Many people will be surprised to know that sugar is actually a Chinese product. In fact, no one used sugar in India as late as the 19th century. That is why sugar is called 'chini' in Hindi which roughly translated to 'Chinese origin'. But if we didn't use sugar, then what did we use to sweeten our foods and beverages?
Indians use jaggery or gur which is a complex form of sugar. Jaggery has innumerable health benefits. Jaggery is usually made with sugarcane or date juice. It has rough texture and does not dissolve easily. But the healthy benefits of jaggery are undeniable. In a comparison of sugar versus jaggery, the later wins hands down.
Here are some health benefits of jaggery that might motivate you to use this complex sugar as an alternative sweetener.
Cools Your Stomach: Jaggery is made from sugarcane juice. When you soak it in water and drink it, jaggery helps to cool your stomach. This is a standard way to keep the body cool in hot Indian summer.
Relaxes You: Jaggery has selenium in very high amounts. Thus having this complex sugar relaxes your nerves. That is why jaggery is often had with rotis at night to have a sound sleep.
Less Calories: When you compare the calories of sugar versus jaggery, the latter has much less calories. Sugar is the simplest form of glucose available to us. But jaggery is solid and tougher to digest. That is why, jaggery is more like a healthy carbohydrate than a form of glucose.
Rich In Iron: Jaggery has iron and that is why women need it. The rich deposits of iron in jaggery can help Indian women who have tendency to be anaemic.
Fights Cancer: Jaggery has lots of antioxidants in it. So it cleanses your system, fight cancer and also delays ageing.
Postnatal Food: The India diet for a woman who has just been through child birth always contained jaggery. Not only does it give lots of energy to the recuperating woman but also removes all the blood clots from her body.
Cures Pains: Jaggery has selenium and thus it is also good at relieving cramps and pain. Migraines and menstrual cramps can be relieved by having this complex sugar.
These are some of the best known health benefits of jaggery. If you know any other health benefits of jaggery, then please do share it with us via your comments.