Gram flour or chickpea flour, commonly known as besan in India, is popular for its beauty benefits. But this versatile ingredient also has its own share of health benefits which many aren't aware of. Gram flour is made by grinding chickpeas which are either raw or roasted. Chickpeas or Bengal grams form a staple food in the Indian cuisine.
Is Gram Flour Good For You?
Gram flour or besan is a wheat-free product, rich in dietary fibre and nutrients. 100 g of besan flour has 11 g dietary fibre, 22 g protein, 11 g sugar, 7 g total fats, 58 g total carbohydrates, 45 mg calcium, 166 mg magnesium, 846 mg potassium, 4.9 mg iron and 41 IU vitamin A. It also contains other essential minerals such as selenium, copper, manganese, phosphorous and zinc.
Health Benefits Of Gram Flour
1. Controls Diabetes
Gram flour has a low glycemic index which makes it a great food for diabetics. Low glycemic index foods get digested slowly and don't cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. So, gram flour or besan improves your insulin sensitivity. Use gram flour while making chappatis or parathas.
2. Promotes heart health
Gram flour is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, and dietary fibre which are beneficial for heart health. 100 g of besan contains 846 mg of potassium, which is known to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart failure, heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest.
3. Helps in weight loss
A recent study has shown that gram flour can help in losing weight. It is due to the presence of fibre and protein that keep your tummy full for a long time. Besan further helps in lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol, thereby boosting weight loss. Include besan-based foods like dhokla and chila in your diet.
You can even have chickpea salad, chickpea soup or chickpea chaat.
4. Regulates mood and appetite
Besan is an excellent source of vitamin B6 which is an important component involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is a happy hormone that helps in regulating mood and appetite.
5. Prevents fatigue
To boost your body with energy and vigour, incorporate gram flour in your diet. It is a good source of vitamin thiamine that helps in assisting your body in converting food into energy. This helps in preventing fatigue.
6. Prevents colon cancer
A Mexican study revealed that besan can offer protection against colon cancer. It works by decreasing the oxidation of DNA and proteins and stops the functioning of beta-catenin, an important oncogenic protein in colon cancer.
Gram flour also contains saponins and lignans that can help prevent colon cancer, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
7. Strengthens bones
The calcium and phosphorous in gram flour work together and help in the formation of bones. So, include besan as much as possible in your diet to strengthen your bones.
8. Helps in bowel movements
If you are having irregular bowel movements or constipation, consumption of gram flour on a regular basis is considered useful. The fibre present in it helps in softening the stool, and proper passing of the stool. This improves your overall bowel movement.
9. Treats anaemia
Gram flour is rich in iron. A 100 g serving of besan has 4.9 mg iron and consuming it regularly will help your body recover from iron deficiencies that can further lead to anaemia.
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