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Masoor Dal: Nutritional value, Benefits and Side effects

Masoor Dal: Nutrition, Health Benefits & Side Effects

Masoor dal, also known as red lentils, is a popular legume consumed widely across the world, especially in South Asian cuisine. It is not only cherished for its sweet, nutty flavor and ease of cooking but also for its incredible health benefits. Packed with nutrients, masoor dal is a fantastic source of protein, essential amino acids, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. This makes it an excellent dietary choice for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking to enhance their diet with healthful, plant-based options. In this blog, we delve into the nutritional value, health benefits, and some delightful recipes of masoor dal.

Nutritional Value of Masoor Dal

Masoor dal is rich in nutrients that are vital for maintaining a healthy body. Here is a quick look at its nutritional profile per 100 grams serving:


Nutrient

Amount

Energy

353 kcal

Protein

24.63 g

Fat

0.75 g

Carbohydrates

60.08 g

Fiber

10.7 g

Sugars

2.03 g

Iron

6.51 mg

Magnesium

47 mg

Phosphorus

356 mg

Potassium

668 mg

Zinc

2.59 mg

Vitamin B6

0.54 mg

Folate

479 µg


Types of Masoor Dal:

There are primarily two types of masoor dal available in the market:

  1. Whole masoor dal: These are the whole, unskinned lentils with a dark brown or black color. They have a slightly higher fiber content due to the presence of the skin.

  2. Split masoor dal: These are the skinned and split lentils, usually orange-red in color. They cook faster and are more commonly used in various recipes.

Health Benefits of Masoor Dal

1. Blood Sugar Stabilization: Masoor dal is beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those trying to maintain stable blood sugar levels. The high fiber content slows down the rate at which food is digested, resulting in a gradual increase in blood sugar levels rather than a spike. Regular consumption can help manage and prevent diabetes.

2. Heart Health Improvement: The fiber in masoor dal helps reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the bloodstream, which can prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Additionally, potassium in masoor dal can help lower blood pressure by countering the effects of sodium in the body.

3. Weight Reduction Remedy: Being high in protein and fiber, masoor dal can increase satiety, or the feeling of fullness, which can prevent overeating and help in weight management. Moreover, it has a relatively low calorie count, making it a filling, nutritious option for those looking to lose or manage their weight.

4. Anti-aging Properties: The antioxidants present in masoor dal, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and phenols, combat free radicals in the body, which are responsible for aging and many chronic diseases. Regular consumption can help maintain youthful skin and reduce the risk of age-related diseases.

5. Improvement in Teeth & Bone Health: Masoor dal is a good source of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for the development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.

6. Better Vision & Eye Health: Vitamin A, an essential nutrient found in masoor dal, is crucial for maintaining proper eye health and vision. It helps protect the eyes from night blindness and age-related decline.

7. Bright and Radiant Skin: The vitamins and minerals in masoor dal, including B vitamins, help in skin cell regeneration and repair, leading to bright and radiant skin. It also has properties that may help in treating acne and reducing blemishes.

8. Improved Immunity: The array of nutrients found in masoor dal, including iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, and selenium, play a role in strengthening the immune system, making the body more resistant to infections and diseases.

9. Cancer Prevention: Some studies suggest that regular intake of lentils like masoor dal may be associated with a reduced risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer, due to their high fiber content and the presence of cancer-fighting compounds.

10. Rich in Proteins and Minerals: As a rich source of plant-based proteins, masoor dal is especially beneficial for vegetarians and vegans. It aids in muscle building, repair, and overall bodily functions, supported by a range of essential minerals.

Side Effects of Excessive Consumption of Masoor Dal

While masoor dal is largely beneficial, excessive consumption can lead to some adverse effects:

1. Digestive Issues: Overconsumption of masoor dal can lead to gas, bloating, and indigestion due to its high fiber content. People not used to a high-fiber diet might experience these symptoms more intensely.

2. Kidney Issues: For individuals with existing kidney problems, the high potassium content in masoor dal can be harmful. It's essential for those with kidney conditions to manage their potassium intake carefully.

3. Nutrient Imbalance: Excessive consumption of masoor dal without a balanced intake of other food groups can lead to nutrient imbalances. For example, while masoor dal is high in protein, it does not contain all essential amino acids needed by the body.

4. Uric Acid Levels: For individuals with conditions like gout or kidney stones, consuming large amounts of masoor dal can increase uric acid levels in the blood, leading to discomfort and complications.

5. Allergic Reactions: Though rare, some individuals may have or develop an allergy to lentils, including masoor dal, which could lead to adverse reactions like itching, swelling, and gastrointestinal distress.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while masoor dal offers numerous health benefits, it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet to avoid potential side effects. If you have specific health conditions or dietary concerns, it's always best to consult with a healthcare provider or a dietitian.