Benefits of white lentils (Urad Dal)

Urad dal, also known as white lentil, black lentil or split black gram is widely cultivated in the southern parts of Asia. Botanically it is known as vigna mungo and is native to India where its cultivation is highly valued due to is numerous health benefits. 

Urad dal, also known as black dal, kali dal or white urad dal is used as a major ingredient in Indian cuisine for preparing a healthy foods. Black gram is often ground to paste to prepare different culinary dishes idlis and dosas (traditional food in South India) pappad and vada etc.

Black gram originated in India, where it was in the cultivation since ancient times and is one of the most valuable pulses of India and Asia. Coastal Andhra Pradesh is famous for black gram cultivation. Guntur district ranks first in Andhra Pradesh for the production of black gram. Indian immigrants introduced black gram to other tropical areas.

Black Gram Nutrition Facts
Black gram has a number of nutritional benefits which makes it one of the highly prized pulses in India. Black gram is rich in vitamins, minerals and devoid of cholesterol. It is store house of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese etc. Urad dal contains vitamins and dietary fibers. Due to high potassium content urad dal acts as an aphrodisiac. Nutritional values are as under

Nutrient                                   Amount
Moisture                                  10.9%
Protein                                     24%
Fat                                            1.4%
Fibre                                        0.9%
Minerals                                  3.2%
Carbohydrates                       59.6%
Calcium                                   154mg
Phosphorous                          385mg
Iron                                         9.1mg
Calorific value                        341

Health Benefits of white lentils(Urad Dal):
1) Boosts heart health:
Aside from reducing cholesterol, black lentils also boost health. This advantage is linked to the rich magnesium and folate levels that prevent damage to the arterial walls. In addition, magnesium boosts cardiovascular health through increasing blood circulation.
2) Hair Disorders: 
Washing hairs with cooked paste of black gram along with fenugreek makes hair thick and shiny.

3) Aids digestion:
The best benefit of ingesting urad dal is that it enhances digestion because of its rich fiber content. In fact, it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber normally quickens digestion while the insoluble fiber aids in preventing constipation and increasing stool bulk. Black lentils decoctions (extracted essence of substance, through boiling) are very useful in treating dyspepsia, gastric catarrh and dysentery.

4) Nervous Disorder: Soak urad dal in water for 6 hours then fry it in cow’s ghee, have it with half boiled egg to restore good mental health, overcoming nervous weakness, weakness of memory.

5) Male Sexual Dysfunction: Black gram is very effective aphrodisiac agent, it when soaked in water for 6 hour then fried in ghee draining excess water is a great sex tonic for improving impotency and thin semen.

6) Diabetes: For treating milder diabetes one can have germinated black gram with half cup of bitter gourd juice and teaspoon of honey daily for 3-4 months.

7) Provides energy: Consuming urad dal regularly increases your energy significantly as it replenishes the body's iron stores. This is particularly essential for women undergoing menstruation who have a higher chance of iron deficiency. Different from red meat and other iron sources, urad dal does not contain high calories and fat content. Iron is a vital hemoglobin component that transports oxygen to various body cells for metabolism and energy production.

8) Protein source: Urad dal is popular amongst vegetarians as it acts like a rich protein source. This makes these beans an inexpensive and tasty protein source, particularly for people who do not have sufficient money for regular meat consumption. Proteins are vital for muscle building and the overall development of the body.

9) Anti inflammatory properties:
According to principles of ayurvedavitiation of vata causes inflammation of tissues and initiates the sensation of pain.“Masha” or urad dal normalizes vata and hence has anti inflammatory properties. Usually a hot poultice of black gram is used ininflammation of joints and muscle pain. Massaging with herbal oil processed with this wonderful herb helps to reduce pain and inflammation

10) Nervous system disorders: 
This herb strengthens nervous system.Ayurveda acharyas recommend preparations of this herb in nervous debility, partial paralysis, facial paralysis and other disorders which involve nervous system.

Black Gram (Urad Dal) Precautions:
Even though it is very useful in small quantities, consuming excessive amounts of urad dal can cause flatulence. It should not be consumed by those suffering of predisposed rheumatic diseases. It contains high concentration of oxalic acid hence should be avoided by urinary calculi (kidney Stone) sufferer.

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