Know about Grains/Pulses? How to utilize it for good health? Know How to get it?
Nature produces best quality healthy food in the near by vicinity ( say around 100Km). Grains/pulses produced in Northern India are not good for people in western India as they are heavy in nature. In same way Grains/pulses produced in Southern India are not good for people in western India as they are light in nature.

Grains and Pulses should be regional, without polished and of course grown without chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides.

Because of commercialization aspect, now a days grains/pulses grown up using chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals, fertilizers causing severe issues to human health.

THE BEST WAY TO GET HEALTHY ORGANIC/ETHICAL VEGETABLES IS FROM KNOWN SOURCES/PLACE YOU CAN VISIT.


IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE SOURCES FOR ORGANIC/ETHICAL VEGETABLES GROWN WITHOUT USING CHEMICALS/PESTICIDES/FERTILIZERS , REGISTER BY FILLING UP FORM BELOW (PUNE CITY AREA ONLY)

Farmers in "Farmers Meeting @ SLIS" told us the only way to get good organic grains/pulses is from the known sources one can see/visit
Grain/Pulses and Healthy Living using Ayurveda by Dr. Nikhil Mehta
CEREALS, THE HOLISTIC FOOD

(Cereals means food – writing this blog in such a details is to highlight the importance of the cereals)

Due to many misconceptions now a days we are keeping cereals away from our food and increasing intake of vegetables, fruits, pulses & beans. But when we study the cereals and compare them with other food types cereals emerge as the best food we have. Cereals offers such a great variety of nutrients and in an appropriate quantities required by the body. We can say that they are the miracle of the nature and the most holistic food on earth.

As we lost many healthy traditions we are also losing the most holistic food from our diet. The age old science of Ayurveda starts with cereals while informing about the various food types, giving them the topmost importance. Let’s understand the science about the Cereals in great detail. If you able to understand about the Cereals you are very close to your health and you can resolve many of your health issue. You can get read of tons of medicines. After all what our forefathers were eating?
According to Ayurveda Cereals have Earth and Water as their dominant elements, so naturally cereals or grains are sweet in taste and heaviness is their main quality. They have to be cooked properly to make them lighter and suitable for digestion. In the Indian context, wheat, rice, barley, ragi, corn and different kind of millets (Jawar & Bajra) are the cereals, the grains. In other parts of the world, you may also find oats, rye and quinoa.

Let us first understand an essential topic in the modern science’s perspective. We can divide the food types in 2 main groups: macronutrients and micronutrients. To make it simple macronutrients are those types we need in relatively large amounts, measured in grams, as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibers and water. And the types we need in minute, trace amounts, measured in milligrams or micrograms, are micronutrients, as vitamins and minerals.
(1 gram= 1000 milligrams, 1 milligram= 1000 micrograms)
In general, what is the need of each food type per person? One way to understand it is that our total caloric requirement should be fulfilled as follows: 70-75% from carbohydrates, 10-15% from proteins and 5-10% from fats.
Let’s see what an Indian adult male weighing 70 kg will need as a recommended daily allowance

Chart One: Recommended Daily Allowance of an Adult Indian Man (70kg)
Here we can clearly differentiate the macro & micro nutrients. The carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fibres are required in grams and all others such as Vitamins & minerals in mg and microgram. Just focus on the quantity of Vitamins and minerals we need. Compare these 50, 60,400 grams of macro nutrients with these few micrograms and milligrams of micro-nutrients.
And to fulfil this requirement they recommend to have following food types for an adult doing moderate work
Chart Two: Food Items Required to Fulfil Nutritional Needs of a 70 kg Indian male adult performing moderate work
Another way to estimate it is as follows. The average daily need of carbohydrates per person is 4-6 g per kg of body weight. So for a 70 kg person, the requirement of carbohydrates will be around 280-420 g per day. The daily need of protein is 1g/kg, so a 70 kg person will need 70 g of proteins per day. The daily need of fats is 0.5 to 0.6 grams / kg body weight. So for 70 kg person it will be 35-42 grams/ day.

