is typically made from sugarcane. It consists of a simple process of crushing the sugarcane to extract its juice, then filtering it and boiling the juice for concentration. Later, the juice is cooled and solidified into blocks of jaggery. Here's how the detailed process works:
- First, the sugarcane is pressed into a machine to extract its juice – this process is known as extraction.
- The extracted juice is then allowed to settle in a huge container so that the residue is standing at the bottom. The juice is then strained to get a clear-looking liquid. This process is called clarification.
- The next step includes concentrating the strained liquid in a huge flat bottom pan and boiling it for hours. Here, the juice is stirred constantly. When the stirring occurs, the impurities are separated until a thick yellow paste is left in the pan.
- The thick yellow paste is transferred to huge moulds, where they are cooled off until they harden. This hardened paste is what we call jaggery.
Depending on the quality of the sugarcane and its juice, the colour of the jaggery will differ from light to dark brown.
What is the Nutritional Value of Jaggery?
When refined sugar is made, it extracts a highly nutritious by-product called Molasses. Jaggery, on the other end, is filled with this nutritious by-product, making it higher in nutrition than refined sugar.
Let's explore what nutritional value a 100gm block of jaggery provides:
|Total Carbohydrates||98.0 g|
|Minerals||Iron (5.4 mg), Phosphorus (40.0 mg), Selenium (1.4 mcg), Calcium (80.0 mg), Potassium (140 mg), Magnesium (160 mg), Sodium (30.0 mg)|
|Vitamins||Pantothenic Acid (1.0 mg), Vitamin B6 (0.4 mg), Niacin (2.0 mg)|
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Sugarcane Jaggery NuggetsPrepared in an iron kadhai on the firewood, our handmade and naturally dried Sugarcane Jaggery Nuggets are obtained by manually stirring, clarifying and thickening sugarcane juice. These easy-to-use blocks of jaggery are already broken down into pieces. Even your kids and the elderly can easily snack on these fine pieces of nutrition!
Liquid Sugarcane Jaggery (Kaakvi)
A natural sweetener, our Liquid Sugarcane Jaggery is a delicious condiment to have in your kitchen. Cook it with seasonal fruit or pour this delicious treat on top of pancakes to enhance their taste! This natural, preservative-free product is a delightful addition to various dishes.Buy Now
Sugarcane Jaggery Block
100% natural, made on the farm, with no additives and free from artificial preservatives, our Sugarcane Jaggery Block is a rich, unrefined block of raw jaggery produced by slowly cooking natural sugarcane juice. Filled with minerals and antioxidants, natural jaggery helps purify your blood and aids digestion for good gut health!Buy Now
This 100% natural Spiced Jaggery is handmade using the traditional clarification method using only the okra plant. It is later spiced with Indian spices like green cardamom and soonth (dried ginger) to give it a touch of delightful taste!Buy Now
There are several health benefits of jaggery. Let's explore some of the top reasons why this nutritious food sweetener is a popular addition to the Indian kitchen:
Prevents ConstipationJaggery is known to activate the digestive enzymes of the body that helps stimulate your bowel movement and relieve constipation. Many people prefer having a small piece of jaggery after lunch to kick-start their digestion. It is also known to act as a diuretic to help you stimulate your bowel movement.
Regulates Liver FunctionsJaggery helps flush out the harmful toxins from the body, which ultimately takes off some significant load from the liver and helps detoxify it. It is considered a natural body cleanser that helps reduce your liver's workload.
Aids in Treating Flu-like SymptomsMost people consume jaggery in the winter as it produces heat in the body. This is also a major reason people recommend having a piece of jaggery when suffering from a cold, cough or flu. You can even add liquid jaggery in warm water and drink it or instead of sugar, add jaggery in your tea to feel its warming effects aid in treating flu symptoms and other respiratory problems.
Helps in Purifying BloodMany people even believe that consuming jaggery daily and in a limited quantity can help cleanse your blood, leading to a healthier body that keeps you free from diseases.
Boosts ImmunityJaggery is filled with all the good minerals and antioxidants like selenium and zinc. They are known to prevent free radical damage to your cells and also act as a helping hand in boosting your body's resistance to infections. Other than jaggery there are many other foods which help to boost immunity.
Eases Menstrual PainSeveral people believe that eating a small piece of jaggery on a daily basis just before your periods helps relieving the symptoms of PMS and relieves the unbearable period cramps. If you are feeling down due to sudden mood swings, eat a small piece of jaggery as it leads to the release of your happy hormones – the endorphins!
Maintains a Regular Level of Red Blood CellsJaggery carries a healthy dose of folate and iron, which is excellent in maintaining a good level of red blood cells in our body. When the production of red blood cells is normal, it helps fight anaemia and provides instant energy to your body!
Boosts Your Intestinal HealthEvery 100-gm block of jaggery contains at least 160 mg of magnesium, a great nutrient source to boost your intestinal health.
Helps in Maintaining a Normal TemperatureJaggery is known to help keep your stomach cool and regulate your body's overall temperature to ensure it is maintained at a normal level. Many people even recommend drinking cold jaggery juice to cool off your body during the extreme months of summer heat.
Controls Blood PressurePotassium and sodium are two elements that help maintain your body's acid levels. When these elements are found in your body in a moderate amount, they help keep your blood pressure under control. Jaggery is loaded with a healthy dose of sodium and potassium, hence, acting as an aid in controlling your blood pressure.
Relieves Joint PainPeople believe that drinking a glass of milk with jaggery daily can help strengthen your bones and alleviate your joint and bone-related pain.
Aids in Your Weight Loss ProcessJaggery contains potassium that balances the electrolytes in our bodies which help in maintaining the health of our body. It also helps boost your metabolism and reduce water retention, which is needed when you aim to lose weight. Moreover, replacing refined sugar with jaggery in some of your staple diets can be a healthy alternative, as jaggery is a natural sweetener with no artificial preservatives that can hamper your health.
Good Source of EnergyRefined sugar is a simple carbohydrate that quickly gets absorbed into your bloodstream, giving instant energy. In contrast, jaggery consists of complex carbohydrates that take time to absorb into your bloodstream. It gradually gives your body energy for a long time and does not raise your blood sugar levels immediately. Moreover, it prevents fatigue. Hence, it is considered to be a good source of energy!
Does Not Spike Your Sugar LevelsSome doctors debate on whether diabetic patients can consume jaggery. While refined sugar is a strict no for patients with high glucose levels, some doctors recommend consuming palm or regular jaggery on a moderate level since it does not spike up your sugar levels. It is also loaded with magnesium, iron and potassium, a better option than sugar.
Consume it Wisely!
Although jaggery is filled with good nutrients and is a healthy alternative to refined sugar, dominating your diet with it is not recommended. It is safer to develop a balance by consuming the right amount. Also, remember that no matter how many health benefits jaggery offers, it is, by no means, a replacement for any medical treatment. Instead, include this superfood in your diet in a moderate portion to stay away from any problems!