Discover the Amazing Benefits of Dal- The Powerhouse of Goodness


Discover the Amazing Benefits of Dal- The Powerhouse of Goodness

You can’t miss out on a hot steaming ladle of dal served at least in one meal of the day if you are an Indian staying in whichever part of the world. As you know, dal, also called lentils, has been a staple diet across India and many other countries and comes in various varieties. Beyond its delectable taste and versatility, it is a nutritional powerhouse offering a wide array of health benefits. While being a comfort food for Indians, dal holds a special place in Indian kitchens due to its rich nutrient profile.

In this article, we will highlight the incredible benefits of incorporating dal into your meal and why it is hailed as a superfood.

Top 5 Types of Dals and Their Benefits

Various varieties of dals are used in Indian kitchens, but the five most common types of dals are cooked frequently for their plenty of health benefits. They are-

Moong Dal

Moong dal and its varieties are commonly used lentils, from tasty curries to desserts. Whole moong dal is a protein-bound sprout packed with dense nutrients, such as magnesium, copper,  manganese, phosphorus, potassium, folate, and zinc and an excellent protein and dietary fibre source. It also aids in lowering cholesterol levels, reducing heart disease risk and regulating blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, it is one of the most easily digestible pulses of all dals and is recommended mainly by dieticians in their diet plans as it is easily digestible.

Urad Dal

Urad dal adds a rich and delicious taste to the famous dal, dal makhani. It is also incorporated in dishes like dosa, idli, vada and dosa and is loaded with iron, calcium, protein, potassium and vitamins A and C.

Moreover, urad dal is an insoluble dietary fibre that promotes digestion and improves and strengthens bones. It also boosts energy levels, controls blood sugar levels, and maintains hair and skin health.

Toor Dal

Toor dal, commonly known as arhar or sambar dal, is easily found in the Indian Kitchen. It is also the staple meal among South Indians, loaded with proteins, iron, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, B vitamin, and iron.

It is known to be highly beneficial for pregnant women to prevent neural tube congenital disabilities.

Masoor Dal

Masoor dal is another commonly used lentil in Indian kitchens.  A highly beneficial dal like masoor dal goes great with vegetables as it is rich in protein, magnesium, calcium, folate, and vitamin B vitamins, which keep your overall health in fine fettle.

It also keeps skin healthy and prevents acne while regulating blood sugar levels and boosting immunity.

Split Chana Dal

Chana dal is rich in nutrients and can make delectable dishes like fritters, dal, soups, curries and salads. It is incorporated with zinc, protein, folate and fibre.

Being loaded with fibre helps stabilise blood glucose levels, lowers blood sugar levels, and reduces heart disease risk. It also helps promote bone development while strengthening them.

>> Also Read: 6 Sources of Iron to Include in Your Diet

Common Health Benefits of Dal

In all the households in India, regardless of the region, dal is always served alongside rice or chapati and other dishes. Being a powerhouse of goodness, dal is inevitable in Indian meals. Here are the benefits of dal that you must know-

Rich Source of Essential Nutrients

Dal adds nutritional value to your meals as it is-

  • Protein Rich- Dal is an amazing source of plant-based protein, making it an ideal choice for vegans and vegetarians as it helps in muscle repair and development.
  • Vitamin and Minerals Rich- Dal is rich in vitamins such as B-complex and minerals such as magnesium, potassium and iron, essential to maintain a healthy well-being.
  • Fibrous- To maintain healthy digestion, one needs a rich diet. Dal has fibre content that supports digestion, promotes a balanced dut microbiome and prevents constipation.

Helps in Weight Management

  • Weight Loss- Dal is good for weight loss as the combination of fibre and protein in dal helps you feel full and satisfied, reducing the temptation to overeat. 
  • Low in Calories- Despite its nature of making you feel full and satisfied, it is low in calories, making it ideal for weight loss.

Controls Blood Sugar

  • Low Glycemic Index- Dal contains a low glycemic index, slowly releasing glucose into your bloodstream, helping regulate blood sugar levels. This is usually important for people with diabetes.
  • Stable Energy- It releases steady and long-lasting energy that energises you throughout the day.

Keeps Heart Health Healthy

  • Heart-Friendly- The potassium and magnesium in dal maintain heart health and blood pressure levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Cholesterol Control- The fibre in dal helps lower LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol), further helping your heart stay healthy.

Delicious and Versatile

  • Culinary Delight- From dals like Tadka Dal to unique and delicious recipes, dal is incredibly versatile as it offers assorted culinary experiences.
  • Global Cuisine- Dal is not only famous in Indian households but also internationally. It's an ingredient in various international cuisines, from Indian to Middle Eastern and many more.

What to Keep in Mind While Cooking Dal?

Pulses are indeed nutritious, but you must also know how to healthily cook dal to ensure you gain the maximum benefits from consuming dal. To cook it healthy, you must avoid excessive oil or spices as these ingredients are not suitable for health. You can, however, use ghee or olive oil for tadka. You can also include some black pepper or green chillies to enhance flavour. You must use everything in moderation to relish the taste of dal and gain its benefits.

Final Thoughts

Once you start incorporating dal into your diet, you will experience impactful results that enhance your health. The abundance of nutrients in dals ables weight management, supports heart health and controls blood sugar levels. With the diversity that dal brings to the culinary world, its immense benefits promote a healthier lifestyle.

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only

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Q. Which dal is good for weight loss?

As suggested by many nutrition experts, moong dal is a great plant-based protein source, making it an excellent choice for a weight-loss diet as it is naturally low in fat, making it the best dal for weight loss.

Q. How many types of dal are there in India?

There are almost 19 dal types found in most households across India.

Q. Is chana dal good for weight loss?

The benefits of chana dal are plenty; one of them is that it helps in weight management. It contains fibre and complex carbohydrates, which can help reduce cravings and fat.

Q. Which dal has the highest protein?

Although all the lentils are rich in protein, a few are known to be the ideal source of protein. They are– chana dal, masoor dal, urad dal and green moong dal.

Q. What are the benefits of green moong dal?

The benefits of green moong dal, except for common benefits as mentioned above-

  • Good for eyes
  • Aids in cognitive functioning
  • Limits antitumor activity
  • Helps prevent heat stroke
  • Good for pregnant women

Q. What are the benefits of masoor dal?

Masoor dal offers many benefits. Besides the common benefits mentioned above, a few more benefits are-

  • Has antioxidant activity
  • May have anticancer properties
  • Reduces the lipids concentration in the blood
  • May have anti-diabetic properties

Q. What are the benefits of yellow moong dal?

Besides the common benefits of moong dal, it also helps in diarrhoea due to its light and filling properties and helps build red blood cells.

Q. What are the benefits of urad dal?

Being an excellent antioxidant, it benefits kidney, heart and liver health.


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