To combat hazardous air pollutants, city residents are turning to jaggery, resulting in a hike in the sale of the food item after Diwali.
Traders have reported roughly a 15%-25% hike in sale of jaggery and jaggery-based food items. The residents said jaggery is a good antioxidant and also helps in boosting immunity. It also helps in removing toxins from the lungs, stomach and oesophagus and eases respiratory issues.
The doctors too agreed with the beneficial effects of jaggery, but it is recommended that the consumption is not more than two to four grams a day.
“Jaggery has a lot of benefits but excessive consumption can lead to weight gain. It is not recommended for patients suffering from diabetes and ulcerative colitis or any inflammation. Consuming jaggery in high amounts can also result in germ infestation in stomach,” said Rashi Chahal , chief dietician, Paras Hospital, Gurgaon
The Delhi-NCR region has been covered by a blanket of smog with a high level of fine particulate matter for nearly two weeks.
The residents were forced to wear masks and restrict outdoor activities in the aftermath of the festivities.
“My son has asthma and, after Diwali, his respiratory problem has escalated. He is not being allowed to go outdoors to play and we are also started giving him jaggery to boost his immunity to fight against infections. Not just him, my entire family eats the food item at least once a day,” said Anjali Gupta of Sector 45.
The residents noted that jaggery is a healthy substitute to sweets and is a good source of iron and helps in combating anaemia. Jaggery costs anywhere between Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 per kilogram.
Shop owners and roadside cart vendors said a number of residents have started purchasing jaggery especially after the air quality hit ‘severe’. The shop owners said a number of people inquire if it is product is organic.
Cart vendors said people in luxury cars too stop to buy the food item.
“Yesterday, I had a customer who came in a white Audi and asked me about the price of jaggery. A number of such people have been coming to my stall to buy jaggery of late,” said Raju Singh, who parks his cart near Sector 15.