Daal is a ubiquitous ingredient in Indian cuisine; even more so during the Coronavirus pandemic, as there are times when you have no access to fresh vegetables or use them economically. Most importantly, all these daals also have a good shelf life so that you can stock up on them. Understanding the significance of daal, the Indian government has included it in the free ration that is being handed out to millions across the country to tide over the pandemic times.
And yet, you may not feel bored or troubled with its consumption. Daal is readily available, there are multiple varieties, and you can also consume them in many different ways. It can be cooked and eaten as well. Many times, the sick are given a variety of Daal soup. The best part is that though Daal is a staple and humble food, it is healthy as well. Let’s take a look at the Daal options available to us and their benefits.
Tur Daal/Tuvar Daal/Arhar Daal
When people say Daal, they are usually referring to the Tur Dal, and this happens to be the most popular Daal across India. This is an excellent source of nutrients and can be eaten equally with rice or roti, or with idli and dosa. This is why it is equally popular in the North and South India. It contains fibre that helps with bowel movements and helps with digestion, and prevents constipation. It provides the requisite amount of proteins and carbohydrates to the body and is thus an energy source. It is rich in folic acid and comes with a low glycemic index that makes it suitable for diabetics.
It contains B-Vitamins that help with metabolism and also have Phosphorus that is good for bone health. The Phosphorus, along with Magnesium and Potassium present in it is very good for heart health. The Magnesium also helps build immunity in the body, while the Potassium also helps with Sodium balance in the body.
Moong Daal (Green Gram Daal)
Made out of the Moong or the green gram, this is another commonly used Daal in the Indian households. This Daal is rich in many vitamins like A, B, C and E and also in minerals like Iron, Calcium and Potassium. It is low fat Daal that is high in proteins and fibre. Hence, it is good for metabolism, and also for immunity. It reduces the bad cholesterol in the body, thus helping with the heart health. The Phosphorus, Potassium and Magnesium in it, will also help in maintaining heart health.
It contains complex carbohydrates that help balance the blood sugar levels and is a diabetic-friendly food. It contains Folic acid that helps with red blood cells in the body. The Phosphorus in it, works with Calcium to improve bone health.
Chana Daal (Bengal Gram Daal)
This is one of the richest sources of vegan proteins and minerals and comes with multiple Vitamins like B1, B2, B3, and B9. These help with glucose metabolism and also play a vital role in many other body functions. Chana Daal is a good antioxidant and thus helps prevent many diseases and is good for the heart. The Folic acid and Magnesium in it helps prevent blood clots and regulates blood flow, respectively. The low glycemic index also makes it a great diet option for diabetics. Also, the Magnesium present in it helps improve the insulin response.
The Potassium and Sodium helps maintain the blood pressure, while the high fibre content helps with digestion and makes you feel full for a long time, avoiding snacking. Chana Daal also has Zinc that helps with skin health, as well as eye health. The Phosphorus and Magnesium, along with the Calcium strengthens the bones.
Urad Daal (Split Black Gram Daal)
This Daal is a staple in South India, with it being used for Idli/Dosa/Vada and more. It is high in protein and comes with many health benefits. It is said to be one of the richest sources of Vitamin B. It is full of Iron, Folic acid, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium, most of which are extremely essential for health, especially for females.
It contains a high amount of soluble as well as insoluble fibre and is good for digestion and prevents bloating and constipation. The fibre, coupled with the Magnesium and Potassium is also good the heart health. The Iron stimulates red blood cell production in the body and also boosts energy levels. All these minerals also help in maintaining bone health. Components in Urad Daal are also said to help strengthen the nervous system, and it is used in Ayurvedic treatment. It is also a healthy food for the diabetics as it helps regulate the blood sugar levels.