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    Food For Thought: Which Is Healthier, Honey (Shehed) Or Jaggery (Gur)?

    Honey and jaggery have been used for sweetening dishes and also has been a healthier alternative compared to table sugar. It can also be added to our morning cup of chai or coffee. Let us look at the nutritional benefits of honey and jaggery.

    Nutritional Values Of Honey And Jaggery

    Honey (1 Tbsp Approx)Nutritional ContentJaggery (1 Tbsp Approx)Nutritional Content
    Energy45 kcalsEnergy55 kcals
    Carbohydrates13 gmsCarbohydrates15 gms
    Protein0 gmProtein0 gms
    Fats0 gmFats0 gm
    Fiber0 gmFiber0 gm
    Other NutrientsOther Nutrients
    Calcium0.9 mgCalcium12 mg
    Iron0.3 mgIron1 gm
    Phosphorus0.7 mgPhosphorus4 mg
    Potassium9 mgPotassium7 mg

    From the above table, you can see that jaggery is more calorically and nutritionally dense compared to honey.

    Benefits Of Honey

    There are many benefits of honey and honey is better than simple sugar. Let us look at some benefits of honey.

    1. Good For Immune Health

    Honey is a natural therapy for cough, cold and opportunistic infections. Ayurveda recommends honey for blood pressure, obesity and arthritis as well.

    2. Wound- healing Properties

    Honey can be used as an antiseptic and it can act as an effective reliever for burns. Honey can also help to reduce wound-related bacterial infections as well.

    3. Reduces Acidity

    Honey aids in digestion. It can also reduce acidic reflux and symptoms related to heartburn as well. Honey can also relieve diarrhea.

    4. Relieves Stress And Anxiety

    Polyphenols present in honey can exude a calming effect on your body. Various research studies have also associated honey with an improvement in memory and anti-depressant effects too.

    Benefits Of Jaggery

    Jaggery is way healthier than table sugar and can be consumed with warm water on an empty stomach for better digestive health. Now that you know some benefits of honey, let us go through the benefits of jaggery.

    1. Aids In Weight Management

    Jaggery can speed up your metabolism and at the same time can satisfy your sweet cravings. It can also flush out toxins from your body. It is important to consume it in moderate amounts though.

    2. Builds Up Your Immunity

    Jaggery is a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and thus reduce inflammation. This can help reduce diseases related to oxidative damage like diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.

    3. Beneficial Against Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

    Jaggery can help reduce bloating, abdominal pain and irritability. Jaggery can also reduce fatigue and acne too.

    4. Reduces Respiratory Distress And Joint Pain

    Jaggery can be beneficial in relieving symptoms related to asthma or bronchitis. It can also relieve joint pain and aches.

    Jaggery Vs Honey: Which is better?

    Jaggery is nutritionally and calorically dense than honey. Jaggery also contains lesser chemicals compared to marketed honey which might be adulterated with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) which can increase the risk for diabetes. Raw, unadulterated honey (10ml) has a lower glycemic index (GI) of 40-60 GI compared to jaggery (10g) which has a whopping GI of 84. Hence for diabetics, pure honey is a healthier alternative to jaggery though jaggery is richer in calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron compared to honey.

    Nutritional Recipes

    Now that you know the benefits of honey and jaggery, let us look at the recipes that can cater to your sweet tooth.

    1. Eggless Apple Banana Pancake

    This yummy pancake would be a guaranteed hit amongst the adults as well as the kids! 

    Cooking time: 20-25 mins

    Nutritional values (1 pancake approx)

    Energy: 55 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 10 gms

    Protein: 2.5 gms

    Fat: 2 gms

    Ingredients:

    • ½  cup mashed bananas
    • ¼ cup grated apples
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1 tbsp milkmaid
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • Butter for greasing
    • Powder sugar to taste (optional)

    Method:

    1. Combine all the ingredients including mashed bananas, whole wheat flour, honey, milkmaid and baking powder. Mix it well so that there are no lumps in the mixture. You can add water as well for making a batter.
    2. Grease a pan with butter.
    3. Pour the batter onto the pan.
    4. Cook till it becomes brown and crisp. Flip over the pancake and cook the other side as well. Enjoy!