This data will help you to understand the difference between the need of macro and micro-nutrients. Today we are experiencing a strong change. Everyone is focusing on the vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Many, many health issues are being correlated with micro-nutrients deficiencies. As a consequence, if a particular food item has a good content of one or another vitamin or mineral, everybody will turn to it and consuming it becomes a fashion, a healthy one. This has happened with products such as milk for calcium; green leaves like spinach, pulses like soy beans for iron; pomegranate for phosphorus; berries or guava for vitamin C; carrots for vitamin A; olives for vitamin E; dates or figs for some of the B group vitamins; and meat & Cheese for Vitamin B 12.
These days, people in general tend to prefer fruits and vegetables because they have more vitamins, minerals and fibre. It is something like being in front of a 7 ft tall person. Naturally, due to this particular characteristic, he can very easily perform some work at heights others cannot reach. But no one considers that he may be lacking so many other qualities. He may not be very strong, his bones may be weak and he may have certain health issues. On the other side, we have a person with an average height who may not perform tasks at such heights. But he or she will have all the average qualities, and will basically be strong enough to do the routine work without much of health hindrances. In the same way, vegetables and fruits may have good content of few vitamins and minerals, but lack several other important nutrients to the surprisingly high amounts.


Let’s have a look at different food types to know the facts.

Chart Three: NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF DIFFERENT FOOD TYPES(We are considering here unpolished cereals and pulses, and unrefined fats)
Let’s do some mathematics for some more clarity. Now considering the chart one, two & three an adult male with 70 kg of weight and doing the moderate work if consumes 450-475 grams of cereals, this will complete almost the 80-82% of his carbohydrates’ need and around 1/2 of proteins’ requirement and it will provide just 4.5 grams of fats if we consider it has 1 % of fats.
(Calculation= 475 grams of cereal will have 332 grams of carbs if we consider it has 70% of carbs , 475 grams of cereals will provide 38 grams of proteins if we consider it has 8 % of proteins).
# These calculations are just to give you some direction. Please don’t take them absolutely correct one.

If unpolished they provide good amount of fibres, almost the same as vegetables and fruits, and a good amount of minerals almost like vegetables (rather fruits has less minerals –refer the chart three) and B group vitamins except Vitamin B12. It is important to remember that Vitamin B group contains 8 vitamins, almost half of the total number of vitamins. So, having a good quantity of this particular group, cereals have a major part of the vitamins’ requirement. Concerning minerals, cereals have: Calcium, 0.01-0.05%, Phosphorus, 0.17-0.35%, Iron, 2.8-8.8%.
Let’s calculate how much calcium cereals give. 100 grams of Wheat has 41 mg of Calcium. Now if one has 475 grams of wheat he will get 194.75 means almost 25 % of the need.

In a same way it will complete almost half the need of Phosphorus (100 gm of wheat has 306 mg of Phosphorus) and the iron (100 gm wheat has 5.3 mg iron)
# From above calculation we can conclude that Cereals are providing us almost 80-85% of the nutrients we need including 80 % of Carbs, 50 % of proteins, half of the vitamins, most of the minerals & fibre. What they lack is in fats, vitamins such as the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K, as well as vitamins C and B 12, about 1/2 of the protein requirement and some percentage of some minerals
Can you sense something what a magical things are inside this tiny seed of cereals.
Now, let us see the data about the vegetables.
They have around 70-95% of water content, which can be replenished by drinking plain water. They are extremely low in the content of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They also lack B group vitamins. The percentage of minerals and fibres is almost the same as unpolished cereals and pulses. And if you study their individual content of vitamins and minerals, some vegetables will have a good amount of some but will lack others. For example, green leafy vegetables have a good content of vitamin A, C and iron, but they lack in Vitamin B group, almost 8 Vitamins. And all the fruit vegetables such as gourds, cabbage or cauliflower have good amount of Vitamin C, but a low content of calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin A, B group
Certainly you can conclude by yourself what you will get by eating 300-400 g of vegetables and 300-400 g of cereals.
It is the same about fresh fruits.
Again they a have very high percentage of water, about 60-95%. The content of fibre in the fruits is 0.5-5.0 %, somewhat close to unpolished cereals & pulses (Very few fruits have more fibre content). They greatly lack in proteins and fats, and also have only 3-30% of carbohydrates content. This makes them a poor source of macro-nutrients. About the micro-nutrients, except for vitamin C, they are also not such an extraordinary source of vitamins and minerals. Just as the vegetables, some fruits have some vitamins and minerals but lack others.
With dates being the most wholesome one, having a high content of minerals, whereas among vitamins they only have an important content of the B 2. Apricots have good amount of vitamin A, banana has vitamin B 6 as well as potassium and selenium, figs have vitamin B 6 and calcium, guava has vitamin C.
Are you realizing something? Are you sensing something? What a serious mistake we are making by shifting our focus from cereals to fruits and vegetables. Do you see it? It is just as the story of the 7ft tall person and an average person. While madly running after some vitamins and minerals we are losing much more essential things. Surely this dangerous turn in our diet has made us vulnerable to many new diseases.


