PALM SUGAR/ JAGGERY
WHAT IS PALM SUGAR?
Palm sugar is a nutrient-rich, low-glycemic crystalline sweetener that looks, tastes, dissolves and melts almost exactly like sugar, but it's completely natural and unrefined.
HOW IT IS OBTAINED?
It's acquired from the flowers growing high on palm trees, which are opened to collect their liquid flower nectar. This nectar is then boiled to form a crystalline sugar that's naturally brown in color and naturally rich in a number of key vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6.
WHY PALM SUGAR?
Palm sugar is not a calorie-free sweetener. It has calories like any carbohydrate, but due to its relatively low glycemic index, its calories are absorbed into the bloodstream at a significantly slower rate than regular refined sugar. This property should be of interest to anyone who is monitoring their blood sugar levels and attempting to avoid blood sugar spikes. Palm sugar isn't medicine; it's a food with a surprisingly low GI, considering its sweet taste.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PALM SUGAR
): Oral rehydration solutions are used to maintain the electrolyte balance within the cells of our body. These solutions are essential in cases of diarrhea or vomiting where the individual loses a large amount of fluids along with minerals and salts. To make an oral rehydration solution with palm sugar, mix 6 teaspoons of this sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt in one liter of lukewarm water.
: It takes very little time for palm sugar to be broken down and absorbed by the body. In fact, this digestive process begins as soon as the sugar enters your mouth and comes in contact with saliva. You can mix a few teaspoons of palm sugar in your morning glass of fresh fruit juice to sweeten your drink and give you a much needed energy boost at the start of your day. You can also have a spoon of palm sugar with your cup of tea in the evening to keep your energy levels elevated.
: Manufacturers of palm sugar often claim that it has a low glycemic index which means that consuming palm sugar will not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. The Philippine Coconut Authority states that the glycemic index of coconut palm sugar is 35, which makes it a low glycemic index food. However, other authoritative sources, including the University of Sydney in Australia, put the glycemic index of coconut palm sugar at 54 which is the same as that of regular sugar. To be on the safe side, it would be wise to follow the recommendations of the ADA (American Diabetes Association). The organization states that people with diabetes can consume coconut palm sugar but they should treat it in the same manner as regular sugar.
· Palm sugar, contains a modest amount of potassium. 1 teaspoon of palm sugar provides 1 per cent of a person’s daily requirement for potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in the health and maintenance of bone and muscle tissue.