Is Jaggery Good For Diabetes? 9 Health Benefits

Jaggery, commonly called ‘gur’ in the Hindi language is a traditional sweetener and food supplement in Asian countries. There is a common misconception that jaggery can be safely replaced with table sugar in Diabetes.  However, this is completely wrong.  Jaggery is also a food with a high glycemic index of 86, having the same amount of carbohydrates as that of table sugar. So jaggery can drastically increase blood glucose levels and is not good for individuals with Diabetes.

Prolonged consumption of jaggery in a diet, can increase the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes, especially for those with a family history of type 2 diabetes. Jaggery is rapidly absorbed and released into the bloodstream causing blood sugar spikes.

Therefore, jaggery is strongly prohibited to be included in your diabetic diet

9 Health Benefits of Jaggery

This wonderful naturally made sweetener offers multifarious health privileges, in non diabetic individuals. Despite undergoing through the boiling process for long hours, it tends to retain all the essential nutrients to a pretty appreciable extent.

1. Improves Immunity

Antioxidants present in it detoxifies the liver and boost up immunity.

2. Prevents Anemia

Blood purification is another extended perk we receive. Being rich in iron, enhances hemoglobin levels of our blood, thereby preventing anemia and other such diseases linked with iron deficiency.

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3. Natural remedy for Flu and Cold

It is the best natural medicine for winters to curb the problem of flu and cold. Zinc and Selenium help the body to fight infections.

4. Control Body Weight

Surprisingly, jaggery is known to control body weight due to an apparent amount of potassium which is responsible for maintaining the electrolytic balance of the body and also reduces water retention in body cells.

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5. Act as Energy Booster

It is a good source of energy for people who had recently recovered from a disease or encountered an accident. Properties like prevention of fatigue, weakness, and pain as well as increased metabolic efficiency are also exhibited.

6. Reduce Menstural Cramps

Women must consume it during periods as it significantly reduces pain and menstrual cramps. In the case of irregular bowel movement, the condition termed as constipation, jaggery consumption is recommended.

7. It has Diuretic action

It leads to the activation of certain necessary digestive enzymes and being diuretic, it assists the regulation of water levels in the body.

8. Reduce Oxidative Stress

It further aids digestion and relieves oxidative stress. Ayurvedic has unleashed and applied the intricate potential of Jaggery in the treatment of lung infections, sores, and bad throat, asthma, and migraines.

9. Reducing high Blood Pressure

It is also a good choice for people having high blood pressure as both key minerals – sodium and potassium, which influence blood pressure to enormous range are found in jaggery.

What are the Disadvantages of Eating Jaggery?

Everything had two sides – a positive one and a negative one. Similarly, jaggery also brings undesired results when consumed excessively or under inappropriate health conditions.

1. Eating a lot of jaggery is linked to weight gain and obesity.

This is contrary to the former fact that jaggery can result in weight loss. If taken in a considerable amount, it helps to keep the bodyweight under check. But as we know, going beyond the limits is always disastrous. The outcomes can be another way also. Obviously, jaggery is mainly carbohydrate and contains plentiful calories which may lead to weight gain.

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2. In summers, eating excessive jaggery can result in unusual nasal bleeding. This is probably due to the extreme heat generated in the body.

3. People with rheumatoid arthritis should strictly avoid taking jaggery in any form. It increases swelling even more under such conditions.

4. Jaggery is completely the worst food to eat in case of ulcerative colitis. This disease affects bowel movement and causes infection of the digestive tract. The large intestine is badly affected, particularly, colon and rectum. Jaggery consumption during this time can invoke the risk of developing colon cancer. The reasons for this are not so apparent.

What is the Nutritional value of Jaggery?

jaggary benefits

To conclude the health benefits of any food, we need to emphasize its nutritional data. Apart from carbohydrates, Jaggery is also loaded with multiple minerals crucial for several body functions. Some amount of vitamins are also present, particularly vitamin B6 and folates.

Below is the synopsis of nutritional evaluation of jaggery per 10 gram;

  • Calories – 38g
  • Carbohydrates – 9.8g
  • Proteins – 0.01g
  • Water – 0.4g
  • Niacin – 0.011g
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.004mg
  • Folates – 0.1mg
  • Calcium – 8mg
  • Iron – 0.3mg
  • Magnesium – 16 mg
  • Phosphorus –
  • Potassium – 13mg
  • Sodium – 3mg
  • Manganese – 0.01mg
  • Selenium – 0.12mcg

After the thorough analysis of nutritional information, researchers have listed some prominent efficacies of jaggery for better health.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128169186000160
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/12/5955
  3. https://www.jmnn.org/article.asp?issn=2278-1870;year=2013;volume=2;issue=2;spage=84;epage=85;aulast=Latt
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5105573/
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sidra-Khalid-6/publication/346008285_Glycemic_Response_of_Natural_Sweeteners_like_Sugarcane_Juice_Honey_and_Jaggery_in_Healthy_Individuals/links/5fb56e2d299bf1a57a45513b/Glycemic-Response-of-Natural-Sweeteners-like-Sugarcane-Juice-Honey-and-Jaggery-in-Healthy-Individuals.pdf
  6. https://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:jdfhs&volume=29&issue=1&article=006

 

Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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