A sweet tooth is fairly a normal thing to have during pregnancy. Given the fluctuations of the hormones very now and then, you should not be surprised to find yourselves looking out for options to eat every time. At times like that, jaggery is the saviour! Gud in pregnancy or jaggery in pregnancy tends to promote good health for the mother and the baby. Take a look at what it can do.
Can we Eat Jaggery During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is totally safe to eat jaggery during pregnancy. It can keep you away from the risk of anaemia or iron deficiency. There is also something known as the palm jaggery, and it is considered healthier. However, in the 2nd month of the pregnancy, you need to watch out how much you eat. Consult a doctor for the number of servings.
Nutritional Value of Jaggery or Gud in Pregnancy:
Jaggery is rich in iron and has mineral salts. It is also high in potassium and has a limited amount of glucose in it. Besides, it has very less fat, about 0.1 gram in 100 grams of jaggery, making it a good option for anyone.
With pregnancy comes the big question of eating right. As the baby derives all its nutrients from the mother, it is important for the pregnant woman to eat a healthy diet packed with all the important vitamins and minerals. Many of us have a sweet tooth and avoid eating sugar during pregnancy for fear of weight gain and other complications. However, unrefined sugar in its natural form can give surplus health benefits. Yes, you guessed it right; jaggery is what we are talking about, 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 pure clarified sugarcane juice is boiled, then what is left behind as the residue is the jaggery.
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Types of Jaggery to Eat While Pregnancy:
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.
Take a look at the many kinds of jaggery that are available.
1. Sugar Cane Jaggery:
This one is anything between golden brown to dark colour. The jaggery is prepared by boiling sugarcane juice. Sugarcane juice extraction is the first step, followed by juice clarification, and juice concentration by boiling and 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’. Date palm 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. The other kind of jaggery you can eat during pregnancy is the black jaggery or the karuppati. It is made from and is commonly known as palm sugar. The other variant is black jaggery. Black jaggery during pregnancy is another good one for both the mother and her baby. It has more nutritional and medicinal benefits than cane sugar. Date palm is also a good source of the vitamin B complex, and it contains ascorbic acid. It tastes good and has mineral salts too.
3. Liquid Jaggery:
Liquid jaggery is typically used as a sweetener in food and drinks in many parts of India.
During pregnancy, kashayams or concoctions are given from the 7thmonth onwards to ease the pregnancy difficulties. This practice is widely followed in Tamil Nadu, and for this, black jaggery is used.
Benefits of JaggeryDuring Pregnancy:
Jaggery is the byproduct of sugarcane, and it is known as gur. Being rich in iron, it is also one good way to calm your sugar cravings at odd hours of the day. In fact, it is absolutely safe to have jaggery in the first month of your pregnancy. In the second month, watch out on your intake of jaggery. Too much of jaggery can cause low birth weight.
Here are some general benefits of eating gur in pregnancy.
1. Checks Blood Pressure:
A low sodium diet is recommended for pregnant women. Jaggery helps to lower the sodium level in the body and therefore regulates blood pressure. Besides, having optimum blood pressure will also reduce the chance of other kidney and heart-related diseases.
2. Maintains water retention:
Water retention is common in pregnancy. The high content of potassium in jaggery helps to reduce water retention and will thus monitor body weight during pregnancy. Oedema is another thing that can be prevented by eating jaggery.
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3. Prevents Anemia:
Consumption of jaggery during your pregnancy will significantly improve the RBCs (Red Blood Cell) count and will thus prevent the risk of anaemia. It also boosts the immune system and provides an instant source of energy, when needed.
4. Helps in blood purification:
Eating the optimum quantity of jaggery during pregnancy can help purify your blood by eliminating waste and toxins. This ensures the safety and good health of the precious little one growing inside you.
5. Enhances the functioning of the digestive system:
Eating jaggery in pregnancy helps in the efficient 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.
6. Reduces Joint Pain:
The vitamins and minerals present in jaggery can help to cure bone-related and joint stiffness problems.
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Quick and Easy Jaggery Recipes for Pregnant Women:
1. Jaggery Cookies with Finger Millet:
- Roast the finger millet, also known as ragi flour without oil, in a dry pan for about 10 minutes.
- In another bowl, add jaggery (powdered), oats, honey, butter, and some dates. Mix them well and add the flour to it.
- Knead well and wrap it. Keep it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. Now, take the dough out and make them into small pieces and place them on the baking tray.
- Allow it to cool. Enjoy your cookies with tea or coffee.
It is also known as jaggery laddu pregnancy recipe.
2. Plantain Gur Chips:
- Wash and peel the plantain and soak it in turmeric water for twenty minutes.
- Place the plantain in sea salt water.
- Make a caramel with jaggery. Add some water to jaggery and heat it. For more flavour, you can add crushed cardamom and cinnamon. The consistency has to become thick. Heat until then.
- Allow the plantain to dry and shallow fry it in a pan with oil.
- Dip it in the caramel solution and let it cool.
Palm sugar during pregnancy is also considered very good for the body. You can replace the regular jaggery with some palm jaggery.
The benefits of jaggery during pregnancy are many. The trick lies in identifying how much you can consume. Eating jaggery during early pregnancy 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.