With rising health concerns, many individuals are opting for a healthier diet. If you're on the same boat but don't know where to start, it couldn't hurt to look into some options such as Chana Dal, an Indian ingredient that possesses multiple health benefits. Being a popular Indian dish, usually consumed with rice for breakfast, in the form of porridge known as khichdi or as our favourite lentil curry or Dal as we Indians like to call it. Best served on roti bread or rice, to make up an entire meal, or on its own as a light appetiser.
If you haven't heard of chana dal before, it's also called Bengal split gram or baby chickpea. It can take on rich flavours while remaining healthy, unlike higher-profile beans such as soybeans. It has a relatively low glycemic index and does not have any trans fat or lactose to cause concern. Chana Dal benefits is a healthy choice for people suffering from diabetes too. No wonder Chana Dal is one of the most esteemed foods for an individual's health and for supporting weight loss efforts. Keep reading to find out how this Indian lentil can help you stay healthy by means of keeping your immune system healthy, providing you with the proteins and amino acids you need for exercise and keeping your body slim!
Chana Dal: The Yellow Split Peas
Split and polished Chana dal is a type of pulse that is popular in the Indian subcontinent. It is made from split chickpeas and is high in protein and fibre. Chana dal is a good source of iron and folate, and it has a low glycemic index, which means it does not cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
Surprisingly, during mediaeval times, cooking dals especially chana dal people used the dum pukht technique (slow cooking in steam). This raised the stature of Chana Dal in the royal menu. At present times, it is widely used in Indian kitchens for soups, salads, curries, dal, savouries, rice dishes and even sweets. Apart from that you can also roast and powder it into flour, which we call ‘Besan’, another widely used ingredient. So, if you are looking for healthy food that can provide a range of health benefits, then Chana Dal is definitely worth considering!
Is Chana Dal Good For Health?
Of all the healthy Pulses & legumes, despite its relatively small size, Chana Dal is rich in nutrition and has many health benefits. Chana Dal has long been used in traditional Indian medicine to treat a variety of ailments. It can help improve digestion, lower cholesterol levels, and regulate blood sugar levels. It can also help to prevent constipation and other gastrointestinal problems. Additionally, chana dal is a good source of antioxidants and phytochemicals, which can help to protect against diseases such as cancer. Listed below is a curated list of prime Chana Dal health benefits to help you get a clearer picture of this super lentil:
- One cup of cooked Chana Dal provides you with almost 30% of your daily protein intake
- Chana dal with its high fibre value slowly releases glucose into the bloodstream and thus helps to regulate blood sugar levels
- Being fat and cholesterol-free, low Chana dal calories can actually help you with weight loss
- Helps with glucose metabolism because it is rich in B complex vitamins
- Rich in Magnesium Chana dal relaxes your blood vessels and improves heart health
- Being a rich antioxidant, reduces damages and inflammation caused by free radicals to the blood vessels
- Because of the low glycemic index of around 8, makes it a super food for diabetics
- Has close to none fats, which eventually helps in keeping cholesterol levels in check
- Involved in energy metabolism and hormone production, helps in building immunity and nourishes the skin
- Rich in Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium, all of which are responsible for building our bones and teeth stronger
- A great source of folic acid, which helps in the formation of red blood cells (healthy blood cells)
What Are The Daily Intake Specifics of Chana Dal?
Chana Dal is delicious and high in nutritive value and can be easily digested. You might find this excitingly easy that there are multiple simple ways to cook and consume Chana Dal and they are:
- Roasted and powdered Chana Dal
- Soaked and cooked Chana Dal
- Soaked and parboiled Chana Dal
- Soaked Chana Dal
These few cooking methods of Chana Dal give it the versatility to be used in various recipes in respective textures.
To give you an idea of its precise daily intake, below are the nutritional and consumption facts you might want to follow to get the most out of this superfood:
100 grams of Raw Chana Dal, if cooked, gets around 180 grams.
Now, this 1 cup (180 grams) of cooked Chana Dal which is RDA( Recommended Daily Allowance) has
- 330 calories
- 18 grams of Protein
- 54 grams of Carbs
- 5 grams of Healthy Fats
- 131 mcg Folate, Vitamin B9
Summary: Every Indian kitchen, be it in north, south, east or west, Chana Dal is to be found everywhere. The main ingredient for many of our favourite recipes including dal fry, tadka, vadas etc. It is better to prefer foods that have a combination of nutritional qualities than to depend on numerous food products providing the same benefits individually. If this super lentil is already in your diet, it is recommended to get it in the most natural possible way for regular consumption just the way Himalayan Natives intended. And if your daily diet is not blessed with Chana Dal benefits, perhaps you'd want to rethink and add this to reap all the above-mentioned benefits for a healthy lifestyle.
Already a fan of Chana Dal and its health benefits, then also read this blog for exciting Chana Dal recipes: 4 Different Ways To Make Delicious Dal For Your Family.
Also check out this interesting Instagram post on weekly dal consumption recipes.