    2. Fruit And Paneer Balls Salad

    This tasty and nutritious salad can be consumed as a mid-morning snack or evening snack. It would also help satiate your hunger cravings.

    Cooking time: 15-20 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 85 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 12 gms

    Protein: 2 gms

    Fat: 6 gms

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup pineapple 
    • 1 cup banana
    • ¼  cup grated paneer
    • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
    • ¼ cup grated coconut
    • 2 tsp chilli powder
    • Salt to taste
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 2 tsp pepper

    Method:

    1. Cut the pineapple and banana into small cubes or pieces.
    2. In a bowl, combine paneer, onion, grated coconut, salt and chilli powder. Shape them into balls.
    3. Keep the fruits in the center and arrange paneer balls outside the fruits circularly. Pour honey and pepper on top of the dish as a dressing. Enjoy!

    3. Dal Dhokli

    A one-dish meal prepared in Gujarati households, it can also be consumed with rice or chapati.

    Cooking time: 25-30 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 245 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 45 gms

    Protein: 7.5 gms

    Fat: 15 gms

    Ingredients:

    • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 tbsp besan
    • 1 tsp chilli powder
    • 1 tsp turmeric powder
    • 2 tsp jeera
    • 1 cup tuvar dal
    • 4-5 tbsp chopped jaggery
    • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
    • 2 tsp chilli powder
    • 1 tsp hing
    • 1 tsp mustard seeds
    • 1 piece of cinnamon stick
    • 1 red chilli
    • Few cloves
    • Oil for cooking
    • Salt to taste

    Method:

    1. In a bowl, combine whole wheat flour, besan, chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder, jeera and oil. Knead it into a dough.
    2. Divide the dough into balls and flatten it out using a rolling pin. Heat a tava and cook chapatis. Flip over and cook the other side as well.
    3. Use a knife and cut chapati in the shape of diamonds and keep it aside.
    4. Meanwhile, clean dal. Add jaggery, ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder, cloves and cinnamon stick to the dal and mix well. Pressure cook dal for 4-5 whistles. 
    5. Remove dal from the stove and let it cool for a while.
    6. In a mixer, blenderize dal along with around ½ -1 cup of water.
    7. In a pan crackle mustard seeds along with red chilli and jeera (for tempering). Keep it aside. Add this to the dal. Cook dal for 5 minutes. Add the dhoklis (diamond-shaped chapatis) to dal and mix well. Serve hot.

    4. Garden Cress Seeds Ladoo

    A traditional Maharashtrian recipe, it is consumed during Diwali. As it contains garden-cress seeds these laddoos are rich in iron.

    Cooking time: 25-30 mins

    Nutritional values (1 ladoo approx)

    Energy: 80 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 10 gms

    Protein: 3 gms

    Fat: 4 gms

    Calcium: 35 mg

    Iron: 6 mg

    Ingredients:

    • ½ cup garden cress seeds (halim)
    • 1 cup jaggery
    • ¼ cup grated coconut
    • ¼ cup rava
    • 2 tbsp powdered almonds
    • Ghee for cooking

    Method:

    1. Soak garden cress seeds in water for 2-3 hours.
    2. In a pan, heat ghee. Add jaggery and rava. Keep stirring the mixture till jaggery melts.
    3. Add coconut and powdered almonds to the mixture. Cook for few minutes and switch off the flame. Let the mixture cool.
    4. Roll the mixture into round balls. Serve or store in a container.

    Key Takeaways

    1. Avoid consuming an excess of honey. Honey is a type of sugar and shouldn’t be consumed for more than 1-2 tbsp a day.
    2. Honey can be added to your coffee, tea or salad dressings.
    3. Avoid giving honey to infants under the age of 1 yr.
    4. Jaggery mixed with a warm glass of water in the morning can boost your metabolism and can be beneficial for individuals suffering from constipation.
    5. Just like honey, jaggery shouldn’t be given to infants under the age of 1 yr.
    6. Jaggery can replace honey in dishes that require less moisture content.

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