The Underrated Flour – Chana Besan
Commonly known as gram flour, Chana Besan (Chickpea flour) is naturally wheat-free, gluten-free flour that is rich in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It also contains iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, vitamin B6 and thiamin, and packs extra nutrition in your diet.
Chana Besan is useful as a substitute for wheat flour or in combination with other flours, and is a staple ingredient in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, but it is also gaining popularity in the North American cuisines as well with the rise of grain-free cooking and baking. Chickpea flour can be used as a binder in baking, in pancakes and crepes, vegan frittatas and omelettes, as well as in savoury dishes like stews and soups.
Besan flour contains 387 calories per cup. It also has 22 milligrams of protein, 11 grams of sugar, 7 grams of fat, 11 grams of fiber and 58 grams of carbohydrates. A third of the starch in besan is amylose, a slowly digested starch that helps you feel full longer. A 1-cup serving of besan is rich in the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and copper. Although not a rich source of most vitamins, besan does contain vitamin A, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin K and folate. Chana Besan also provides 25 percent of the daily iron intake recommendation.
Can Besan Flour Help You Lose Weight?
Besan has lesser calories than whole wheat flour. Being nutritionally dense they promote weight loss as they contain lower levels of fat as compared to their non-vegetarian protein counterparts. According to various studies adding protein & fiber to your diet may help control cravings, as they take longer to digest than carbohydrates, helping you feel fuller for longer and on fewer calories, which could help you lose weight. Owing to it’s high protein content it can be easily be consumed by vegetarians and vegans to fulfill their protein needs.
Ten Health Benefits
1. May help lower Cholesterol: Gram flour contains healthy unsaturated fats which help in lowering the cholesterol level of the body.
2. May help control Diabetes: Owing to its low glycemic index (10), it is a great food for diabetics. Use it in your rotis, paranthas as a replacement for flour.
3. May help improve health of the heart: Besan has high soluble fiber content which is beneficial for the health of the heart.
4. Healthy alternative for Gluten: Since besan does not contain gluten, it is a great substitute to wheat and other gluten containing grains, for those people who are allergic to gluten.
5. May help getting rid of iron deficiency: Being rich in iron, consumption of besan on a daily basis may help your body recover from iron deficiency.
6. Useful in pregnancy: Gram flour is rich in folate, a vitamin which takes care of the foetus’ brain and spinal cord development and ensures a healthy well developed baby.
7. Helps during fatigue: Gram flour is a good source of the vitamin Thiamin which helps the body in converting food into energy.
8. Helps regulate mood and appetite: Besan is rich in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is an important component involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin plays an important in mood and appetite regulation.
9. May help regulate blood pressure: The magnesium content of besan helps in maintaining vascular health and it also helps in the regulation of blood pressure.
10. May helps in strengthening of bones: The phosphorous in gram flour combines with calcium in the body to help in the formation of bones.
Using Chickpea Flour in Recipes
Lending a nutty taste to breads, sauces and other foods, Chana Besan Flour is a healthy and versatile alternative to complement recipes dishes and recipes. You can substitute 7/8 cup of chickpea flour for every 1 cup of wheat flour, according to Michigan State University. Depending on how you’re using the flour, you may get better results by mixing it with other flours. Try mixing bean flour with rice flour, or if you’re baking something sweet, mix chickpea flour, sorghum flour and sweet rice flour.
Bloom Organic Chana Besan Flour
Bloom Organic Chana Besan is produced and grown using methods that preserve the environment while avoiding synthetic materials such as pesticides and antibiotics. Additionally, Bloom Organic Chana Besan is a vegan and GMO-free food, which means that it excludes all forms of animal products including eggs, seafood, meat, dairy, honey and poultry and that no changes were introduced via genetic engineering into its DNA.
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