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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Why you must add dal to your daily diet

Always opt for packaged dals from a trusted source, and only eat unpolished lentils that have their nutrients intact to get maximum benefits out of them

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
April 3, 2021 9:10:37 am
lentils, lentils in hindi, benefits of eating lentils, benefits of eating dal, types of lentils, lentins in india, staple lentils, healthy diet lentils, healthy food, healthy eatingLentils can be enjoyed in numerous ways! (Photo: Pixabay)

Lentils are a centerpiece ingredient in many cuisines around the world. They are omnipresent across the country, and in most households are a mainstay ingredient and are eaten at least once, sometimes even twice a day too.

“In Bengali cuisine, lentils are had for breakfast by way of dal puris, while dal bhaatey is an extremely popular luncheon dish. Bihar swears by ghugni (black gram or dried yellow/white peas cooked in a gravy), and Rajasthan’s tasty gatte ki subzi, made with besan and their unique dal panchmali are both extremely popular. Similarly, the kadhi and khatti meethi dal made with toor dal (arhar) are staple dishes eaten by Gujaratis and rajma masala is a weekly feature at almost every Punjabi household. Cut to Mumbai, its famous moong dal wada and missal pav are a raging favourite snack,” said Kavita Devgan, nutrition expert, Tata Nutrikorner.

Loaded with nutrients

The three solid pillars of good health are enough nutrients, good quality protein, and fibre for gut health – and pulses deliver all three in abundance. “Protein deficiency is a glaring problem in our country, especially among women. This can be addressed by incorporating more lentils and besan (made from chana dal) in one’s diet – two of the best sources of protein,” she told indianexpress.com.

They also have substantial fibre that fills us up, keeps our gut happy, and also helps improve heart health by helping lower cholesterol levels. Besides lentils are a low-glycemic index food (glycemic index ranks food on how it affects your blood sugar) as their balance of complex carbohydrates and protein provides a slow, steady source of glucose. They also contain a wide range of cancer-fighting plant chemicals, specifically, isoflavones and phytosterols which are associated with reduced cancer risk. And as they are rich in B vitamin folate, they help the body repair damaged cells and thus prevent ageing too.

Source them right

To maximise their benefits, it is critical to source your dals right. Here’s a tip: always opt for packaged dals from a trusted source, and only eat unpolished lentils that have their nutrients intact to get maximum benefits out of them.

Get inventive

“Try to eat different kinds of dals by rotation and besides the regular dal chawal, you can get inventive with them. You can make dal tikki, khatta meetha chickpeas salad, dal soup, kidney beans bruschetta etc. You can also try your hand at the famous Rajasthani stuffed dal ki puri and dal-stuffed kachori, or try the Maharashtrian dal stuffed Puranpoli and Pithla made with dal paste. This way, your favourite go-to pulse not only gives you a variety of options but also helps you add to your health,” she added.

So, what are you waiting for? Just grab some dal and enjoy the benefits of Indian food wisdom.

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