While every human body needs vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and sustenance, men and women are unique in the nutrients needed and the amounts that are demanded. Women undergo more hormonal changes during life than men, and although this is normal and healthy, it does require special attention to make sure every need is met in regards to vitamins and minerals.
Black Gram is a great way to meet many of these demands of the female body! This ancient legume is packed with essentials that can transform your dietary lifestyle and boost your health!
Black Gram: A Faithful Friend
There are many foods in the world that have established reputations for being “superfoods”; we say that Black Gram (Vigna mungo L.) is certainly one of them, if not the best of all! Our research has shown time and time again that Black Gram surpasses these other so-called superfoods in nutritional content and health value.
You can call it a superfood, but we almost look at Black Gram as a humble little friend that has benefited the lives of individuals for thousands of years. In India it is still honored as a medicinal food because of its numerous beneficial qualities. Let’s take a look at how it has been a valuable source of nutrition since ancient times, and how it is still a great choice for women’s health in our modern era.
Our bodies need plenty of iron for the production of oxygen-carrying blood cells. For women of childbearing age, this is especially important; heavy menstrual bleeding, childbirth, and other natural aspects of a woman’s life call for a steady supply of iron-rich foods in order to prevent anemia. According to Dr. Rachna Pande, 20% of women in the United States suffer from iron deficiency, while only 2% of men do. Many vegetarians and vegans also struggle to maintain a sufficient level of iron in their system, but Black Gram can fill that need.
Rising to the call, one serving of Black Gram offers 95% of the recommended daily intake of iron! Now that’s hard to beat. Yeah… spinach is famous for its supply of iron, but a 100 g serving of spinach only has 2-3 mg of iron, whereas 100 g of Black Gram contains 7.5 mg!
Fortunes of Folate
Folate is a B vitamin that is necessary for cell division and healthy growth. We all need it to help our bodies regenerate tissue and DNA, but it is highly important for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. Deficiencies of folate in early pregnancy can result in birth defects such as spina bifida and other neural complications.
In recent history, governmental initiatives have resulted in a huge effort to reduce these potential birth defects by incorporating folic acid (the synthetic form of folate) into many commercially manufactured foods such as breakfast cereals. Although this has successfully lowered the statistics of defects like spina bifida, it has also recently been found that nearly 60% of Americans are unable to process the synthetic folic acid. For this 60%, naturally occurring folate is the better option.
A serving of Black Gram happens to provide over half of the recommended daily amount of folate. That’s a higher concentration than pretty much any other food in the world!
Lowering Risks of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a very real battle that many women have fought. Although several factors go into the causes of cancer and the susceptibility of each individual, research has shown that eating a diet rich in legumes and other vegetables can lower the risks of developing breast cancer.
Black Gram can help lower risks in other ways as well. The exceptionally high fiber content of Black Gram aids in weight loss and weight regulation; this in turn lowers cancer risks.
Research has also recognized a significant amount of cancer-fighting antioxidants in the skins of Black Gram. Antioxidants are the force that balances free radicals in the body; although free radicals are a necessary part of life, if they get out of control they can cause severe cell damage and leave the body defenseless against carcinogens, leading to cancer and many other health problems.
Keeping hormones in balance is also an important part of lowering the risk of developing breast cancer. And the best way to balance your hormones is by choosing a good diet; in fact, using conventional hormone therapy for an extended time can actually increase your chances of breast cancer! Black Gram is a great choice for hormone balance due to the high amounts of magnesium it contains. Magnesium helps us deal with stress, and counters the effects of menopause, adrenal fatigue, and thyroid conditions. A serving of Black Gram provides 67% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium.
As women enter their later years, bone density begins to decline if not counteracted by healthy choices. While most people associate calcium with bone health (and rightly so), it is worth mentioning that protein plays a crucial role in preventing osteoporosis as well. Studies have shown a link between high protein diets and fewer hip fractures in postmenopausal women. Protein also helps to build strong muscles which aids in the preventing of falls and accidents.
Black Gram is one of the best sources available for vegetable-based protein, boasting over 25 g per serving! Dish it up with your favorite whole grain to complement the nutrients and get all of the essential amino acids!
It’s That Easy!
Ready to start celebrating womanhood with this new little friend? Browse through some of our favorite recipes and see how you can incorporate this amazing lentil into your regular meal plan; it will be a benefit to the entire family as well. You’ll wonder why it took you so long to find this hearty legume, and how you ever survived without it!