Pregnancy

Eating Jaggery During Pregnancy Benefits

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With pregnancy comes the big question of eating right. As the baby derives all its nutrients from the mother, it is important for pregnant woman to eat a healthy diet packed with all the important vitamins and minerals. Many of us have sweet tooth and avoid eating sugars during pregnancy for the fear of weight gain and other complication. However unrefined sugar in its natural form can give surplus health benefits. Yes, you guessed it right; jaggery is what we are talking about. Many of us are unaware of jaggery benefits during pregnancy. Read on to learn more about the benefits of jaggery during pregnancy. But first, what is jaggery and what are its types.

Jaggery is a traditional Indian sweetener that is produced in addition to sugar from sugarcane. This traditional sweetener is a natural mixture of sugar and molasses. When the pure clarified sugarcane juice is boiled,what is left behind as the residue is the jaggery. The quality of the jaggery is dependent on the cane juice which in turn is determined by the variety and the environment in which the cane is cultivated and grown. Here are some of the types that you must have heard of.

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1. Sugar Cane Jaggery:

This one is anything between golden brown to dark color. The jaggery is prepared by boiling sugar cane juice. Sugarcane juice extraction is the first step followed by juice clarification, and juice concentration by boiling,cooling of concentrated juice and the last step is followed by molding and storage. Sugarcane jaggery tastes very sweet, with a hint of salt depending upon the juice extracted.

2. Date Palm Jaggery:

It is known as ‘karupatti’. It is a sweetener that is commonly used in South India and is an extract made from palm trees. It is known to have medicinal properties and some health benefits.

3. Liquid Jaggery:

liquid jaggery is typically used as a sweetener in food and drinks in many parts of India

Benefits of Jaggery During Pregnancy:

Jaggery also known as ‘gur’ is sugarcane by product. It contains 50% sucrose, 20% each of sugar and moisture while the remaining 10% constitutes proteins, fibers and insoluble matter. Jaggery is laden with iron, magnesium and antioxidants. But, is jaggery good during early pregnancy? According to a recent survey conducted on pregnant women it was found that a shocking ratio of only 14% pregnant women gave birth to healthy weighing babies.

This low birth weight ratio can be majorly attributed to poor or malnourished diet in expectant mothers. When talking about healthy diet during pregnancy one cannot miss out on mentioning jaggery. Besides being a natural source of sugar, jaggery also boosts the overall health of would-be-mothers.

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The other kind of jaggery you can eat during pregnancy is the black jaggery or the karuppati made from palm. It is also known as the palm sugar. Black jaggery during pregnancy is good for the mother and the baby. It is reported to have more nutritional and medicinal value than the cane sugar. It is also a good source of Vitamin B complex and it also contains ascorbic acid. It tastes good and has mineral salts too. During pregnancy, elders traditionally give kashayamsor concoctions every night from the 7 month on wards to ease the pregnancy difficulties. This practice is widely followed in Tamil Nadu and the black jaggery is considered safe during pregnancy.

Here are some general benefits of eating jaggery during pregnancy.

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1. Monitors Blood Pressure:

Maintaining blood pressure is very critical during pregnancy and most of the pregnant women are recommended a low sodium diet. Jaggery helps to lower sodium content and thus help in regulating blood pressure substantially. Besides, having optimum blood pressure also reduces the chance of other kidney and heart-related diseases.

2. Reduces Water Retention:

Water retention is a common problem faced by expectant mothers. The high content of potassium in jaggery helps to reduce water retention and also helps in monitoring body weight during pregnancy. Moreover, eating jaggery during pregnancy also considerably reduces the risk of edema.

3. Prevents Anaemia:

Consuming jaggery during your pregnancy improves the RBCs (Red Blood Cell) count and therefore prevents the risk of developing anaemia. It also boosts the immune system and provides instant source of energy, when needed.

4. Aids Blood Purification:

Eating optimum quantity of jaggery during pregnancy can help to purify your blood by eliminating waste and toxins. This ensures safety and good health of the precious little one growing inside you.

5. Boosts Functioning of The Digestive System:

Eating jaggery in pregnancy aids proper functioning of the digestive system. The unrefined sugar in jaggery promotes the secretion of digestive enzymes, thereby reducing the risks of indigestion, flatulence, intestinal worms and other digestive disorders. Additionally, it has been found that eating jaggery also eases bowel movements and prevents constipation.

See More: Coconut Water in Pregnancy

6. Reduces Joint Pain:

If you are suffering from joint pain, joint stiffness or any other bone related problems, then eating jaggery during pregnancy can help to relieve the condition. The vitamins and minerals present in jaggery help to nourish and strengthen the bones and joints in your body.

So, we now know the benefits of consuming jaggery during pregnancy. Eating the right amount of jaggery during pregnancy is good for overall health of the mother and the growing fetus. Moreover, eating jaggery while you are pregnant can also give you glowing and smooth skin. It not only nourishes the skin but also prevents the appearance of pimples, acne, blemishes and even wrinkles. Feels too good to be true! Well, try including jaggery in your pregnancy diet and feel the difference yourself.