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One of the most underappreciated and underutilised legume in the Indian diet is the horse gram or kulith. This humble gram is also known by other names such as kulti or Madras gram, and it comes packed with a lot of health benefits. It also has nutraceutical properties, making it one of the rare foods that have both nutritional and medicinal benefits.
If weight loss is your goal, you would know that all your efforts would come to a naught if your diet doesn't include enough proteins and fibre. Indian diet, which is mainly vegetarian, doesn't contain enough protein necessary for weight loss. That is where horse gram comes into the picture. The protein content of legume is between 18 and 25 percent, making it a good protein addition into your weight loss diet.
When it comes to fibre, horse gram is a good source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre. It even beats kidney beans when it comes to insoluble dietary fibres. With the addition of kulith or horse gram in your diet, weight loss goals become easier to achieve since the fibre content helps you achieve satiety after meals, preventing you for overeating. That apart, kulith also has modulates blood sugar, lowers cholesterol and reduces constipation. Antioxidant reserves of horse gram also help in scavenging disease-causing free radicals.
If water weight is your enemy, you need horse gram to deal with it. The diuretic properties of horse gram are excellent and are a safer, caffeine-free option compared to tea and coffee. Ayurvedic experts also recommend horse gram for preventing premenstrual bloat common in women because of hormonal fluctuations. The legume also helps modulate hormones, preventing them from wreaking havoc on your health and weight.
You can have a bowlful of boiled kulith with lunch or at dinner. The flour of the gram is also added to rasams or curries. Alternatively, the powder can also be added to hot water and had like a drink, much like sattu in the north. In South India, the nutritious water in which the gram is boiled is also consumed for its nutritional qualities. In fact, it is one of the best-kept weight loss secrets of the South Indian ladies.
Here's a healthy horse gram porridge recipe from Rujuta Diwekar for weight loss.
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