If you are someone who is health-conscious along with a sweet tooth, you must be aware how palm jaggery benefits your health already! If not, it is a good idea to ditch that white table sugar altogether and replace it with the wholesome goodness of palm jaggery! Unlike the refined processed nutrient-stripped white sugar which gives you nothing but a sweet flavor, this alternative sweetener is nutrient-dense and naturally sweet! It not only flavors your food with that natural sweetness but also enriches your body with iron, vitamins, and other essential minerals! Prepared from palm tree extracts, it can be found in liquid or hardened rock form as well. Given its naturally nourishing properties, it is a treasure to add to your diet! To know more about palm jaggery benefits, read on!
What Is It?
A type of unrefined light golden to light brown sugar made from date palms.
What Are Its Benefits?
It helps boost energy, improves digestion, reduces migraines, and aids weight loss.
Who Can Consume It?
All except those who are diabetic.
Regularly, in moderation.
Excess consumption can cause obesity, heart disease, or type-2 diabetes due to its high sugar content.
How Is Palm Jaggery Made?
- Sap Collection: Harvesters make an incision in the flowering part of the palm tree and allow the sap to flow out. This sap is then collected in containers like clay pots or plastic bags that are later hung from trees.
- Boiling And Evaporation: The collected sap is transferred to large, open pans or vats, where it is boiled and continuously stirred. As the sap heats, the water evaporates and the liquid thickens.
- Clarification: Any impurities or solid particles are skimmed off the boiling sap to clarify it.
- Cooling And Solidification: The concentrated sap is then allowed to cool, causing it to solidify into a dense, dark-colored mass.
- Molding: The solidified sap is poured into molds to create palm jaggery blocks or discs.
- Storage: The palm jaggery is stored once it cools and solidifies.
This unique way of preparing palm jaggery bestows it with important nutrients that offer many health benefits. Learn more about them in the next section.
Health Benefits Of Palm Jaggery
The palm jaggery benefits for health are:
1. Rich Source Of Minerals
Palm jaggery is rich in essential minerals. According to some studies, it has 60 times more minerals than white sugar. It is also the storehouse of many vitamins (1).
2. May Restore Healthy Digestion
It may sound strange, but palm jaggery may work as a digestive agent. In some regions of India, people take small servings of it after heavy meals for effective digestion. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it activates the digestive enzymes and may help cleanse the intestinal tracts.
3. Rich In Nutrients
Palm jaggery is rich in iron and magnesium. Regular consumption of iron-rich foods increases hemoglobin level and treats anemia (2). Magnesium, on the other hand, regulates the nervous system (3). High antioxidant content of this natural sweetener helps to protect body cells from damages caused by free radicals. It is equally rich in calcium, potassium, and phosphorus (1).
4. Energy Booster
Palm jaggery is a complex carbohydrate. You can digest it slower than white sugar. It is digested slower and therefore releases out energy when consumed. This means that you can have more energy and be active for hours after eating palm jaggery.
5. May Act As An Antioxidant
Palm jaggery may help you detox and clean up your digestive system and act as an antioxidant. It may help to support the respiratory tract, intestines, lungs, and stomach. It may also help to get rid of toxins from the body, leaving you healthy and fit!
6. May Help Relieve Constipation
Jaggery palm is full of dietary fibers. These fibers help with constipation and indigestion (4). Fiber cleans the system by flushing out unwanted particles like bad cholesterol and toxins. It also stimulates bowel movement.
7. May Help Relieve Many Common Ailments
Palm jaggery was used in ancient times for its medicinal properties. In fact, it was used to treat dry coughs and common colds. Palm jaggery may help to clear the respiratory tract by dissolving the mucus. If a person who is suffering respiratory problems like asthma can take palm jaggery to treat it.
A South Indian homemaker and food blogger, talks about using palm jaggery in her recipes. She mentions, “I powder the palm jaggery and use it in coffee/tea in rainy seasons. Karupatti vellam [jaggery] also prevents cold and allergies in the first place (it is available in cube forms but mostly as chunks). Also sometimes, the cubes become my toffee (i).”
