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Black gram, also known as urad dal, is one of the most commonly found lentils in every Indian kitchen. It is used in various culinary recipes like dosa, vada and papad but most commonly it is used to make dal. Black grams possess many health benefits ranging from improving digestion to regulating blood sugar levels and also they are also used in Ayurvedic medicine too.
Black gram is also known by names like black lentils and matpe beans. This lentil is so popular that it forms an indispensable part of exotic cuisines and if consumed daily, it has a positive impact on your health.
Nutritional Value Of Black Gram Or Urad Dal
100 grams of black gram contain 343 kcal of energy. They also contain
- 22.86 grams protein
- 60 grams carbohydrates
- 1.43 grams total lipid (fat)
- 28.6 grams total dietary fibre
- 2.86 grams sugar
- 171 milligrams calcium
- 7.71 milligrams iron
- 43 milligrams sodium
Being rich in protein and other vital minerals, black gram, benefits the body in many ways.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Black Gram
1. Increases energy
Black gram being rich in iron and protein acts as an excellent energy booster and keeps your body active. Iron is a key mineral that aids in the production of red blood cells which further increases oxygen flow to different organs of the body, thereby increasing energy and lowering fatigue  .
2. Boosts heart health
Black gram helps in promoting heart health due to the presence of magnesium, fibre, folate and potassium. Dietary fibre is an effective way to control your cholesterol levels and prevent atherosclerosis,  while magnesium helps in blood circulation and potassium acts as a vasodilator by lowering the tension in blood vessels and arteries. In addition, folate is linked to lowering the risk of heart disease .
3. Improves digestion
Black gram has a good amount of dietary fibre which is known to improve your digestion and aids in bulking up the stool, thereby preventing constipation . If you are suffering from stomach-related problems like constipation, diarrhoea, cramps or bloating incorporate black gram into your diet.
4. Promotes skin health
Black gram is considered an antiageing food because it's extremely rich in minerals that can prevent skin ageing. As black gram is rich in iron, it will help in increasing oxygenated blood flow to the cells, thus giving out a radiant and glowing skin making your skin spot-free and lessening the symptoms of acne  .
5. Lowers pain and inflammation
Since ancient times, black gram has been used in Ayurvedic medicines for relieving pain and inflammation. The presence of antioxidants in black gram is known to reduce pain and inflammation in the body  . Just applying a paste of black gram on aching joints and muscles can bring relief instantly.
6. Prevents kidney stones
Black gram is diuretic in nature which means that it stimulates urination and this eventually helps in getting rid of toxins, uric acid, excess fat, excess water and excess calcium stored in the kidneys. This aids in preventing kidney stones from occurring in the first place.
7. Promotes hair growth
Black gram is rich in minerals that can help manage dry and brittle hair and restore the lustre of the hair. It acts as a great conditioner for your hair and gives it a shiny appearance. Just applying a paste of black gram on your hair will do the trick.
8. Manages diabetes
As black gram is rich in dietary fibre, it regulates the amount of nutrients absorbed by the digestive tract. As a result, it helps in maintaining sugar and glucose levels, thereby making your diabetes much more manageable . If you are a diabetic person, include black gram into your diet to prevent a spike in blood sugar levels.
9. Improves bone health
Black gram is an excellent source of calcium that contributes to the bone mineral density. Calcium is an essential mineral that keeps your bones strong and prevents bone degradation  . Consuming it daily will prevent bone-related problems including osteoporosis and help in maintaining bone health.
10. Strengthens nervous system
Did you know that having black gram can help in boosting the cognitive function? It strengthens the nervous system and helps in dealing with nerve-related problems like hysteria, schizophrenia and memory weakness. Black gram has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating partial paralysis, facial paralysis, nervous debility, etc.
11. Builds muscles
The rich protein content in black gram is known to improve muscle health by developing and strengthening the muscle tissues of the body . Both men and women who are trying to build their muscles should consume black gram daily for muscle growth and gaining strength.
12. Good for pregnant women
Black gram is considered a very good pulse for pregnant women due to its high nutritional value. Being a rich source of iron, it helps in the production of haemoglobin which prevents birth defects in the foetus  . Also the presence of essential fatty acids in the black gram enhance foetal brain development.
Though consuming black gram is good for health, having it in excess could increase uric acid which isn't good for people suffering from gallstones or gout. It could also cause flatulence and people with rheumatic diseases should avoid it.
-  Abbaspour, N., Hurrell, R., & Kelishadi, R. (2014). Review on iron and its importance for human health.Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences,19(2), 164-74.
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-  Li, Y., Huang, T., Zheng, Y., Muka, T., Troup, J., & Hu, F. B. (2016). Folic Acid Supplementation and the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases: A Meta‐Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of the American Heart Association, 5(8), e003768.
-  Grundy, M. M.-L., Edwards, C. H., Mackie, A. R., Gidley, M. J., Butterworth, P. J., & Ellis, P. R. (2016). Re-evaluation of the mechanisms of dietary fibre and implications for macronutrient bioaccessibility, digestion and postprandial metabolism. British Journal of Nutrition, 116(05), 816–833.
-  Wright, J. A., Richards, T., & Srai, S. K. S. (2014). The role of iron in the skin and cutaneous wound healing. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 5.
-  Rajagopal, V., Pushpan, C. K., & Antony, H. (2017). Comparative effect of horse gram and black gram on inflammatory mediators and antioxidant status. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, 25(4), 845–853.
-  Kaline, K., Bornstein, S., Bergmann, A., Hauner, H., & Schwarz, P. (2007). The Importance and Effect of Dietary Fiber in Diabetes Prevention with Particular Consideration of Whole Grain Products. Hormone and Metabolic Research, 39(9), 687–693.
-  Tai, V., Leung, W., Grey, A., Reid, I. R., & Bolland, M. J. (2015). Calcium intake and bone mineral density: systematic review and meta-analysis.BMJ, h4183.
-  Stark, M., Lukaszuk, J., Prawitz, A., & Salacinski, A. (2012). Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 54.
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