Jaggery, commonly known as ‘gur’ in India, is popularly used in Indian households not just for the taste but also for the unique flavor that it gives to the food. Traditionally, most of the sweet dishes were prepared with natural jaggery or shakkar before sugar even became popular.
Gradually, as people are understanding that sugar can prove to be harmful to the body, they have been looking for better alternatives. In solid cube form or powdered form, Jaggery is often seen as the best substitute for sugar and people buy natural jaggery online in a cube or powdered form. Sugar and jaggery, both come from the sugarcane sap, but it is the process of making both the sweeteners that makes them different.
Jaggery is obtained a few stages earlier than sugar. The process of making sugar involves chemicals and bleaching agents. The chemicals are used to separate molasses from sugar. The white color of sugar is then achieved by bleaching the sugar. All in all, there are multiple chemicals used while making sugar which certainly steals away its purity.
Since there are no bleaching agents or chemicals used while making jaggery, it is much purer than sugar. Both sugar and jaggery are used as sweetening agents, but one is a healthier option than the other. The demand for jaggery has increased over the years and it deserves the attention that it is getting. We buy shakkar online and one can easily see the ever-increasing brands that have started selling these products. All this is done in keeping in mind the increasing demand.
There are reasons why people consider it a good sugar substitute and it is not just because it is chemical-free, but also because it has additional health benefits.
MAINTAINS ENERGY LEVELS: Jaggery being a complex carbohydrate, does not release energy in the body instantly. It gradually releases energy and for a longer period in comparison to sugar. Sugar, on the other hand, is a simple carbohydrate that gets absorbed in the body instantly and gives instant energy, which is more like a sugar rush. So, for maintaining energy levels for a longer period, jaggery is the best as it gradually released energy in the body.
HELPS IN ELECTROLYTE BALANCE: Being a rich source of potassium, jaggery helps in balancing out the electrolytes in the body along with maintaining the mineral levels in the body.
EXCELLENT SOURCE OF IRON: For getting a good amount of plant-based iron, jaggery is highly recommended. Replacing jaggery with refined sugar can help add more iron to the body, which can also help reduce the risk of anemia.
BOOSTS DIGESTION: Often, in Indian households, jaggery is had after the meals and there is a reason for that. It is not just had for the sweet tooth, but jaggery also helps in digestion which is why people prefer having a piece of jaggery after their meals. Jaggery stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes which decreases the load on the digestive tract, hence speeding the process of digestion.
These are just a few of the health benefits that jaggery has. Jaggery can be considered a superfood because of the multiple health benefits it has. Other than the above-mentioned benefits, jaggery or ‘gur’ is good for people with diabetes and can be used in place of sugar. It also helps to improve the immunity of the body.
The key thing to notice here is to check if the jaggery that you’re buying is pure or not. With so many brands available, people hope to buy pure jaggery online for which they pay increased prices as well, just to be sure that whatever they are buying is pure. It is better to figure out if the jaggery is pure or not. It is not so surprising to find adulteration in the jaggery. So to avoid consuming adulterated jaggery there are a few things that you can check.
CHECK FOR ANY BITTERNESS IN JAGGERY: Tasting the jaggery is the best way to identify if the jaggery is pure or not. Anything that does not taste well then is certainly not ideal for tasting. The jaggery tastes bitter if it has gone through the process of caramelization during the process of boiling. Also, if the jaggery tastes salty, then it is because the jaggery is not fresh. Older the jaggery, the saltier it gets.
CRYSTAL FORMATION ON JAGGERY: Adulterated jaggery that is sold in the market may have crystals formations on it. This is because the jaggery may have gone through some other process to make it sweeter. Such jaggery is oftentimes not pure and may include chemicals and added colors.
RIGHT COLOR: The color can also help in identifying if the jaggery is pure or not. The right color of pure jaggery is dark brown because of the presence of molasses in it. But, a yellowish variant of jaggery is largely sold in the markets which is not the pure form of jaggery as it may have gone through a chemical treatment to attain that color.
A careful observation of what you consume can help in keeping healthy. Jaggery has health benefits but that should not mean that people would have any jaggery they get. Checking the adulteration is important to make sure whatever you and your family are having is healthy. Adulterated jaggery will have no health benefits and can also have ill effects on the body because of the presence of certain chemicals.