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You must have heard of the importance of consuming protein post-workout. That’s because it is crucial to nourish your muscles and kickstart repair. But do you think going for a protein solution without verifying its authenticity is right? Well, we don’t think so! Instead, we have a natural source that not only acts as the perfect post-workout protein solution, but a binge-breaker as well. Yes, we are talking about the many benefits of chana, especially when it’s soaked in water.
You will be glad to know that soaked black chana is a powerhouse of protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy fat. On the contrary, the whey protein you eat is all synthetic, and has no other nutrients in it.
But why soak chana, you may ask? Well, that’s because soaking black chana improves the nutritional quality of proteins, vitamins, and also makes them easy to digest.
“It is very important to know how, and how much to eat to get the maximum nutritional value of soaked black chana. You should soak a fist full of chana in cold water for at least eight hours. If you are soaking them in warm water, then four to five hours are enough. Don’t eat a fist full of soaked chana as it can upset your stomach,” recommends Ms Ritu Khaneja, a clinical nutritionist and dietician and founder of RightKCalories.
She also suggests that the best time to consume soaked black chana is at breakfast. There’s a legitimate reason for this: it will keep you energized throughout the day.
“Consuming extra protein for breakfast helps to lower your blood sugar levels, and reduces your appetite. In case you have diabetes, then consume a healthy mixture of boiled black chickpeas, and other vegetables. This will ensure that your blood sugar levels are balanced throughout the day,” she suggests.
But wait soaked chana is not just essential for fitness freaks, it anyway has a lot of benefits for all the age groups, says Ms Khaneja:
The complex carbohydrates, protein, and fibre present in soaked black chana slows down the digestion process, and regulates the absorption of sugar in your body.
Adding soaked chana to your diet will also help you decrease the blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
“Soaked chana is low in calories, and loaded with nutrients. It is a good source of protein, fibre and has a low glycemic index. High fibre present in it will satisfy your hunger pangs, which will prevent you from overeating or bingeing on unhealthy snacks,” suggests Ms Khaneja.
If you want healthy hair, then do include soaked chana to your diet. Soaked chana has essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, B6, zinc and manganese, which will surely help, if you are concerned about the health of your hair.
Consuming soaked chana on a regular basis has also proved to be beneficial to prevent premature greying of hair
“Soaked black chana is a good source of minerals like magnesium and potassium, which will help to prevent high blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol levels, hence it will boost heart health. Additionally, eating black chana regularly will promote production of butyrate, a fatty acid that reduces inflammation. And antioxidants present in black chana will lower the risk of colon, breast and lung cancer,” she explains.
Soaked black chana is one of the best sources of iron for vegetarians. It helps in improving haemoglobin levels, and is recommended for people suffering from anaemia. It is also great for pregnant and lactating mothers.
“If you are above 30 and worried about wrinkles on your face, then do include soaked chana to your diet. Soaked chana helps to prevent ageing since it has manganese, which is known to fight free radicals that can cause wrinkles,” she strongly recommends.
Without a doubt, soaked black chana is a great way to maintain protein levels in your body, but if you have any of these then avoid consuming it:
So ladies, keep these protein pops handy, and be ready for some serious weight loss and that too naturally.