Toor Dal: Benefits and Side effects
Pulses or legumes are an essential part of a healthy eating plan. Dal, the storehouse of high quality plant protein, is full of many health benefits. Toor dal is a perennial legume that belongs to the fabaceae family, also known as pigeon pea, split pigeon pea, arhar dal or red gram dal. It is an excellent source of various nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins.
Toor dal is known by different names in different languages. It is known as Thuvaram paruppu in Tamil, Tuvara Parippu. In Kannada, it is said to be Thogari Bele in kannada, Arhar ki dal in Hindi and Gujarati, and Kandipappu in Telugu.
Importance of Toor dal in Ayurveda
Ayurveda values toor dal as a wonderful food and medicinal legume in treating various health problems. It is known to enhance Vata dosha while balancing Pitta and Kapha dosha and improving overall skin tone. In traditional practice, toor dal is used internally in the form of a healing soup and applied externally as a paste or ointment. Its leaves are useful for improving liver health and giving a light feeling to the body. The leaves are used to treat bleeding disorders, worm infections and also as a natural laxative. Toor dal paste is applied to canker sores and inflammation to treat stomatitis.
Benefits of Toor Dal
Toor dal leaves are made up of components called chalcones. Chalcones are an active malaria component used to treat jaundice. Therefore, Toor dal can be useful as an antimalarial drug.
The anti-inflammatory effect of Toor dal helps reduce inflammation in injured tissue and activates tissue formation. In this way, it helps in tissue remodeling.
Useful in diabetes and cholesterol-
Toor dal is rich in protein which helps prevent type 2 diabetes. It has been found that in patients with diabetes and cholesterol, regular intake too can significantly lower their blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
The decrease in total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) may be due to the antioxidants and high fiber content present in it.
Helps in weight loss-
Toor dal is naturally high in protein, keeps you full and controls early hunger while good fiber and low glycemic index helps you lose weight by reducing appetite, increasing metabolism and reducing overall calorie intake.
Regulates blood pressure-
Toor dal is a good source of potassium, which acts as a powerful vasodilator, reduces blood clotting, improves circulation of blood and controls high blood pressure. Toor dal in the diet is very valuable for patients suffering from hypertension, as they are prone to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Toor dal, an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, strengthens bones in growing children. It also restores optimal bone density in the elders, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
The large amount of magnesium in Toor Dal helps build a healthy immune system and prevent infections.
Improves heart health-
Toor Dal is completely free of saturated fat, so it's a great protein option for those with heart problems. While the abundance of fiber and niacin helps increase levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol.
Side effects of Toor dal
There are no side effects of toor dal but if someone is allergic to toor dal, they should not consume it.
The most common side effects are-
- Scratching or hives or breathing problems.
- Inflammation of the digestive tract due to allergic reactions.
- Stomach swelling or bloating.
Where is Toor dal found?
Toor Dal is found and grown in India. It is a drought tolerant plant. It is commonly grown in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Karnataka.