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Healthy Types of Pulses You Need

By Tara Hari
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Protein is a nutrient required for the healthy functioning and maintenance of the body. It is usually consumed in the form of meat and eggs. But for vegetarians, pulses are their healthiest source of protein. Pulses in the form of dal, are an essential accompaniment to every Indian meal.

It is made of lentils or legumes, and offer the third highest level of protein. As they are low in calories, there is no risk of weight gain. Risk of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, strokes, type 2 diabetes and heart attack are reduced with the regular consumption of pulses. There are numerous varieties of pulses. Let us examine the types of healthy pulses which are prevalent in our day-to-day cuisine.

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Toor Dal

Toor dal is an excellent source of plant protein, folic acid and essential nutrients. They also contains complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre, which prevents constipation and promotes regular bowel movement.

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Moong Dal

Green gram/ moong dal is a good source of Vitamin A, B, C, E and minerals, such as calcium, iron and potassium. They aids in weight loss due to low fat content. Due to high protein and fibre content, they also lower high cholesterol.

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Split Moong Dal

This dal is yellow in colour, and is rich with proteins, calcium, potassium, B complex vitamins and dietary fibre. They are easy to digest, aids in weight loss and help to decrease cholesterol.

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Chickpeas

They are a rich source in folic acid, manganese, iron, copper, magnesium and molybendum. They lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. They also boost your energy levels and act as antioxidants.

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Red Masoor Dal

Red Masoor Dal is enriched with soluble fibre and efficiently removes bile from the body. They are rich in flavones, which reduces the risk of certain types of cancer. They increases the blood flow and aids in the passage of oxygen and nutrients to different parts of the body.

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Kala Chana

Kala Chana is a brown variety of chickpeas. They act as an excellent choice for heart healthy food. This is due to their low fat and zero cholesterol content. They are a rich source of proteins, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fibre. Kala chana also contains iron, calcium & folate and prevents neural tube birth defects and anemia.

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Chana Dal

They are a rich source of source of folic acid, manganese, iron, copper and magnesium. The amount of proteins present in chana dal are twice that of cereal grains. They help reduce cholesterol levels. Regular consumption of chana dal has also been found to reduce the risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease.

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Rajma

Rajma or Kidney beans are packed with B complex vitamins and a variety of minerals. They are also a good source of Vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. On top of the usual health benefits of lentils like cancer prevention and reduction of cholesterol, Vitamin K present in Rajma accelerates brain function. They also boosts energy levels, increase bone strength and have numerous cardiovascular benefits.

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Lobiya Dal

Lobiya Dal is commonly referred to as black-eyed peas. It contains soluble fibres that lowers the risk of heart disease. They are a rich source of potassium, iron, Vitamin C and zinc. Lobiya Dal also plays an important role in muscle contraction and is essential for heart function.

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Kabuli Dal

Kabuli Chana or Garbanzo Beans are a good source of vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, C, D, E and K), folate and minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper and zinc. Their health benefits include controlling blood sugar levels, preventing stomach disorders like constipation, acid reflux and gastric ulcers, improves haemoglobin levels and lowers the risk of cancer.

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Urad Dal

Urad dal/ black lentils are native to India. They are low in fat and high in protein and fibre. Urad dal is also rich in several essential vitamins and minerals. They act as an efficient meat substitute due to their high protein, iron and B vitamin content.

Read more about: dals
Story first published: Saturday, May 25, 2013, 20:05 [IST]
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