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Known also by the name gur, jaggery is an extremely popular sweetener used in Indian households. Because it contains molasses in significant quantities, it is not heavily refined and is commonly characterised as a "healthier" sugar than other forms of sugar .
Despite the fact that some of these claims have been supported by science, studies are still being conducted to determine if jaggery is beneficial to health in general and poses any health risks.
Among the sources of jaggery are palmyra, date palms, and coconuts. In addition to providing a lot of nutrients that are required for the body, jaggery is the best way to sweeten baby's food because it contains more calcium, phosphorus, iron, and other minerals than sugar.
Is Jaggery Good For Babies?
There are many health benefits to giving jaggery to babies older than one year of age. It is an unrefined sugar that does not affect the baby's digestive system like sugar and offers many health benefits to babies as well. These include boosting the immune system, preventing anaemia, cleansing the liver, and strengthening the bones of babies above the age of one .
It is recommended, however, to consume jaggery in moderation.
Read on to learn more about the health benefits jaggery offers to babies.
Benefits Of Jaggery For Babies
1. May help prevent anaemia
A good source of iron, jaggery is an essential mineral for the production of haemoglobin. The addition of jaggery to a baby's diet provides sufficient amounts of iron and prevents the risk of iron deficiency as well as meeting a baby's daily mineral requirements .
2. Prevents constipation
In babies, jaggery helps prevent constipation by stimulating smooth bowel movements. It stimulates the digestive enzymes and promotes digestion. It cleanses the body and detoxifies the liver .
3. Strengthens the bones
Jaggery contains minerals such as calcium and phosphorus which are necessary for the development of healthy bones and tissues in babies. Including jaggery in the diet of a newborn may enable the child to develop strong and healthy bones .
4. Treats cold and flu
Having a weak immune system, babies are often susceptible to colds, flu and coughs. Jaggery is highly effective at treating cold and flu symptoms. Including it in a baby's diet will provide immediate relief. However, consult your child's paediatrician first .
5. May enhance immunity
A rich source of antioxidants and minerals such as selenium and zinc helps prevent cell damage due to free radical activity, helping the baby to combat infection and thus increasing his or her immunity .
Side Effects Of Jaggery For Babies
However, there are few potential risks associated with consuming jaggery, in excessive. A baby may become addicted to jaggery as a result of its sweet taste. Jaggery may also cause intestinal worms and even heat bumps in babies if it is given in excess quantities. As well as being high in calories, it can adversely affect a baby's weight, increasing the risk of childhood obesity.
Therefore, it should be consumed in moderation for the maximum benefits.
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