13 Super Health Benefits and Nutrition of Chana Dal + Healthy Recipes
North, South, East or West, every Indian kitchen is stocked up with chana dal. It is used as the main ingredient in dishes like dal and vada, and also used for tempering and in the preparation of masalas. In regions of South India, it is also used to make payasam and other sweet treats. This yummy and handy dal is also super-healthy. Apart from known benefits like its protein content, chana dal also other significant pluses. Have a look at why everybody, from healthy people, children and pregnant women, to weight-watchers, diabetics and those with high blood pressure should seriously consider including more chana dal in their diet, and interesting ways to do so.
1. Provides energy :
1 serving of chana dal (30 grams) provides around 100 calories loaded with number of vitamins and minerals. Chana Dal is rich in B-complex vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, and B9 which plays an important role in glucose metabolism. It extracts energy from our food and converts it into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the biochemical form in which our body stores and uses energy.
2. Excellent source of vegetarian protein :
Like fats and carbohydrates, protein is referred to as a macro nutrient which our body relatively needs in higher amounts. One cup of cooked Chana Dal provides 33% of your protein for the day. Protein are critical component for a variety of tasks, right from the formation of new cells, strong bones, hemoglobin, to managing the wear-and-tear of body cells.
3. Keeps your heart healthy :
Being a rich antioxidant, Chana Dal reduce the damage done by free radicals to the blood vessels and lowers inflammation. Being a very good source of folic acid, chana dal helps in lowering the levels of homocysteine and reduces the risk of blood clots and hardening of the arteries. The magnesium in chana dal proves to be effective in relaxing your blood vessels and thus regulates the action of your heart.
4. Diabetic friendly :
The glycemic index of raw Bengal gram dal is extremely low around 8 which makes it super food for diabetics. This is best understood by the glycemic load which is only 1.4 that depends on the carbohydrate content in 1 serving of raw chana dal (approx. 30 grams) .i.e. around 17.9 grams. The high fiber content of the dal allows slow release of glucose into the bloodstream and manages your blood sugar levels. Since it has negligible amount of fats, helps in lowering your cholesterol levels. It also contributes in managing your blood pressure.
5. Improves Insulin Response :
Being rich in Magnesium, improves insulin response by lowering insulin resistance. Having very low Magnesium will result in the pancreas not secreting enough insulin to control blood sugar.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure :
Chana dal has high amount of potassium and low amount of sodium which makes it very effective in regulating your blood pressure. It also maintains the electrolyte balance of your body, thus prevents constricting of the blood vessels. Eat more of natural sources of potassium rich food such as pulses, fruits and vegetables to get maximum benefits instead of taking supplements.
7. High Fiber :
Chana Dal is extremely high in Fiber and 1 cup of cooked dal 54% of your daily Fiber requirements. Fiber aids in slow digestion and makes you feel full for a longer period of time as compared to when you eat refined carbohydrates. When you feel full, you tend to avoid binge eating. Imagine when you eat any sweet dish and have a really strong craving of eating more of it, it’s only because of the presence of simple sugars in it. Include more of whole grain cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables in your diet to increase your fiber intake.
8. Weight loss :
Chana dal is fat and cholesterol free which will help you in losing some extra pounds. It is also rich in protein so you can combine your dal with any cereal to make it a complete protein. The fiber content of raw chana dal is 4.6 which will keep you full for a longer period of time and controls your appetite. Hence less calorie intake.
9. Good for Skin :
Zinc helps in building immunity, is good for skin, great Antioxidant and involved in energy metabolism and hormone production including testosterone in males and female sex hormones involved in releasing of egg from the ovaries.
10. Good for your Eyes :
Zinc is essential to treat night blindness. Zinc helps in the activity of an enzyme in our body that helps produce Vitamin A, which is useful in treating night blindness.
11. Strong Bones and Teeth :
Chana Dal is rich in the mineral Phosphorus which builds strong bones and teeth plus works with Calcium to strengthen our bones. Also Magnesium works in the formation of bones.
12. Maintains PH levels :
Chana Dal is rich in the mineral Phosphorus which acts as a buffer – helps to neutralize the acids and maintain pH levels in the body.
13. Superfood for pregnant women :
Chana dal being a good source of folic acid, helps in preventing the birth defects of child’s brain and spinal cord. Plus folic acid also plays a vital role in the formation of red blood cells which is very important for the overall development of baby. Have rich sources of folic acid along with folic acid supplements during pregnancy.
Chana Dal is rich in the mineral Potassium and helps break down the carbs you have in your meal. So having your Chana Dal with a roti is a good combination which helps break down the carbs in the healthy whole wheat roti.
Nutritional Information of Chana Dal
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
Nutritional Information for 1 cup cooked Chana Dal which serves 3.
18.5 grams of Protein
53.4 grams of Carbs
4.98 grams of Fat
131 mcg Folate, Vitamin B9 (FA) = 65.63% of RDA (about 200 mcg)
13.61 g of High Fiber = 54.46 % of RDA (about 25 g)
294 mg of Phosphorus : 49.1 % of RDA (about 600 mg for adult.)
0.42 mcg of Vitamin B1, Thiamine : 35.6% of RDA (about 1.2 to 1.5 mg)
18.5 g of Protein = 33.6% of RDA ( about 55 g)
115.7 mg of Magnesium (Mg) = 33.05% of RDA (about 350 mg )
4.71 g of Iron = 22.46% of RDA (about 21 mg)
1.5 mg of Zinc = 15.1% of RDA (about 10 to 12 mg)
640 mg of Potassium (K) : 13.6% of RDA (about 4,700 mg)
50 g of Calcium = 8.3% of RDA (about 600 mg)