Jaggery might be the poster icon of sweeteners thanks to its many health benefits and nutrient contents. After all, this is an excellent source of energy and could boost your metabolism and also increase iron intake. Ayurveda also uses guda, jaggery, or gur to help treat a number of conditions, from anxiety, migraines and fatigue. But as with any healthy food, jaggery also has certain shortcoming. Depending on your total medical history and health, also due to the purity of the jaggery, consuming this sugary food might present some possible health issues. Here is a closer look at some of the serious side effects of jaggery.
1. Can cause inflammation
According to ayurveda, jaggery or gur is best avoided for condition of shotha which is a type of swelling or edema. Rich in sugary, it may worsen the edema or any fluid retention you across. This is why when it comes to the swelling of joints, this sweet food suggests a list of things that should be avoided. Sugary foods and refined sugar in common are known to be associated with inflammation in body. And while jaggery is not refined, it is largely made up of sucrose, so when you have inflammatory symptoms, including problems such as arthritis and rheumatoid, you should watch your intake. Several animal studies have also revealed that sucrose can interfere with the activity of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids, increasing your inflammation.
2. Raises blood sugar levels
Jaggery is a sweetener and rich in sugar. If you are diabetic, you might want to watch your sugar intake to avoid any episode of hyperglycemia, in which you see a sudden rise in blood sugar levels. And jaggery like any other sugary substances can cause your blood sugar level to increase when you consume it. Eat too much and you are likely to face the real risk of complications arising from hyperglycemia. A 10-gram serving of jaggery has almost entirely sugar, 9.7 gram of it to be in exact term. As a study of people having non-insulin dependent diabetes found showed that jaggery produced some responses comparable to sucrose and honey or plain sugar on blood glucose response tests. In other words, you cannot call jaggery a better choice for diabetics. Ayurveda recommends that diabetics depends on sweet food items like sugar and jaggery.
3. Causes weight gain
Loaded with 38.3 of calories in every 10 gm, jaggery is surely no diet food. If you eat too often jaggery and use it moderately in your beverages, meals, dessert, and snacks, you may build up calories and sugar, both of which you can see piling on extra pounds. This is a food that has largely carbohydrates and that too mainly sugar. Although it has some nutrients, there are more healthy foods and lower calories to get those nutrients from your daily diet, let it be through fresh vegetables, or whole grains, or fruits.
4. Increases the risk of parasitic infections
If jaggery is impure or not properly prepared, you also have the risk of having intestinal worms or parasites after eating it. As a study revealed that the unhygienic conditions under which mostly jaggery is prepared traditionally can make it more rich in microbes, many of which be resistant to various antibiotics and might adversely affect health. Jaggery is mainly a part of anti-intestinal ayurvedic drugs or manibhadra guda the role of which is to attract worms to intestines so herbs in the medicine can act against these infections.
5. May trigger ulcerative colitis
While jaggery is seen as a better alternative to other sweetener, it makes it to the list of risky foods you should avoid risk of ulcerative colitis. Sugars seem to worsen the condition, allowing intestinal microbes to grow.
A study on the connection between the digestive health problem and autism has found that a particular carbohydrate diet, made to help correct digestive imbalances, might help with issues of brain, including seizures. As per this study, you should avoid jaggery. Other many foods to be avoided include starchy vegetables, canned vegetables, processed foods, grains, milk products, flour, and even sugar.
6. May cause constipation
Freshly prepared jaggery is supposed to be a kapha-inducing food as per ayurveda. So, as a result, it can lead to indigestion. Some people experience constipation from jaggery consupmtion as well. Old jaggery is generally a year old. Jaggery older than three years is referred to as prapuranaguda, which is usually used in ayurvedic medicines.
7. Increases the risk of allergy
There is also of chance that jaggery can be allergic to you. In this case, it may be better option for you and might be a better substitute to another natural sweetener such as cane sugar. In case you have an allergy to jaggery, below are some of side effects you may experience:
- Runny or stuffy nose
If you are not allergic to jaggery, it is actually the best great anti-allergy treatment. An ayurvedic remedy may use jaggery and 4-5 spoons of cooked turmeric having butter to counter asthmatic attack.
8. Risk of adulteration
Even if you have no allergy to jaggery or any other medical history which might prevent you from consuming jaggery regularly, you must be mindful of issues that could affect anyone. One of the major side effects of jaggery is facing consistency and purity. Unlike any other foods which are prepared by automated plants and fixed standards, because the way jaggery is made decides quality, color, and many nutrients which may vary a bit. When automated, the color and taste are uniform. But this is only done in case of sugarcane jaggery and not any other kind of jaggery.
The adulteration of jaggery might involve addition of chemicals which have adverse effects on the health.