Is Jaggery Good for PCOS? Hidden facts revealed!! 

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Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBSGeneral Physician, 6+ Years
Published On : 21-Sep-2022Read Time : 4 minutes
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If you’ve been keeping up with the latest food and nutrition trends, you must know that jaggery has recently made a comeback. Jaggery, also called gur, has been an integral part of most Indian kitchens for millennia. “Is jaggery good for PCOS?” is a burning question that most diet-conscious women with this condition want the answer to. In this article, let us understand whether the components in jaggery will throw off the delicate hormonal balance in PCOS, or instead harmonise it. Contents:
  • What is Jaggery?
  • Jaggery: Nutritional Profile
  • What are the Benefits of Jaggery for PCOS?
  • How Much Jaggery Per Day is Good for PCOS?
  • When Should You Eat Jaggery for PCOS?
  • What are the Risks of Over-consumption of Jaggery for PCOS?
  • Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • FAQs

What is Jaggery?

Jaggery is a traditional Indian sweetener regaining its popularity by replacing sugar. Jaggery is an unprocessed natural sugar that is produced by evaporating water from sugarcane juice without adding any chemicals. Similarly, another variant called palm jaggery is made from the sap of date or toddy palm trees. India is the largest producer of jaggery in the world, accounting for around 70% of production. Jaggery is popularly known as “gur” in India.

Jaggery: Nutritional Profile

Jaggery is more nutritious than refined sugar as it is not spun during the processing to remove the molasses, which is the nutritious by-product removed during the sugar-making process. Because of this, it is considered to be a healthier alternative to sugar. We in India value a lighter shade of jaggery than a darker one. However dark jaggery is considered to be better, as it has fewer or no added chemicals or adulterants. Jaggery generally contains 70% sucrose, 10% isolated glucose and fructose, and as such is almost entirely composed of simple carbohydrates. It has an almost negligible amount of protein, fibre, and fats.  Jaggery contains a moderate to a good amount of minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and chloride. It is also rich in iron, copper, manganese, and antioxidants. It also has small amounts of vitamins A, B-complex, C, D2, and E. The following is the nutritional profile for 100 g of jaggery according to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Nutrient Jaggery
Energy 383 kcal
Moisture < 3 g
Carbohydrates 95 to 100 g
Total Sugar
  • Sucrose
  • Glucose and Fructose
  • Maltose
  • Galactose
75 to 100 g 65 to 85 g 10 to 15 g 0 g 0 g
Protein 0.4 g
Fat 0.1 g
Sodium 19 to 30 mg
Iron 10 to 13 mg
Calcium 40 to 100 mg
Magnesium 70 to 90 mg
Potassium 1056 mg
Phosphorus 20 to 90 mg
Manganese 0.2 to 0.5 mg
Copper 0.1 to 0.9 mg

What are the Benefits of Jaggery for PCOS?

Is jaggery good for PCOS? Indeed, with high nutritional value, the health benefits of jaggery are numerous. Here is a list of ways in which jaggery can improve the symptoms of PCOS.

Menstrual Cramps

Period cramps are a common symptom in women who have PCOS. Jaggery can be an excellent home remedy to ease this pain and relieve cramps, as it is known to have potent anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic (helps relieve muscle spasms) properties.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Women with premenstrual syndrome often experience changes in their mood, emotions, and behaviour. Some doctors claim that eating a small piece of jaggery can help release mood-elevating hormones called endorphins, which can help relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Anaemia

The hormonal imbalance caused by PCOS can lead to heavy bleeding during your menstruation, which can result in iron deficiency anaemia (low haemoglobin levels caused by low iron levels in your body). Low iron and haemoglobin levels can cause symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, headaches, dizziness, etc. Jaggery is rich in iron, thus regular consumption can help improve haemoglobin levels and prevent or treat anaemia.

Acidity

PCOS causes chronic inflammation, which can result in side effects like acidity and abdominal bloating.  Jaggery is rich in potassium and magnesium, both of which are effective in treating acidity. One home remedy for treating acidity and bloating is consuming a quarter tablespoon of jaggery with 1 tablespoon of crushed fennel seeds.

Sleep

Studies show that women with PCOS are more prone to poor quality of sleep. The endorphins that alleviate PMS symptoms are also responsible for improving your sleep quality. You can mix jaggery with hot milk, and drink it about an hour before your bedtime to get a good night’s rest.

How Much Jaggery Per Day is Good for PCOS?

More than half of women with PCOS develop Type 2 Diabetes by age 40. Hence it is crucial that you limit your intake of carbohydrates, sugars and sweeteners. As moderation is key, you can have around 10 grams of jaggery in a day if you have not developed Type 2 Diabetes along with PCOS. As jaggery is completely made up of sugars, consuming excess amounts may increase your blood sugar levels and exaggerate the symptoms of PCOS.

When Should You Eat Jaggery for PCOS?

There is no ideal time to eat jaggery for PCOS. You can use it as a sugar substitute to sweeten your beverages like tea, coffee or milk, or use it in desserts.

What are the Risks of Over-consumption of Jaggery?

  • You should avoid consuming excessive amounts of jaggery as it contains simple carbohydrates and can lead to weight gain and raised blood sugar levels.
  • Avoid using jaggery if you are allergic to the same.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Jaggery is a traditional Indian sweetener known for its medicinal value. It is packed with numerous health benefits for women with PCOS.
  • Jaggery is rich in nutrients. It generally contains 70% sucrose and 10% isolated glucose and fructose. It contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, and antioxidants. It also has small amounts of vitamins A, B-complex, C, D2, and E.
  • It has numerous health benefits and when consumed regularly can ease the symptoms of PCOS. It helps to normalise your menstrual cycle, improve iron and haemoglobin levels in your blood, ease acidity and promote better sleep quality.
  • You can consume up to 10 grams of jaggery a day if you are a non-diabetic.
  • You can use jaggery as a sugar substitute to sweeten your beverages and desserts.
  • Avoid consuming jaggery if you are allergic to it. Excessive intake can lead to weight gain and raise blood sugar levels as it contains simple carbohydrates.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate blood sugar monitoring and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Diabetes Management program which provides ‎360º care. Let's treat diabetes together.

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