Consuming Jaggery (Gur) During Pregnancy
For a pregnancy to proceed smoothly, it is integral that the pregnant woman has a healthy diet and understands the nutritional value of food items before adding them to her diet. By eating certain foods, you can manage the hormonal imbalances that are common during pregnancy, improve your weakened immune system and even help reduce inflammation and pain. A food item that can be beneficial to a pregnant woman is jaggery.
Is Eating Jaggery Safe During Pregnancy?
Jaggery is considered a good source of glucose by a lot of people. It is assumed that this is a natural, non-processed form of sugar. Glucose taken in large doses can be harmful to you, regardless of which form of sugar you are consuming.
So, can we eat jaggery during pregnancy? The answer is yes, but in moderation. Jaggery has essential mineral salts and iron that can be beneficial for your pregnancy. If consumed in limited quantities, jaggery can be healthy for your pregnancy as it helps clean your blood and prevent anaemia.
Nutritional Value of Jaggery
When adding an ingredient, it is crucial to understand the nutritional value it possesses. Jaggery, for instance, is rich in iron, has mineral salts, is high in potassium and can provide the right amount of glucose when consumed in limited doses. The nutritional content of 100 grams of jaggery is given below.
- Calories: 383
- Carbohydrate: 84.8 grams
- Protein: 1.85 grams
- Fat: 0.16 grams
- Iron: 4.63 mg, or 61% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 115 mg, or about 20% of the RDI
- Potassium: 488 mg, or 30% of the RDI
- Manganese: 0.72 mg, or 10–20% of the RDI
*RDI – Recommended Dietary Intake
Health Benefits of Eating Jaggery While Pregnant
Jaggery has several health benefits; hence, it is recommended during pregnancy. Given below are some of the benefits of jaggery.
- Prevents Anaemia – Iron deficiencies can cause anaemia, and jaggery has a high content of iron which helps prevent anaemia.
- Cleanses the Blood – Jaggery has numerous anti-bacterial properties that help clean the blood. This can help avoid infections and proves to be healthy for anyone with a compromised immune system. It is particularly beneficial to pregnant women who have weaker immunity due to the hormonal imbalance caused by pregnancy.
- Bone Health – Jaggery has certain properties that can help in improving bone density. This can be very useful for pregnant women.
- Helps Reduce Water Retention – Water retention is a common pregnancy problem, and eating jaggery during pregnancy helps combat this due to its high potassium content.
- Reduces Inflammation – Jaggery also has certain anti-inflammatory properties, which can help in reducing and managing inflammation caused during the latter part of your pregnancy.
- Helps Maintain Electrolyte Balance – Jaggery is rich in potassium. Potassium helps regulate the electrolyte balance in your body.
It is recommended that you talk to a nutritionist to ensure you know how to eat jaggery during pregnancy and how much of it is considered a healthy portion size. Consult your doctor to understand better what other benefits jaggery has during pregnancy.
Can Jaggery Cause Low Body Weight in Babies?
There is a small chance of jaggery leading to babies being born underweight. Most doctors believe that over-consumption of jaggery combined with an unhealthy lifestyle during pregnancy can lead to a low body weight of your baby post-delivery. This can be combatted by eating healthy portions of jaggery and having a healthy lifestyle. Consult your doctor for more information on what you need to change in your lifestyle during pregnancy.
Quick and Delicious Jaggery Recipes for Pregnant Women
Jaggery is a versatile ingredient; it can be used in numerous ways. Here are a couple of yummy and quick recipes that make use of jaggery for pregnant women.
Finger Millet and Jaggery Cookies:
- Finger Millet (Ragi) flour- 50 gms
- Wheat flour- 50 gms
- Oats- 20 gms
- Jaggery Powder- 60 gms
- Unsalted Butter- 80 gms
- Baking powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Milk- 2 tablespoons
- Roast finger millet (ragi) flour in a dry pan for 10 minutes. Set aside in a bowl to cool.
- While the flour is cooling, in a separate bowl, add powdered wheat flour, jaggery, oats, baking powder, and butter. Mix these well and add the ragi flour to the mix once cooled.
- Add 1 tbs of milk and start kneading the dough. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 160°C.
- Remove the cling wrap from the dough and roll the dough into small balls. Using your hands flatten each ball and place them on the tray and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Set aside to cool. Serve with tea or coffee.
Plantain Jaggery Chips:
- Plantains- 2
- Dry Ginger powder- 1 tsp
- Jaggery syrup- 3/4th cup
- Cumin powder- 1 tsp
- Powdered sugar- 3 tbs
- Oil for deep frying
- Peel the plantains cut them lengthwise, and then cut them in small pieces.
- Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the plantain pieces and reduce the flame to medium.
- Fry the plantain till it becomes crispy and red in colour.
- Take the pieces out and let them cool for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Next, add jaggery syrup and ginger powder in a pan and boil this mixture. Add the cumin powder and mix well.
- Add the fried plantain pieces to this mixture and coat the pieces with the jaggery syrup.
- Remove the pan from the stove and add powdered sugar to it.
- Allow the plantain chips to cool and then enjoy this sweet treat.
Peanut Sesame Seeds (Til) Chikki
- Peanuts- 2 cups
- White Sesame Seeds (til)- 1/2 cup
- Jaggery- 1½ cups
- Ghee– 1 tsp
- Roast the peanuts and let them cool before removing the skin and dividing it into halves.
- Roast the white sesame seeds till they get a golden-brown colour.
- Heat a pot, add the jaggery and ghee and cook it till the jaggery melts. Add a drop of water to check if the jaggery hardens on coming in contact with water. If it does, go on to the next step.
- Turn off the flame, and add the peanuts and til to the pot and mix well.
- Take a plate and grease it with ghee and pour the jaggery, peanut, and til mixture on the plate.
- Spread the mixture evenly across the plate.
- Cut the chikki pieces while the jaggery is still soft and let it cool completely.
- Separate the chikki pieces and enjoy this healthy snack!
Remember, consuming large quantities of any food can have major repercussions. Talk to your doctor and nutritionist before adding any food to your diet and ensure you understand how as well as in what quantity you should consume it.
Also Read: Consuming Litchee During Pregnancy