10 Super Health Benefits of Besan, Nutirtional Information, 9 Healthy Besan Recipes
Get two health-conscious people talking for a while, and they will touch upon topics like diet and cooking, in specific about grains and flours. Inevitably, one of them raises the doubt about whether besan is good for health or not! Next time you are part of such a discussion, you can confidently answer that yes, besan is good for health.
Besan is super-fine flour prepared from pure chana dal. For some recipes, especially sweets, coarse besan flour might be used. This gluten-free flour has an earthy aroma and binding nature, which make it a key ingredient in the preparation of several traditional savouries and sweets, including laddoo, onion pakoda, vegetable bhajiyas, and more. It is used all over the country to make tasty sweets – the Besan Laddoo of North India and the Mysore Pak of South India are two world-famous examples!
Besan, also known as Chickpea Flour, Bengal gram flour or chana dal flour. Pure, unadulterated besan gives you a good dose of several nutrients. Let’s set forth some points about the health benefits of pure besan ...
10 Health Benefits of Besan
1. Energy Metabolism
The B-vitamins Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Pyridoxine and Folic acid (B9) which are present in good amounts in besan are involved in various metabolic reactions in the body. They’re involved in conversion of the macronutrients – Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats into energy. Sprouts Tikki is an absolutely nutritious snack in which besan has been used as a binding agent.
2. More Protein
It has more protein than wheat flour. 100 grams of besan has 20 grams of protein, as compared to 12 grams in whole wheat flour. A Besan Chilla provides around 10 g of protein.
3. Good Fats
Besan has more good fat than whole wheat flour. Most of the fat (about 70%) contained in besan are healthy unsaturated fats, which help to lower your cholesterol levels. 100 grams of besan has 5.6 grams of good fat while whole wheat flour has only 1.7 grams. Master the art of making non-fried version of sev - Baked Sev.
4. Diabetic Friendly
Rich in complex carbohydrates and with a low glycemic index, besan is good for diabetics too. Also it is a good source of fibre which is important for diabetics. Besan is a good source of Magnesium which improves insulin response by lowering insulin resistance. Having very low magnesium will result in the pancreas not secrete enough insulin to control our blood glucose (1). Try the Non fried Besan Chakli, which with its cruncy texture and flavourful boost is sure to please your palate.
5. Helps to Relieve Constipation
Jowar Bajra Besan Thalipeeth
The insoluble fibre present in besan reduces chances of constipation and promotes regular and healthy bowel movement (2). Combine it with other flours and try making a nourishing delicacy like Jowar Bajra Besan Thalipeeth.
6. Contains Blood Building Nutrients
Besan Paratha, Zero Oil Besan Paratha
Besan is high in Folate or folic acid, which is important for rapid growth and multiplication of RBC’s and WBC’s in the bone marrow. 30 grams of besan has 44.25 mcg of folic acid and besan is good to have before and during pregnancy as the requirements increase. One serving of Chana dal flour gives 7.5% Recommended Daily Allowance of Iron. Iron is an important component of haemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to all parts of the body. Try using besan uniquely as we have done in the recipe of Besan Paratha.
7. Brain Function
Cauliflower Greens and Besan Muthia
Besan is a good source of Thiamine and Folate, which are essential for glucose metabolism, and maintenance of proper brain function (3). Cauliflower greens and besan muthia is a breakfast option worth trying.
8. Healthy bones
Besan is a good source of minerals like Phosphorus and Magnesium which are required for maintaining strong bones along with Calcium (4). Pitla, a Maharashtrian delicacy, is an easy and quick way to make up for all these key nutrients.
9. Alternative for wheat flour
Besan is great for those following a gluten free diet. It contains no gluten, so you can use it in place of whole wheat flour. Wheat flour can easily be replaced with other flours like brown rice flour, jowar flour and besan and combined with fenugreek leaves to make Hariyali Roti.
Nutrition Information for Besan, Bengal gram flour, Chana dal flour
Nutritional Information for 1 serving Besan
One serving of Besan is 30 grams.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
6 grams of Protein
16.32 grams of Carbs
1.68 grams of Fat
44.25 mg of Folic Acid = 26.55% of RDA (about 200 mg)
See full nutritional details of besan in Besan glossary click here.
Here is a collection of yummy recipes using besan, not only for our gluten-sensitive friends, but for everybody who wishes to harness the health benefits of besan.