Black gram or urad dal is a common lentil that is used in India. This lentil comes with a plethora of health benefits. Known by various names such as “matte beans”, “mungo beans”, “wigna mungo”, “mah chole ki dal”, “black masoor dal”, “minapa sunnundalu”, and “urad dal” many expectant moms have doubts on consuming black gram during pregnancy.
Urad dal is also known as split black lentils. Split urad dal retains the skin and comes with a strong flavor. Though there are many benefits of eating black urad dal during pregnancy, there are some important things to keep in mind when consuming this dal.
Nonetheless, consuming urad dal during pregnancy comes with a mixed opinion. Is it safe to eat it? Let’s find out.
Can I Eat Black Gram / Urad Dal During Pregnancy
Pregnancy comes with eating everything with caution. Urad dal is a safe food to eat during pregnancy, however, with a few precautions. It comes with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are not made naturally by the human body. It is suggested to take this in moderation and see if this suits your body.
Urad dal during pregnancy strengthens your bones, reduces constipation and diarrhea, and gives instant energy. It also helps to keep your glucose levels in control. Hence, if you doubt “can I eat urad dal during early pregnancy”,rest assured, it is safe for you and your child’s health.
Related Reading: What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Eating During Pregnancy?
What Nutrients Make Urad Dal During Pregnancy A Healthy Food?
If you are craving urad dal vada during pregnancy but worry about its nutritional value, be assured that urad dal comes with a tremendous nutritional value. It is a good source of protein, iron, carbohydrates, lipids, and calcium. Consuming whole urad dal during pregnancy is believed to have more fiber content in it.
The importance of black gram during pregnancy is further emphasized by the fact that it is grown mostly organically, without the use of harmful fertilizers.
Listed below are the nutritional values of black gram1.
Energy – 350 kcal Protein – 24 g Total lipid (fat) – 1.5 g Carbohydrate, by difference – 60 g Fiber, total dietary – 29 g Sugars, Total – 3 g Calcium, Ca – 200 mg Iron, Fe 7.2 – mg Sodium, Na – 40 mg Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid – 0 mg Vitamin A, IU 0 IU Fatty acids, total saturated – 0 g Fatty acids, total trans – 0 g Cholesterol – 0 mg Ingredients: SPLIT MATPE
Black gram is considered healthy for its high protein and fiber content. Also, it offers essential minerals like Ca, K, Na, Mg, Cu, and Zn making it safe for you to grab that urad dal papad during pregnancy.
Listed below are the health benefits of eating black urad dal during pregnancy and how its nutrients play a vital role.
Protein during pregnancy is vital for the baby’s growth and development. Eating a required amount of protein during pregnancy also supports your baby’s development as it contains a good source of Amino acids — building blocks of protein.
Since amino acids are required for normal cell growth and function, eating black gram during pregnancy is recommended as this high-protein food contains almost three times as much protein in cereals2.
Related Reading: Top 10 Protein-Rich Foods For Pregnancy
Black gram contains protein, polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates), and neutral detergent fiber. This helps to lower blood lipid (fat) levels3.
According to studies on rats, black gram may reduce fat and cholesterol levels. It was found to
- minimize the activity of enzymes required for cholesterol synthesis
- increase bile excretion, and
- decrease dietary cholesterol absorption
Gestational diabetes is one of the common problems in pregnancy. Black gram is rich in fiber and has the potential to reduce blood sugar levels. This is because its fiber content reduces the absorption process of energy-producing nutrients such as glucose and slows down the digestion process4.
According to a study, the extract of black gram had decreased blood glucose levels and increased insulin levels in diabetic rats. It was also found to protect and stimulate insulin-producing cells.
Related Reading: How To Cope With Sweet Cravings During Pregnancy
Antioxidants play an important role in the baby’s growth and development. According to a source, giving antioxidants to a pregnant mother at the same time she’s exposed to alcohol can diminish the incidence of major malformations.
Antioxidants help to protect key cellular components by neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals, natural byproducts of cell metabolism.
Also, black gram contains antioxidant components such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, and condensed tannins. Another study suggests that phenolic-rich foods, through their antioxidant activity, may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative conditions, and Alzheimer’s.
5. Consuming Urad dal during pregnancy helps to prevent infections
Expectant mothers are easily prone to a lot of common infections. Components such as methyl ester, inhibit pathogenic microorganisms. According to studies, the growth of pathogenic microbes like Klebsiella sp., Bacillus sp., Enterococci sp, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, etc is prevented with the consumption of black gram5.
It also helps to prevent the growth of fungi like Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans6.
Black gram is a good source of calcium and phosphorus which is much needed during pregnancy. Not only it helps in maintaining good bone health for self, but it also aids as a good source of minerals for bone formation7.
The bioactive compounds in black gram are known to stimulate the work efficiency of the immune system by replacing the concentration of the metabolites produced by the immune system.
Fatty acids, saponins, vitamins, and amino acids are responsible for these stimulatory effects.
Consuming black gram according to a study proved it helped in boosting the immune system(antibodies).
Related Reading: 11 Simple Ways To Boost Immunity During Pregnancy
As urad dal contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, it boosts your metabolism thereby helping in easing pain and inflammation. To reduce pain, make a paste of urad dal and apply it over the aching joint and muscles. Not only that, but urad dal also helps in reducing oxidative stress levels.
Though consuming urad dal during pregnancy comes with a lot of health benefits, there are always precautions that you must follow.
Black gram comes with dust and small stones. Hence, it is important to clean them well before using them.
2. Be aware as it can bacteria
Urad dal can have dangerous bacteria such as Listeria, E. Coli, and Salmonella. These bacteria can be especially harmful during pregnancy as they can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and pre-term labor.
If you are eating out especially during those cravings for urad dal vada during pregnancy, it is better to avoid them as there is no guarantee of hygiene preparation.
3. Don’t consume raw urad dal during pregnancy
Since urad dal comes with possible bacteria, it is recommended to cook the lentil to its boiling point. By doing so, the bacteria will be destroyed and you can easily digest it too.
If you have acidity issues, it is suggested to take urad dal during pregnancy in moderation. Check if you can digest it or not. Often, your body may not digest so much urad dal protein.
Related Reading: Importance Of Potassium During Pregnancy
Though there are no major side effects of consuming urad dal during pregnancy, anything taken in excess could always have an adverse effect. Though the fiber content present in black gram is said to be beneficial for constipation issues, the excess dietary fiber could cause bloating and flatulence.
Also, too much consumption of head dal significantly increases the uric acid levels in our bodies. Hence, people who already have kidney stones, gallstones, or gout, should consume urad in moderation.
Urad dal is extremely beneficial during pregnancy as it is loaded with a lot of vitamins and minerals. As urad dal is rich in iron content, it is also beneficial for pregnant women who have a high chance of iron deficiency. This small lentil is fully loaded with iron, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, making it a perfect health package for pregnant women.
Lentils have always been available easily. They are also easy to prepare and are tasty and healthy. Since this lentil is loaded with an abundance of benefits, continue to relish this amazing food item and remain healthy.