8. May Help Reduce Migraines
Migraine is the most painful of all headaches. Natural medicinal content of palm jaggery helps to reduce this pain.
According to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) about 25.5% women aged between 18 to 44 years of age are likely to have migraine symptoms. The number decreased with age to 7.6% for people women above the age of 75. In 2018, women were twice as likely to experience migraine headaches than men.
By taking 1 teaspoon of palm jaggery, you may experience relief from migraine.
9. May Help With Weight Loss
This is a startling fact about palm jaggery, which is rich in potassium (1). A higher count of potassium in this raw sweetener reduces water retention and bloating (5), (6). As such, your weight loss regimen is well supported by this sweetener, and of course, for better results, follow a balanced diet and active lifestyle.
10. Seasonal Effects On Body
Palm jaggery may offer relief from both blistering summers and chilling winters. In summer, palmyra jaggery gives you the cooling respite while date palm jaggery keeps you warm during winters.
Note: Some of these benefits are based on anecdotal evidence and warrant more research.
Infographic: 5 Benefits Of Palm Jaggery
Palm jaggery is the best replacement for sugar. It has several health benefits and is extensively used in Ayurveda and traditional medicine. It lets you enjoy your sweet tooth without making you feel like you’re inhaling calories. Check out the infographic below to learn more about its guilt-free benefits.
Palm jaggery benefits are numerous. It is rich in vitamins and minerals that can boost immunity, and promote overall health. It also can promote digestive health and help manage anemia and hemoglobin levels. In addition, palm jaggery contains magnesium that can positively impact the nervous system. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it may also improve hair health and skin health. This complex carbohydrate is an effective energy booster. It also helps with detoxification by flushing out the toxins in the body, and the dietary fiber in palm jaggery helps relieve constipation. Try replacing white sugar with palm jaggery to reap its benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we eat palm jaggery daily?
Yes, but in moderation. Anecdotal evidence suggests not to consume more than 20-25g of organic palm jaggery per day.
Is palm jaggery good for people with diabetes?
No. People with diabetes should consume foods with a low glycemic index. Palm jaggery has a high glycemic index and may not be ideal for those with diabetes.
Is palm jaggery hot or cold?
Palm jaggery is considered hot, as it generates heat and increases internal body temperature.
Can we eat palm jaggery on an empty stomach?
Yes, consuming palm jaggery on an empty stomach in the morning can provide numerous health benefits. It may improve digestion and boost energy levels. However, consume it in moderation and consult a doctor in case of underlying health conditions like diabetes.
How does palm jaggery impact blood sugar levels compared to other sweeteners?
Palm jaggery has a lower glycemic index, compared to white sugar and other sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. It is absorbed slowly by the body and does not cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. So it is considered a better option for people with diabetes or those looking to control their blood sugar levels. However, we recommend consulting your doctor before consuming it.
Is palm jaggery safe for consumption by children and pregnant women?
Palm jaggery, in moderation, is safe for consumption by children and pregnant women. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor or a nutritionist before adding it to your diet, especially during pregnancy.
- Palm jaggery is a good and healthy replacement for sugar.
- It is rich in nutrients that promote heart health and increases hemoglobin in our blood.
- It reduces water retention and bloating due to its high potassium content.
- Palm jaggery also helps relieve symptoms of constipation and other digestive issues.
Check out this amazing video to learn about the 10 incredible health benefits of palm jaggery. Discover how this natural sweetener can help improve your health.
Personal Experience: Source
i. Karupatti Vellam (Pana Vellam) (Palm Jaggery)
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- Sustainable Processes and Chemical Characterization of Natural Food Additives Palmyra Palm (Borassus Flabellifer Linn.) Granulated Sugar
- Iron Deficiency Anemia
- The Role of Magnesium in Neurological Disorders
- Effect of dietary fiber on constipation a meta analysis
- On the mechanism of the effects of potassium restriction on blood pressure and renal sodium retention
- Increment in Dietary Potassium Predicts Weight Loss in the Treatment of the Metabolic Syndrome