Pregnancy cravings are real. Most pregnant women experience this intense desire for sweets. If you are also expecting your little bundle of joy soon, we know you can relate. You can satiate your sweet cravings by eating ice cream or other white-sugar desserts. But you can’t deny its negative effects on your and your baby’s health.
You can save yourself from this guilt.
There is no need to look far to find the answer; all you need is jaggery.
Consuming jaggery during pregnancy nurtures the bodies of both the mother and the baby. Jaggery is consumed by pregnant women and, in general, by people for its deliciousness, nutrition, and health benefits.
You can benefit from jaggery too! Are you eager to know more about this sweet gem?
Alright, let’s explore some interesting nutritional facts about jaggery and its health benefits for pregnant women. Later, we will also touch upon a few jaggery sweets to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Ready? Let’s begin!
Table of Content
Jaggery During Pregnancy: An Integral Part of the Pregnancy Diet
The diet of pregnant women is of prime importance. The development of a child and the health of the mother depend on it. In the course of a 9-month gestation, a lot of ups and downs occur.
Many women claim that they never know how they will feel the next morning. After all, their body is no longer their own; a new human is in the making, and there are major structural shifts happening inside their body.
Do you know that at the end of pregnancy, the whole lower abdomen moves up, just below the diaphragm? Yes, everything is cramped! This brings up so many metabolic problems like indigestion, constipation, abdominal pain, high blood pressure, swelling in the legs, water retention, and so on.
To top the list, the never-ending cravings for different kinds of foods, which you can’t digest easily, don't leave. And if you have just started your pregnancy journey, do not worry! We have the answer, at least for your sweet cravings: jaggery.
Hear us out!
Jaggery has been recommended for pregnant women for several reasons. The first reason is that it is a natural sweetener, and we are all aware of the sweet cravings during pregnancy, right?
The second reason is the nutrition it provides. It might be surprising that even though both white sugar and jaggery are made from sugar cane juice, jaggery has so many nutrients, whereas white sugar is just sucrose.
Let’s see what nutrients are found in jaggery that are important to include in a pregnant woman's diet.
Nutrients in Jaggery That Promote Healthy Pregnancy
Look at the nutrients present in Organic Jaggery below.
Nutrients in Jaggery
Source- A research paper “Jaggery: A natural sweetener”, published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry.
These vitamins and minerals play vital roles in several metabolic pathways. For instance, the potassium in jaggery prevents water retention and increases metabolic rate, which helps in controlling inflammation and weight during pregnancy.
There are various other benefits of having jaggery during pregnancy. Let’s uncover them one by one.
7 Healthy Benefits of Eating Jaggery During Pregnancy
Consuming jaggery during pregnancy has been found to be beneficial to both the mother and the foetus. Let’s see a few important benefits of consuming jaggery during pregnancy to understand it better.
High Iron Content in Jaggery Helps in Maintaining Haemoglobin Levels During Pregnancy
It is very common among pregnant women to suffer from anaemia, i.e., lack of iron. Having moderate quantities of jaggery regularly helps in curing anaemia.
Low iron levels in babies and the mother can also cause stillbirth or miscarriage. So, it is important to eat foods high in iron, not just during pregnancy but after delivery as well.
Jaggery is rich in calcium. Hence, it only makes sense to include it in a pregnant woman's diet to help the balanced structural growth of the baby.
Also, during and after pregnancy, the primary source of calcium for the baby is his/her mother. So, it is essential that the mother include foods high in calcium to avoid any bone deformities in the baby.
Jaggery is known to stimulate metabolism by inducing digestive enzymes. Pregnant women often complain about slow digestion, which causes acidity, abdominal pain, and nausea. Moderate consumption of jaggery before or after meals may help relieve such symptoms.
Jaggery has a relaxing effect on the muscles, which helps in reducing blood pressure. Blood pressure is all about the balance between the sodium and potassium levels in the blood. The high potassium content in jaggery helps balance out the high sodium content in the blood that causes high blood pressure.
Jaggery is a rich source of antioxidants too. They help in cellular repair mechanisms and are vital in protecting the child in the womb from any disease or infection.
