We are all aware of the significance of practicing a healthy diet that offers many health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease, cholesterol, stroke, and diabetes, and is essential for good health and nutrition. In this aspect, it has become a trend for people to go for “healthy alternates” as a substitute for common foods such as sugar, meats, oil, nuts etc.
Jaggery is a non-traditional and non-centrifugal cane sugar produced primarily in Asia and Africa and is a commonly adapted healthy substitute for white sugar. It is sometimes called “non-centrifugal sugar,” because it is not spun during processing to remove the nutritious molasses.
Let us take a look at some health benefits of jaggery:
- Jaggery is rich in iron and folate, thus helping in reducing the risk of anemia.
- It helps in boosting immunity.
- Jaggery helps in treating common cold and cough.
- Consumption of jaggery with ginger can provide immense pain relief for people who have arthritis or any kind of pain in the joints.
Replacing jaggery for white sugar is a good substitute because it contains antioxidants and minerals such as zinc and selenium. However, jaggery is still sugar and should be used only when needed. It will cause the same effects as sugar on the blood glucose levels and has a similar caloric value too.
Sesame seed is a great seed that people can include in their diet. They are highly rich in oil, and even a small handful of them provides several health benefits which can protect one from heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis and help manage blood cholesterol levels.
Apart from these, they also have many other health benefits, including:
- Aids in curing constipation with their unsaturated fatty acid content and high fiber helps keep smooth bowel movements. The oil found in sesame seeds can work as a lubricant for the intestines.
- It helps decrease blood pressure as they are rich in magnesium. The buildup of plaque can be prevented with the help of lignans, vitamin E, and other antioxidants in its seeds.
- Sesame seeds are a quality source of several nutrients like zinc, selenium, copper, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin E that are important for building and improving the immune system. For instance, zinc aids in developing and activating certain white blood cells that recognize and attack invading microbes.
- Sesame seeds have quality nutrients essential to bone health, including calcium. The presence of zinc further acts as a vital mineral in strengthening the bone structure.
- Sesame seeds can reduce inflammation as sesame seeds and sesame oils also have anti-inflammatory properties.
- They have plant compounds and vitamin E, which combat oxidative stress in the body by functioning as antioxidants.
- For blood cell formation and function, sesame seeds are ideal as they are a good source of iron, copper, and vitamin B6.
- The rich omega fatty acid content in sesame seeds stimulates hair growth and repairs hair damage. Sesame seeds also help in moisturizing the scalp and enhance blood circulation to restore hair follicles.
Replacing jaggery for white sugar is considered a good substitute as it contains antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium that can improve one’s tolerance against infections. However, jaggery is still sugar in another form and should be used only when needed.
Sesame seeds are an excellent and quality source of healthy fats, protein, vitamin B, minerals, fiber, antioxidants. Frequent consumption of an adequate amount of sesame seeds by incorporating them into various foods of your choice is good for your health.