Black Chana Nutrition: Overview
Eating healthy is essential to staying healthy. If you focus on your health, you prevent signs of aging and keep your vital organs functioning properly. One healthy option to consume is protein. Protein is essential in helping build muscles, and eggs are usually touted to be a great source of the same. But if you have decided to become vegan, how will you meet your daily protein intake? After all, one can eat only so much soybean and other soy products. A great alternative to eggs is black chickpeas or Kala chana.
Chickpeas or chole (as known in North India) are a good source of protein without losing on taste and versatility when it comes to recipes. That said, black chana nutrition is well-known and is also higher than white chickpeas or kabuli chana, and India exports about 67 percent of the world’s total black chana. The black chana is a widely consumed lentil in Bengal; hence, it often goes by the name Bengal gram. The black chana is widely consumed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Karnataka. Globally, after India, Italy is the second-highest consumer of black chana.
Kala Chana Nutrition Facts
When the discussion is about black chana nutrition, it can be described in one word— Superfood. Like all legumes, black chana has a low fat count and high dietary fiber count. But, what makes black chana more nutritious and healthy is the presence of delphinidin and phytonutrients. Along with these, black chana nutrition also contains anthocyanins, cyanidin, and more antioxidants than other legumes.
Since we are talking about black chana nutrition, it would be interesting to know that kala chana protein per 100g is 20g. Interesting because one large egg has about 6g of protein. Given that the daily protein requirement for humans is 20g, then consuming 100g of black chana daily is beneficial. Apart from protein, the other nutrients found in 100g of black chana are:
|Dietary fiber||12 g|
The table above highlights the benefits of consuming 100 g of black chana regularly to meet the daily nutrient intake.
Additional Nutritional Value of Kala Chana
Black chana is rightfully tagged as the Chanakya of legumes in Ayurveda due to the high amount of protein in this superfood. The black chana nutrition is unparalleled in the world of legumes. It helps avert a plethora of health conditions and also promotes healthy living. Being rich in antioxidants and other nutrients, the additional health benefits offered by black chana are:
|Vitamin B1||0.486 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.106 mg|
|Vitamin B3||1.76 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.606 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.492 mg|
As mentioned above, black chana contains anthocyanins. While this phytochemical is popularly known for adding reddish or purplish hues to fruits, it is present in a good amount in black chana and helps the legume provide anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits.
Uses of Black Chana for Overall Health
Black chana is beneficial for many. It is one such food that can be consumed by anyone without triggering any harmful reactions. People suffering from various allergies often rely on black chana nutrition for their daily nutrition intake. Black chana nutrition also contains phytochemicals like flavonoids, amino acids, and chloride. This makes black chana a potential preventive medicine for cancer.
Other benefits and uses for black chana nutrition are:
Black chana for diabetes
Black chana nutrition has a low glycemic index, making it ideal for consumption by people already suffering from diabetes. Along with a low index, this legume also has high amylose content that decreases the metabolic rate of starch digestion. Adding to these two factors, the fibers present in black chana further help with diabetes. This further prevents blood sugar levels from fluctuating and cause symptoms that are normally associated with diabetes. If you are at risk of developing diabetes —a genetic condition or other health conditions that lead to diabetes— you can add black chana to your daily diet to prevent diabetes onset.
That said, if you are suffering from type 1 diabetes, you should always consult your doctor before adding anything extra to your diet, as it can affect the effectiveness of the medicines you are taking.
Black chana for cardiovascular health
Black chana nutrition is high in the organic compound sterol. This sterol shares many structural similarities with cholesterol (also known as bad fat). This similarity prevents the blood from absorbing cholesterol, which further leads to the lowering of high blood pressure and hypertension. Additionally, the high fiber content in black chana further helps manage the lipid levels in the blood.
Daily consumption of black chana also promotes the production of butyrate. This butyrate helps in the reduction of inflammation that can affect the heart. Research has shown that butyrate helps in managing heart conditions by acting as preventive care for the following conditions:
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
That said, high levels of butyrate can also cause harm, especially if you are breastfeeding.
Black chana for weight loss
The key benefit provided by black chana nutrition is that it is high in fiber. This factor helps in controlling hunger. When you consume food rich in fiber, you will need less amount of food to feeling full. The fibers also help boost your metabolism that leads to more energy burning as fibers are not that easily digested, and since black chana does not have more fat, you will not gain weight and not suffer from constipation.
But, fiber alone does not help in weight loss and management of the weight. The high protein content of black chana helps boost muscle building which also aids with fat loss and curb hunger to prevent you from binge-eating.
Black chana for gastrointestinal health
We have already seen that butyrate helps in promoting good heart health. But, that is not the only benefit that butyrate provides. It also aids in promoting healthy gastrointestinal functioning. Black chana contains raffinose that stimulates gut bacteria to create butyrate.
This butyrate reduces inflammation that also helps in reducing stomach bloating. It is also the provider of the majority of energy to the cells in the colon that also help keep the good bacteria healthy and work on breaking down the fibers. This short-chain fatty acid also strengthens the barriers in the gut so that good bacteria do not enter the blood. Many studies have also shown that butyrate helps in managing conditions like:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Colon cancer
- Black chana for hair health
The inclusion of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and zinc helps promote healthy hair growth. These minerals help build the protein required for hair growth and prevent hair breakage. This protein also helps strengthen the hair follicles and reduces scalp irritation. The manganese found in black chana help prevents premature greying of the hair. Making a pack using black chana can also help prevent dandruff.
Side Effects of Black Chana
We have seen that black chana is very helpful and helps manage various health conditions. All of this is possible due to the black chana nutrition’s phytochemicals. But, these very phytochemicals can also cause certain side effects that can lead to more serious problems. High in fiber, black chana should not be consumed by people suffering from stomach pains and gas. It can also cause diarrhea and bloating, especially in children and elderly people.
While chickpeas are often used to replace dietary fiber intake by people who are allergic to wheat and gluten, and legume allergy is also a potent type of allergy. If you do have legume allergy, you must get yourself tested for allergic reactions toward black chana before adding it to your diet.
Black chana is a very good source of potassium. This helps counter high blood pressure and prevent heart disorders. But, if you are on medications for the same, you need to consult your doctor before adding black chana to your regular diet, as excess potassium can lead to potassium toxicity.
Black chana nutrition is a popular topic, and rightfully so. Adding black chana to your diet is essential and will help you manage your weight and get essential nutrients. But, going overboard with black chana consumption can do more harm. The nutrition you get in kala chana protein per 100g is enough to last you through the day. You can sort out the consumption after a consultation with your doctor or dietician.
Does black chana help boost brain functioning?
Black chana is rich in choline which is known to boost the production of neurotransmitters. This enhances brain functioning. The magnesium in black chana also helps keep the nerves healthy and receptive. Furthermore, traces of selenium is found in black chana, and this mineral is scientifically known to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.
What is Diverticulitis?
This condition is where small and bulging pouches develop in the digestive tract and become infected or swell up. The most common symptoms are fever and nausea.
How to create a black chana pack for hair?
To make a black chana hair pack, you must mix the following: 2 tbsp black chana powder, 1 whole egg, 1 tsp lemon juice, and 1 tbsp curd. Apply this paste to your hair and leave it for 20 minutes. It will strengthen your hair and give it a gloss.
Is black chana good for the skin?
Black chana is very healthy for the skin. While consuming it will give your skin a healthy glow, you can use black chana as a face pack. Mix black chana with turmeric and add water to make it a paste. Apply to skin and leave on till it dries. You can scrub it off like an exfoliation mask or wipe it off with cold water.