Gud, bellam, vellam, sharkara, bella or gul - varied names, but the same ingredient that is packed with the most amazing health benefits.
In one of my recent visits to Punjab, I was introduced to jaggery again. I had seen them in the local shops where I stay, but I had not encountered jaggery so up close! Right from seeing how jaggery was actually made to seeing countless shops selling fresh jaggery in the roadside…it was an experience. Before this, the only time I had ever indulged in eating it was once a year when it was exchanged during festivities.
More recently my doctor recommended I switch to jaggery to boost my immunity levels and keep the sugar cravings at bay. But wasn’t jaggery sweet? So what was the connection?
A quick check introduced me to jaggery in a completely new light, and it is now a part of my daily diet. I have a portion of fresh jaggery mixed with an assortment of spices that ranges from fennel seeds, a whole load of dry fruits and dried coconut that makes a bite sized snack.
Jaggery – 7 Benefits of Including it in Your Daily Diet.
Sugar is known to add only empty calories to our body. Gud is packed with loads of health benefits that range from building immunity to cleansing your body and aiding digestion.
If you are looking at some health benefits that will help you make that switch, here are seven reasons why jaggery should be in your diet.
Drink a glass of milk with grated jaggery to strengthen your bones!
Did you know that this can prevent joint and bone problems such as arthritis.
Don’t like milk? Brew some gud ki chai (recipe at the end of the post) for a sip of good health.
Helps to Lose Weight
Isn’t that what most of us want? To lose weight? Since jaggery is a rich source of potassium, it helps to improve the metabolism in the body.
Potassium is a mineral that helps to balance the electrolytes in the body as well as the building up of muscles. Since jaggery has high levels of potassium it helps to reduce water retention.
Purifies Blood and Prevents Disorders
Jaggery is known to purify blood and also boost the total count of haemoglobin in the blood.
Since it is a rich source of iron as well as fotate it can prevent anaemia because it helps to maintain a normal level of red blood cells.
Jaggery also helps to flush out the toxins from the liver that keeps the illnesses at bay. Since it purifies blood, eat a bit of it during your periods as well to control the cramps.
Builds Up the Energy Levels
Constantly tired and low energy levels? Ditch that caffeine and opt for a bit of jaggery instead.
Gud, unlike sugar, is a complex carbohydrate that gets absorbed in the bloodstream gradually and gives you energy for a longer time.
Your Sweetness Guide in Pregnancy
Yes, it is perfectly safe to include gud in your diet even in your pregnancy. It helps to reduce the risk of anaemia or iron deficiency.
It is one of the age old Ayurvedic recommendations for pregnant women, because it provides instant energy that prevents fatigue and weakness of the body.
Elixir For Your Skin
Jaggery is a powerhouse of vital vitamins and minerals that provides nourishment to not just your body but also your skin. Want glowing and healthy skin? Take a bite of jaggery every day.
It is also known to soothe sensitive skin by keeping acne and pimples at bay. Plus it reduces the wrinkles, blemishes and dark spots too.
Quick Cure for the Sniffles and Pains
Whether it is a cough, cold or a nagging headache, jaggery is packed with vitamins and minerals that can soothe an inflamed throat. If you have constant aches and pains in your joints, eat a mix of grated fresh ginger and jaggery to keep the pains at bay.
Since it is higher in calories, it is suggested that you consume jaggery in moderation. If you are a diabetic or looking at consuming jaggery as a weight loss ingredient, always check with your doctor. Excessive consumption can lead to weight gain and fluctuations in blood-sugar levels.
(Pratibha spent her childhood in idyllic places only fauji kids would have heard of. When she's not rooting for eco-living or whipping up some DIY recipes to share with her readers, Pratibha is creating magic with social media. You can view her blog at www.pratsmusings.com or reach to her on Twitter at @myepica.)