How This Helps

Useful for: Overweight/Obese, cholesterol-lowering

Steamed lentil balls are an authentic healthy South Indian dish that can be prepared by using a combination of split lentils or dals. This dish provides a good vegetarian/vegan source of protein and steaming makes it an ideal low–fat dish with moderate calories and adequate micronutrients.

Calories – 200 kcal
Protein – 8.1g
Carbohydrates – 23.5g
Fat – 8g
Total Dietary Fiber – 6.8g

Instructions

Key ingredients:

Split pigeon pea, Fresh Coconut, Fennel Seeds
Steamed lentil balls in coconut gravy is a traditional dish from Tamil Nadu, from the southern part of India. The spicy gravy is generally eaten along with rice for lunch.

Prep Time: 25mins Serves 5-6 




Science and Research

3 steamed lentil balls in 1 cup gravy make 1 serving which provides about 200 kcals, 8.1g protein, and 6.8g of dietary fiber.

A review in the Journal of Function and Environmental Botany highlights the hidden nutritional benefits, particularly of split pigeon pea. It is free of cholesterol, has low-fat content, and is a good source of easily digestible protein, complex carbohydrates, and dietary fiber which aids weight loss. Apart from imparting a rich flavor, coconut is loaded with abundant nutrients. It is known that coconut meat is rich in saturated fat but according to an article in Philippine Journal of Cardiology, the saturated fat in coconut is made of medium-chain fatty acids that are comparatively healthier than long-chain fatty acids, which means that the saturated fat in coconut contributes to increased blood cholesterol levels. Another superfood in the dish is fennel seeds.

The essential oils present in fennel seeds helps in the secretion of digestive juices at the stomach and intestinal lining, thus supporting complete digestion and absorption of nutrients in food and the amount of dietary fiber present in the seeds helps to eliminate bad cholesterol thus reducing the risk of heart disease.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/215893711_Pigeon_pea_Cajanus_cajan_L_A_Hidden_Treasure_of_Regime_Nutrition
http://coconutoil.com/DayritCardiology.pdf

Health benefits of this recipe

Health Benefits of Pigeon Peas: Over time, these beans have slowly gained a reputation as healthy food, so let us closely examine the exceptional health benefits of pigeon peas.

Regulate Blood Pressure: One of the vital minerals found in pigeon peas is potassium. It's perhaps best called a vasodilator, which can decrease blood vessels' constriction and thereby lower blood pressure. For those suffering from hypertension or at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, including pigeon peas into your daily or weekly diet is a smart move.

Fennel for heart health: Keeping a low sodium intake is vital for lowering blood pressure, but raising potassium intake might be equally important because of its role in vasodilation, the dilation, and contraction of blood vessels. According to NHANES (National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey), fewer than two percent of American adults meet the daily 4,700 mg recommendation for potassium. There's evidence that calcium, potassium, and magnesium reduce blood pressure naturally. All these are present in the fennel. Dietary nitrates within fennel and other foods have vasodilatory and vasoprotective properties. As a result of this, they help lower blood pressure and protect the heart. Research published in 2014 discovered that blood pressure levels were reduced after taking nitrate nutritional supplements. The fiber, fiber, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient content in fennel, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health.

Fennel contains significant amounts of fiber. Fiber decreases the possibility of heart disease as it helps reduce the total quantity of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Potassium seems to promote cardiovascular health. In one study, individuals who consumed 4,069 mg of potassium daily had a 49 percent lower risk of death from heart disease than people who consumed around 1,793 milligrams every day. Vitamin B-6 and folate stop the build-up of a chemical called homocysteine by converting it into another compound, methionine. When excessive amounts of homocysteine develop, it can damage blood vessels and cause heart issues.

Coconut benefits: Medium-chain fatty acids have roughly 8 to 12 carbon atoms in the chain. When three chains are packaged with glycerol, the result is a triglyceride molecule known as a medium-chain triglyceride (MCTs). MCTs naturally happen in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy products and can be bought as dietary supplements.

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a kind of dietary fat idea to give a range of health benefits. They are unique because they seem to increase satiety (the feeling of fullness),  fat oxidation (burning), and energy expenditure (the quantity of fuel required for physical power performance). These properties have attracted the attention of bodybuilders and endurance athletes, some of whom use MCT nutritional supplements as part of the regular training.

See: Curcumin and Fennel Essential Oil Improve Symptoms and Quality of Life in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

See: Healthy Heart With Natural Medicine

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