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By eating certain foods you can manage the hormonal imbalances that are common in any pregnancy, increase your weakened immune system and even help reduce inflammation and pain. One such food is jaggery. Understanding the nutritional value of the food you eat and adding nutritive foods to your diet during pregnancy is extremely important.
Is Eating Jaggery Safe in Pregnancy?
Jaggery is considered a healthy form 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 extremely bad for you, however, regardless of what form you are consuming this sugar in.
So, can we eat jaggery during pregnancy? The answer is yes, but in moderation. Jaggery has essential mineral salts and iron that can be extremely beneficial for your pregnancy. If consumed in controlled amounts, jaggery can be extremely 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 they possess. Jaggery, for instance, is rich in iron, has good mineral salts, is high in potassium and in limited doses has good glucose. The nutritional content on 100g jaggery is given below.
- Calories: 383.
- Sucrose: 65–85 grams.
- Fructose and glucose: 10–15 grams.
- Protein: 0.4 grams.
- Fat: 0.1 grams.
- Iron: 11 mg, or 61% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 70-90 mg, or about 20% of the RDI.
- Potassium: 1050 mg, or 30% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 0.2–0.5 mg, or 10–20% of the RDI.
*RDI – Recommended Dietary Intake
Health Benefits of Eating Jaggery While Pregnant
Jaggery has a number of health benefits for which it is recommended during pregnancy. These benefits are enlisted below.
- Prevents Anaemia – Iron deficiencies can cause anaemia, 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 off some dangerous types of bacteria. This helps avoid infections and proves extremely healthy for anyone with a compromised immune system, including pregnant women who have weaker immunity due to the hormonal imbalance caused by pregnancy.
- Bone Health – Jaggery has properties that are considered healthy for improved 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 to a small extent has anti-inflammatory properties too, which help reduce and manage 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. This can help build immunity by allowing your body to absorb essential minerals.
It is recommended that you talk to a nutrition specialist 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 better understand what other benefits jaggery has during pregnancy.
Can Jaggery Cause Low Birth Weight Babies?
There are small chances of jaggery leading to babies being born underweight. This, however, is not something that you should panic over. Most doctors assume that over-consumption of jaggery combined with an unhealthy lifestyle during pregnancy can lead to the low body weight of your baby post-delivery. This can be combatted by eating healthy portions of jaggery and living a healthier lifestyle. Consult your doctor for more information on what you need to change 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:
- 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 jaggery, oats, honey, butter and dates. Mix these well and add the ragi flour to the mix once cooled.
- Knead this dough till it is fine and all the air gaps are gone. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and place it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit for 10 minutes.
- Remove dough from cling-wrap and cut into circular pieces. Place the cookies on the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Set aside to cool. Serve with tea or coffee.
Plantain Jaggery Chips:
- Peel the plantain and soak it in the turmeric water for 30 minutes.
- Place the plantain in some water with sea salt.
- Next, make caramel by adding jaggery to water and heating the mixture. Add some cinnamon and cardamom for additional flavour. Heat till the consistency becomes thick.
- Pat the plantain dry and shallow fry it in a pan.
- Dip the fried plantain in the thick jaggery caramel, allow it to cool.
- Serve as a side dish with lunch.
Remember, over-eating 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