01 Aug 2021: Is jaggery better than sugar? A comparison of health benefits
Jaggery or gur is a common substitute for sugar in Indian households and is made by evaporating the water from sugarcane or date palm. While sugar is also extracted from sugarcane, the processing steps in both the sweeteners make them distinct from each other. Let’s compare the differences between sugar and jaggery to understand which one is better for your health.
Lungs: Jaggery can cleanse the respiratory system and relieve congestion
Jaggery has anti-allergic properties and this makes it an excellent remedy for those who have breathing disorders. It eliminates the mucus and cleanses the respiratory system and this helps in treating asthma, cough, and chest congestion. Because of this, experts suggest that people with respiratory ailments should make jaggery a part of their daily diet. However, sugar has no such benefits on health.
Weight loss: While sugar causes weight gain, jaggery helps with weight loss
Jaggery is a rich source of potassium, which improves metabolism, thus aiding in weight loss by maintaining the electrolyte balance in the body. Sugar, on the other hand, causes sudden blood spikes in the body and this is a factor that leads to significant weight gain in the individual. If you’re looking to lose weight, substituting sugar with jaggery will lead to significant results.
Cramps: Jaggery is effective in relieving menstrual cramps
Eating jaggery or drinking its syrup is a common practice followed by menstruating women in rural villages as it helps relieve stomach cramps and reduces mood swings. In addition, jaggery is rich in iron and this helps in maintaining the blood levels during periods. Further, jaggery also releases happiness hormones, called endorphins, and this helps in relaxing the body during the monthly cycles.
Anemia: Jaggery reduces the risk of anemia and fatigue
Jaggery is rich in iron and folate that play a crucial role in preventing anemia and fatigue. It is hence an age-old remedy that is still being followed in Indian villages to help regulate hemoglobin levels after childbirth. It has also been observed that regularly consuming jaggery helps in purifying the blood and prevents various blood disorders. However, sugar doesn’t have such benefits.