Makar Sankranti 2023: Why Should You Eat Sesame Seeds & Jaggery?
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As the winter solstice passes and the days get longer, the seasonal changes bring along their share of ailments. With the onset of the harvest season, there continues to be a bit of nip in the air, courtesy of the lingering winter. The Sankranti festival marks the end of the harsh winters and is celebrated with sweets made of jaggery and sesame seeds of various kinds across the country. However, little is known about the significance of these edible treats that fortify the body and protect against ailments that come with seasonal changes, thereby boosting immunity.

To put it simply, the ancestral knowledge tied to the principle of eating foods relevant to each season was meant to improve overall health and match the challenges of the season. Interestingly, diets and local cuisines took into account the various body compositions and prescribed diets that could easily soothe the discomforts of certain imbalances that came with each of those types. In that vein, including sesame seeds and jaggery are rich sources of iron, vitamins and zinc, which make them naturally dense with all the essential nutrients needed for our bodies.

Moreover, including sesame and jaggery during the tail-end of the winter season helps in boosting immunity and warming up the body, to shield against the harsh weather conditions. They also encourage the generation of digestive enzymes or agni, that helps process the rich foods usually consumed during the cold weather. On combining sesame and jaggery with ghee when making sweets, there is a perfect balance of Omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids. Additionally, consuming quarter cup of sesame seeds provides the calcium equivalent to what’s derived from one cup of milk.

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Makar Sankranti 2023: Traditional Treats To Complete The Celebration

Traditional remedies in India have utilised jaggery to treat respiratory infections and sore throats when mixed with a handful of whole black peppercorns. Both, sesame and jaggery keep the body warm against the extreme weather and also help in easing constipation, for those suffering from it. When you follow traditional eating patterns, true to our cultures, it benefits our minds, bodies, the environment and encourages a sustainable lifestyle revolving around eating local and seasonal food.