You’ve got to get enough vitamins and minerals to stay healthy–that’s nutrition 101. And, according to The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the best place to get vitamins and minerals is from food. Foods that are densely packed with nutrition make it easier to get all the good stuff you need for optimum health. Black gram, also called urad beans or vigna mungo, is one of the best foods for nutrition. Here’s the low-down on black gram’s vitamin and mineral content, as well as what all those vitamins and minerals really do to keep you healthy.
Black Gram Pumps Up Your Iron (95% RDA)
Having enough iron in your blood is crucial to good health. Iron helps your body make hemoglobin, a protein that moves oxygen through your veins. Not getting enough iron in your diet can cause iron deficiency anemia. The World Health Organization estimates that around 25 percent of people have anemia globally. Symptoms of anemia include dizziness, low energy, fatigue, headaches, pale skin, and shortness of breath.
One cup of black gram contains 7.57 mg of iron, which could be 95 percent of the amount you need. The recommended dietary allowance of iron varies according to your gender and age. Adult women over age 50 and all adult men need 8 mg of iron each day. Adult women ages 19-50 need 18 mg. Making black gram part of your diet can help you take in more iron, helping you avoid iron deficiency.
Black Gram is Stuffed with Magnesium (67% RDA)
It’s hard to pinpoint one thing magnesium does for your body, since it assists in so many of your body’s functions. It helps with bone, nerve, and muscle health, protein synthesis, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. Magnesium also helps with energy production. If you don’t get enough magnesium, you may feel tired, nauseous, and weak. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with several more serious conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches.
The recommended dietary allowance of magnesium is slightly higher for men than it is for women. Men ages 19-30 need 400 mg of magnesium, while men over 30 need 420 mg. Women ages 19-30 should aim for 310 mg, and women over 30 need 320 mg. One cup of black gram boasts 267 mg of magnesium. Eating a cup of black gram at just one meal gets you much closer to your recommended amount of magnesium.
Black Gram Helps You Get Your Calcium (14% RDA)
You probably know that calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth. Along with vitamin D, calcium is also crucial for blood and muscle health. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your body will take calcium from your bones. This can cause many health problems, including low bone density and osteoporosis.
If you’re a woman age 50 or younger or a man age 70 or younger, you need at least 1,000 mg of calcium daily. Women over 50 and men over 70 need 1,200 mg of calcium each day. To help you meet this health goal, a cup of black gram has 138 mg–not bad for a handful of beans!
Black Gram has all the Copper You Need (109% RDA)
Copper sounds more like something a penny is made out of, and not something your body needs to stay healthy. But copper is actually found in all the tissues of your body! You need copper for healthy metabolism, blood, bone, and nerve health. Copper deficiencies are not very common, but can occur. Not taking enough copper into your body can contribute to osteoporosis, arthritis, fatigue, paleness, and muscle pain.
Most people need about 900 micrograms (mcg) of copper per day. A cup of black gram has 981 mcg of copper, fulfilling the amount you need of this important nutrient.
Black Gram: Potassium Source (21% RDA)
When you think about food sources for potassium, you probably think about bananas. But did you know that one cup of black gram actually has more than twice the calcium as a banana? It’s true: a banana contains 422 mg of potassium, while a cup of black gram has 983 mg. For adults, the recommended dietary allowance of potassium is 4,700 mg.
What’s so great about potassium? Well, potassium is an electrolyte, which makes it necessary for cell functions. Potassium also helps your muscles contract, including your largest muscle–your heart. Potassium is closely related to blood pressure. Not getting enough potassium can cause weakness, bloating, abdominal cramping, constipation, and even psychological symptoms like depression and confusion.
Black Gram and Immunity-Boosting Zinc (30% RDA)
Zinc is an important mineral for a healthy immune system. That’s why so many natural cold remedies include it. But zinc does more than just keep you from getting sick. It also helps children’s bodies grow, helps adults synthesize proteins, and helps wounds heal.
The recommended dietary allowance for zinc is 11 mg for adult men and 8 mg for adult women. One cup of black gram has 3.35 mg of zinc, making it an excellent food for adding more zinc to your diet. Many dietary sources of zinc come from animals, such as meat and dairy. When it comes to plant foods, black gram is one of the highest in zinc.
Black Gram = More Than Half the Phosphorus You Need (54% RDA)
Though less well known than calcium, phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in your body. You need phosphorus to have strong bones and teeth. Phosphorus also contributes to metabolism and muscle health.
The Institute of Medicine recommends all adults consume 700 mg of phosphorus each day. Meat and dairy foods are some of the most common dietary sources of phosphorus, but legumes like black gram are a great plant-based source for the mineral. At 379 mg per cup, one serving of black gram has more than half the phosphorus you need in a day.
Black Gram Packs a B Vitamin Punch
There are 8 B vitamins, and black gram is a good source for several of them. These vitamins help convert food into energy. Each specific vitamin also contributes to your health in its own way. Here’s how much of these vitamins are in black gram, and what they do for your health.
Folate (54% RDA)
Folate is the natural form of folic acid. Also known as vitamin B9, folate is needed for the health of your cells, more specifically for making and repairing DNA. It’s also vital for women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant to get enough folate. Folate can prevent some types of birth defects, including spina bifida. The recommended dietary allowance for folate is 400 mcg. One cup of black gram has 216 mcg.
Thiamin (23% RDA)
Vitamin B1, or thiamin, is very important for metabolism, since it helps convert food into energy. It also helps your heart and nervous system function correctly. Adult men need 1.2 mg of thiamin daily, while adult women need 1.1 mg. A cup of black gram has .273 mg of thiamin, making it a good food source for this necessary vitamin.
Pyridoxine (22% RDA)
Pyridoxine is more commonly known as vitamin B6. This vitamin also helps with metabolism, as well as red blood cell and nerve functions. Adults age 50 and under need 1.3 mg of vitamin B6, while men over 50 need 1.7 mg and women over 50 need 1.5 mg. A cup of black gram contains .281 mg of pyridoxine.
Riboflavin (20% RDA)
Also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin is important for the health of your skin, eyes, blood vessels, and organs. Adult men need 1.3 mg of riboflavin daily, while adult women need 1.1 mg. A simple cup of black gram has .254 mg of vitamin B2, making it one of the best plant sources for the vitamin.
As you can see, black gram is full of the vitamins and minerals your body craves. It’s also a good source of protein and dietary fiber. Black gram is a simple, tasty food staple that really packs a nutritional punch.