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7 health benefits of jaggery or gur you didn't know about!

Chuck white sugar and opt for jaggery instead. Here are some of its health benefits.

Written by Kriti Saraswat |Updated : September 10, 2015 7:10 PM IST

Read this in Hindi.

Can't give up eating sugar or something sweet? It is time to switch to a healthier option, jaggery. Calledgurin Hindi, it is essentially unrefined sugar which is obtained from raw, concentrated sugar cane juice. It is prepared by boiling sugar cane juice till it solidifies and then put into blocks. Although gur can be made from other sources namely from date palm and the sap of coconut, the one made from sugar cane juice is the most commonly used.

According to Naini Setalvad, a renowned nutritionist and obesity consultant, Jaggery is the closest substitute to white sugar and is healthy too. It can be used exactly like sugar as you get in powder, solid and liquid form. Not only isgur better than white sugar which only adds empty calories to your body, it also has a few health benefits. Here's why it is good for your health.

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#1 Prevents constipation

Jaggery helps prevent and relieve constipation by stimulating bowel movements. It activates the digestive enzymes in our body and thus helps in proper digestion of your food. This is the reason, why most people tend to eatgurafter their meals. Here s how to relieve your constipation with these easy home remedies.

#2 Is good for anemics

Guris also an excellent source of iron, a mineral that plays a key role in the production of haemoglobin. Hence, adding jiggery to your food preparations or eating a small amount of jaggery can actually fulfil your daily requirement of iron. This in turn, lowers your chance of suffering from iron-deficiency anemia.

#3 Cleanses the liver

Want to effectively detox your body? Eat a small piece of jaggery. It helps detoxify your liver by flushing out harmful toxins from your body. Read about ayurvedic detox diet a step-by-step guide to cleanse your body.

#4 Treats flu-like symptoms

Cough and cold, water retention, bloating and migraine are some of the minor health problems that most of us experience on an everyday basis. However, you can fight these symptoms with the help ofgur. All you need to do is mix it with warm water and drink or add it in your tea instead of sugar to reap its benefits.

#5 Reduces PMS

Do you experience sudden mood swings just before your periods? If yes, eat a small piece of jaggery daily to combat these symptoms of PMS. Caused due to fluctuating levels of hormones in your body, jaggery causes the release of endorphins aka happy hormones. This in turn relaxes your body and makes you feel good thereby preventing from premenstrual syndrome.

#6 Increases immunity

Our body's ability to fight infections and keep us healthy is greatly dependant on our immune system. Jaggery is loaded with antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium, which help prevent free-radical damage and also boost resistance against infections. Here are 5 amazing tips to improve your immunity.

A word of caution!

Though there aren t any notable side-effects of consuming gur, it is slightly high on the number of calories it contains 4 kcal/gram. Hence, people who are on a weight loss diet or are diabetic should monitor their consumption as it can lead to weight gain and fluctuations in the blood sugar levels. It is best to consult your dietician before you start eating jagerry to know how much is needed by your body.

With inputs from nutritionistNeha Chandna

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