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Chana or Bengal Gram has a ubiquitous presence across the length and breadth of Indian cuisine. From a humble gur-Chana (jaggery and roasted bengal gram, a street-side snack) to rich traditional recipes, Chana has got a significant stake in our diet. It is the go-to source of protein for the vast vegetarian population in India. But is it equally good for a person with diabetes?
Glycemic Index, also referred to as GI, is a type of system that assigns a number or numeric value to foods based on how much carbohydrate they contain and how fast eating each of these can increase your blood sugar levels.
Whatever food you partake has a direct impact on your blood glucose levels. Being aware of the GI count of the things you eat helps you be mindful of their effect on your blood sugar levels. Keeping a track of GI count is all the more necessary for a person dealing with complications of diabetes mellitus.
Chana or Bengal Gram has a low Glycemic Index of 28 which makes it an extremely beneficial food item for people with diabetes.
It has proteins, calories, vitamins, minerals, and good fiber content.
Loaded with proteins and fiber, Chana keeps you full for a longer time, thus, cutting away the need to binge. It also reduces your calorie intake and helps you keep a check on it.
Due to its low GI count, Chana comes handy in maintaining your blood glucose levels.
Chana has a high iron content which makes it an absolute favorite when it comes to bridging the iron deficiency gap in the body. This in turn aids in physical as well as mental growth.
The choline and magnesium present in Chana helps in proper brain functioning.
The high fiber content aids the bowel movement and helps you get rid of constipation. It also has antioxidant properties which help you keep your gut and digestive tract clean by flushing away the bulky waste from your system.
The amino acid Methionine present in Chana improves cell functioning that results in a steady boost of energy.
This iron-rich grain increases your haemoglobin count and is especially beneficial for women during menstruation, pregnancy and lactation.
There are various other tastier ways of incorporating Chana in your diet other than as a dal or curry. For instance, you can:
Soak bengal gram in water for 10-12 hours. Drain and wash thoroughly. Keep it covered for another 6-8 hours. Depending upon the season, Chana sprout will be ready to be consumed within 24 days.
Pressure-cook Chana in salt water. Drain and keep aside. Add chopped onion, tomato, green chili, coriander leaves, roasted peanuts, lemon juice, rock salt and chaat masala.
Chana can be a good protein substitute in salads.
Coarsely ground parboiled Chana can be a good alternative to boiled potatoes when making vegetable kebabs. These are bulkier than your regular kebabs, thus, cutting the portion size.
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