World Pulses Day: How Dals Can Help You Deal With Health Issues

World Pulses Day: How Dals Can Help You Deal With Health Issues

They are packed with essential nutrients and contribute to the complete well-being

Sapna SarfareUpdated: Monday, February 05, 2024, 06:23 PM IST
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Pics: Freepik

Good health always depends on the kind of food you eat. Amongst the components of good health, pulses feature prominently in Indian diets. With World Pulses Day on February 10, it is essential to understand how they can benefit your health.

Reason for incorporating

Vedika Premani, Clinical Dietitian, Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital, Mumbai, thinks pulses are packed with essential nutrients and contribute to the complete well-being. “One key advantage is their high fibre content. Fibre aids in digestion, helps regulate blood sugar levels, thereby preventing spikes in blood sugar and making them suitable for individuals with diabetes. It also promotes satiety, which can be instrumental in weight management,” she mentions.

She adds, “Pulses boast an impressive array of vitamins and minerals. These contribute to various bodily functions. Incorporating pulses into your diet can be as simple as adding them to salads. Pulses can also be used in making soups, or stews. Their versatility makes them a delicious and nutritious option for individuals seeking a balanced and healthy lifestyle.”

Apart from the usual health benefits, they work great in keeping the good health of expecting mothers. Dr. Sangeeta Tiwari, Clinical Nutritionist, Artemis Lite, Delhi, mentions, “They also have zero cholesterol, high content of iron, and are gluten-free.”

Dal

Dal | Timolina

In Indian cuisine, pulses have a special place. Huda Shaikh Khan, clinical dietitian, nutritionist and certified diabetes educator, shares her expertise on coto — a women-only social community app based on the principles of web3. She reveals, “Pulses are considered a super-food across the world. It is a versatile, affordable, and sustainable food source consumed in every other household. India is home to a huge vegetarian population that relies on pulses to fulfill their daily protein requirement.”

How to deal with pulses

Dr Tiwari advises, “Firstly, be mindful of portion sizes, as over-consumption may lead to digestive discomfort. Those who have digestive sensitivities may need to soak or cook pulses thoroughly to reduce anti-nutrients and enhance digestibility. For people managing blood sugar levels, it’s important to combine pulses with a balanced mix of proteins, healthy fats, and fibre-rich vegetables to reduce their impact on blood glucose. Lastly, incorporating a variety of them ensures a wide range of health benefits.”

Pulses should also not be underestimated due to issues like bloating, flatulence, cooking time issues, etc. Khan mentions, “However, these concerns can be reduced with cooking techniques such as soaking, germination, fermentation, and pounding. Dal or beans consumed with grains can complete the amino acid profile, and help in better absorption of iron, and other minerals present in pulses. Since pulses have a good iron content, Vitamin C can enhance better absorption of the same. Avoid drinking tea/coffee after consuming pulses, as it can hinder the absorption process. Pulses don’t increase your uric acid levels. If you have existing gut issues or autoimmune conditions, then it’s better to consume pulses in moderation.”

This World Pulse Day, it is time to make the right choice for health and incorporate pulses rightly in your diet for good health.

Pulses and their benefits

Chana dal: It works in combating cardiovascular issues, and also works in dealing with skin health.

Red lentils

Red lentils |

Masoor dal: These are a great source of antioxidants which helps in dealing with inflammation. It also promotes heart health.

Urad dal: If suffering from constipation, this dal can be helpful in dealing with it, along with reducing cholesterol levels. It is also an immunity booster.

Matar ki dal: Rich in protein, these little power houses promote muscle health.

Lobia: This pulse helps control diabetes, and also improving eye health thanks to its vitamin A content. Eat it to strengthen bones. They provide folate crucial for pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects in infants.

Arhar ki dal: Manage diabetes and high cholesterol levels with this dal.

Moong dal: This pulse helps in having a healthy immune system thanks to their zinc content.

Kabuli chana: Combat iron deficiency anemia with this and increase your brain health. Full of fibres, this supports digestive health and manages weight. They have a low glycemic index, which aids in blood sugar control.

Kulthi dal: This is known to be great for kidney and gallbladder stones. It helps boost liver health.

Kidney beans

Kidney beans |

Rajma: These work in managing blood sugar and blood pressure levels, colon health, and also promotes weight loss.

Kala chana: Improve your cardiovascular health with this pulse, and also control blood sugar.

Soya beans: This is beneficial for individuals with diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and blood pressure.

Safed urad dal: This dal ensures strong bones, teeth, and boosting mental health.

Vaal dal: This dal helps in stabilising blood sugar levels, apart from promoting heart health, and improving brain, and digestive health.

Sabut moong dal: It is great in lowering cholesterol levels, thereby boosting cardiovascular health.

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