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Masoor dal is probably the most commonly used Dal in India. It is basically the split lentil without skin and is red in color. It does not need soaking prior to cooking as it is a "soft" Daal and cooks quickly. When cooked , Masoor dal turns a soft golden color. With 26% protein, lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any plant-based food after soybeans and hemp.
Masoor dal is an important part of the diet in many parts of the world, especially in the Indian subcontinent which has large vegetarian population. The seeds have a short cooking time (especially for small varieties with the husk removed, such as the common red lentil) and a distinctive earthy flavor
Health Benefits of Masoor dal (Lentils)
- Lentils are extremely rich in soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, thereby helping in removing bile from the body. It further helps in eliminating and reducing blood cholesterol levels.
- The higher fiber content of lentils helps in increasing the size of stool; hence, speeding the journey of waste products through the gut. In short, lentils are useful for alleviating constipation. The fiber content also reduces the risk and the symptoms of diverticulosis, a condition in which small pouches form in the colon wall.
- The soluble fiber in lentils has the property of trapping carbohydrates. It slows down the digestion and absorption process, hence preventing major changes in blood sugar level throughout the day. This helps diabetic patients.
- The insoluble fiber in lentils leads to the feeling of early satiation; hence, people eat less and gain fewer pounds. Besides, insoluble fiber is indigestible, which passes through the body adding just a few calories.
- Lentils are rich in flavones, a class of antioxidants with antioxidant properties. Studies have proved that regular consumption of lentils can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Lentils prove to be significant for a healthy heart as they prevent heart coronary problems. Fiber in the lentils reduces blood cholesterol levels and plaque forming on the walls of the arteries, thereby eliminating the risk of stroke or other cardiovascular diseases.
- Apart from providing low burning complex carbohydrates, lentils increase energy levels by replenishing iron stores. This is particularly very important for menstruating women, who are at a higher risk of iron deficiency.
- Besides fiber which contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system, lentils contain folic acid and magnesium, significant for reducing the level of homocysteine, a compound known to be dangerous for the heart and artery walls. Also, lentils promote better blood flow and passage of oxygen and nutrients to the organs.
- Rich in the antioxidant, molybdenum, lentils assist the body in breaking down harmful substances hence reducing allergy symptoms. This antioxidant is also essential for preventing impotency, particularly in older men, and avoiding anemia.
- Researches indicate that the vitamin E found in lentils helps prevent the risk of Parkinson’s disease, though the exact connection is not yet determined.
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