It helps with digestion, reduces high blood pressure, and is even helpful in controlling water retention.
Joint pain is one of the most common problems in pregnancy. From knee pains to ankles to pelvic or backaches, every bone of the mother is tested. Jaggery has been found to provide some relief in such conditions because of its relaxing properties.
Pregnant women who are malnourished and are facing the problem of low baby weight are often advised to include jaggery on a regular basis. A mixture of jaggery and dry fruits helps maintain a healthy baby weight.
Jaggery also helps in managing the weight of pregnant women who are advised to lose weight. Jaggery stimulates metabolism and promotes good digestion. Not just that, it also prevents water retention problems in pregnant women. Water retention causes swelling, weight gain, and pain in pregnancy.
These were just a few benefits of consuming jaggery during pregnancy. There are many more left. But these are more than enough to understand how crucial it is to consume jaggery during pregnancy, right?
Now, let’s see how you can consume jaggery during pregnancy easily. Go on, scratch your head a bit!
The options are so delicious that people serving pregnant women are tempted to indulge in them.
Well, scroll down to find out!
3 Amazing Jaggery Dishes For Your Sweet Cravings in Pregnancy
Cravings and pregnancy are known all over the world as sisters. Yes, they go hand in hand. Where there is pregnancy, there will be cravings. These cravings add joy to pregnancy, but their timing generally sucks out the joy from the lives of people around. Haha!
Especially cravings for sweets.
Fret not, we have handpicked a few nutritious jaggery snacks that can be stored easily. So, you can enjoy these little munchies anytime you wish. Here are 3 delicious jaggery dishes to take care of your sweet cravings during pregnancy.
Chalimidi is a nutritious dish made of jaggery and rice flour. It is traditionally made for pregnant women at the time of their baby shower in South India. A small bite of this Chalimidi will satisfy your craving and fill your body with nutrition.
Gud or Jaggery Chikkis
Jaggery is mixed with Sesame seeds, Rajgira, and Peanuts to form a crunchy snack. They are often shaped into bars or balls. These little protein bars are hard to resist. You can easily find them in stores; just make sure to check the ingredients. It shouldn’t include sugar or glucose syrup, but jaggery.
These are easy to make at home. Just roast dry fruits and seeds of your choice and mix them with jaggery syrup. Then, spread it on a plate and let it cool. Afterwards, break them into small chunks for portion control.
Jaggery, Dry fruits, and Ragi Laddu and Cookies
Jaggery syrup is mixed with Ragi and other millet flours, along with some ghee and cardamom. Then, they are shaped into balls or in the form of cookies. You are in for a treat, along with the benefits of both millets and jaggery.
These are some quick ways to include jaggery in a pregnant woman’s diet. Hope you liked them.
FAQS: Benefits of Eating Jaggery During Pregnancy
Can pregnant women eat jaggery?
Yes, pregnant women can eat jaggery in moderation on a regular basis. Jaggery has minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that boost immunity, aid in good foetal growth, and fight health conditions like anaemia, high blood pressure, water retention, etc. during pregnancy.
How much jaggery to eat every day during pregnancy?
A normal pregnant woman can consume up to 10 grams of sweets daily, based on the diet chart for pregnant women shared by the National Health Ministry and the Ministry of Women and Child Development. If the pregnant woman is overweight, she should avoid sweets and consult the doctor before making any diet changes.
What are jaggery benefits in pregnancy?
Jaggery is good for blood pressure, digestion, constipation, bone growth, immunity, maintaining haemoglobin levels, etc. during pregnancy.
Is it safe to consume jaggery water during pregnancy?
Yes, it can be beneficial as jaggery water provides iron, vitamins, and minerals, potentially helping prevent iron deficiency anaemia and offering relief from common pregnancy discomforts. However, consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.
Are there any side effects of jaggery during pregnancy?
In moderation, jaggery is generally safe during pregnancy, offering iron and nutrients.; consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.
We hope that after reading about several aspects of consuming jaggery during pregnancy, you will now fondly include jaggery in your diet. However, remember to keep the consumption to moderate levels and only consume unadulterated and mildly processed jaggery.
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