From kitchen herbs and spices to the pulses and legumes, the variety in our diet contributes to our overall health and well-being. One such significant legume is what we all know as kala chana or black chickpeas that are often seen as an accompaniment to puri halwa in traditional North Indian festivities.
Known to be an excellent source of protein, kala chana has two varieties — desi and kabuli. While the desi variety comprises of darker smaller seeds with a rough outer covering, the ‘kabuli’ variety are big light-coloured beans with a smoother coat.
Here are some benefits of kala chana
1 The higher fibre content in the desi variety of kala chana has lower glycemic index. The soluble fiber in black chickpeas binds the bile acids and prevents it from being absorbed by the body, thus reducing cholesterol levels. Daily consumption of around 3/4 cup of chickpeas helps to decrease LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol triglycerides.
2 The carbohydrates in kala chana are digested slowly, which reduces the blood sugar levels. This contributes to insulin resistance, thereby reducing the risk of getting type-2 diabetes.
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3. As a rich source of iron, kala chana can prevent anaemia and boost your energy levels. This is particularly beneficial for pregnant and lactating women as well as growing children. Iron plays an important role in the formation of haemoglobin which helps transport oxygen from the lungs to all body cells.
4. Ideal protein source for vegetarians when had in combination with whole grain or whole wheat protein. They also are devoid of high calories and saturated fats.
5. Helps treat digestive disorders as the fibre keeps the digestive tract healthy. The fiber reduces the risk of constipation by reducing the strain on the intestines. For curing constipation, soak chickpeas in water overnight and eat them in the morning after sprinkling ginger powder and caraway seeds (jeera) as well as drink the water.
6. Besides, it also works wonders for one’s skin as it helps fight ageing owing to the presence of manganese which offers energy to cells. It is known to fight free radicals that can cause wrinkles. And the B vitamins work as a fuel for the cells.
7. Black chickpeas can also be used to cleanse the face. Simply mix chickpea paste with turmeric and apply the mixture to your face in the morning. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash off with cold water. This remedy also helps reduce age spots and brighten your face.
8. Mostly, a deficiency in manganese can result in slower hair growth. Given that chickpeas are rich in protein, they can prevent hair loss.
Here is a recipe that you can try.