At this point, one question may come to your mind. Why not emphasize on a high pulses (Protein) diet and less cereals?
As per the previous calculations, instead of 475 g of cereals, we would be eating 475 g of pulses. If we do so, we will get around 275 g of carbohydrates (If we consider pulses has 58% of Carbs) and 104 g of proteins (If we consider pulses has 22% of protein). The lack of carbohydrates will be very high. Remember carbs are the most significant source of energy for our body. Also we will get unnecessary high amount of proteins. Note that here we are talking about proteins from pulses not from nuts, dairy & meat. The proteins from such sources have fats with them. Fats take care of side effects of extra proteins.
Now a day’s science is talking about side effects due to high protein diet. At the same time, when we will compare these food types having the wisdom of Ayurveda as the reference, you will understand very clearly why such a big quantity of pulses is actually dangerous for us.
Let us shift then to whatever the old age wisdom of Ayurveda has to say on this matter. The food we need on daily basis has to have the predominance of earth and water elements. We get water from the liquids we drink such as water, milk, butter milk, juices, tea or coffee, among others. And for the earth, cereals, pulses and nuts are very important sources. Otherwise, how could we get earth from vegetables and fruits? They have very high amount of water element. Even fatty substances such as oil and ghee lack in earth, having a high amount of the water element.
Ayurveda also comments about the tastes. The most important taste to fulfil our body demands is sweet. (What they want to say is high carb food) And cereals are the most important food item with the dominance of sweet taste. The unique concentration of earth and water in the cereals makes them fully appropriate to fulfil our needs, our body requirements.
On the other hand, what would happen if we replace cereals for pulses? What would be the effect if we decided to eat more pulses and fewer cereals? All the pulses have astringent or bitter tastes along with sweet. Just have sprouted pulses or cooked pulses or soup of pulses, and you will get an astringent or bitter taste, together with a feeling of dryness in the mouth. As these tastes have wind(air) element in excess they will increase the air element in the body.By eating high amounts of pulses Vata (air, gases) will increase a lot, giving you the subsequent troubles. You can try eating lots of pulses and experience the gases due to Vata.
And you know what this excess Vata can do? All the degenerative diseases will catch you. That is why you cannot substitute cereals with pulses. Besides, your sensitive body will not give you the signal of satisfaction after eating a meal based on pulses instead of a cereal based meal. Try it. Your wise body knows what it needs!
The same happens with fruits and vegetables. Try it. Just eat fruits and vegetables instead of cereals and pulses when you get a very good hunger. See what happens. On one side, you will not get that feeling of satisfaction as with cereals. On the other, you will feel hunger sooner, maybe in the next 2-3 hours. As there is lack of the earth element in the food, your body will be hungry soon again.


What about replacing cereals by nuts & oily seeds?
Well, all of them contain high amount of fats. The nuts and oily seeds have 25-65% of fats, 14-25% of proteins and 10-29% of carbohydrates. In any case although oils and fats are an essential part of our diet, of a healthy diet indeed, such a high amount of fat is not at all recommendable. You know the consequences.

In order to have a meal that includes all our body requirements, actually we have to choose the best combination. That is a cereal based meal with a moderate amount of pulses, a moderate amount of oils, oily seeds, nuts and dairy, and a minimal quantity of vegetables and fruits. Are you surprise? We suppose so, but it may also remind you something. Got it? Yes, our parents’ food. The food our grandparents were eating few decades back. It was huge amount of cereals with some pulses and fats, and a least amount of vegetables and fruits. And compare their health with ours. Now you may understand the secret behind.
Even the countries where people eat non-vegetarian food every day, both in the eastern and in the western parts of the world, their food used to be cereals based with some amount of non-veg., which means fat and proteins. Now it has changed to mainly non-veg. based food with small amount of cereals, creating many diseases. Like in the Southern part of Spain the food was rice & fish but now it has changed to high amount of meat. In India still today people eating non veg eat along with cereals such as rice, wheat, millets etc.
You will be surprised to know what Non-veg food has? It has approximately 9-26% of proteins, 0.4-14% of fats and very, very low amount of carbohydrates, just 0.1-7 %. And again very high amount of water 68-79%. So it seems logical to have cereals with Non-veg food.

Story of a Patient:
Here we have a female patient in her thirties or early forties with a long list of complaints. The list starts with a complaint of tiredness, as she is unable to perform neither her day to day physical duties nor her regular exercise. In fact, any exertion gives her pain all over the body, joint pain, backache, headache, etc. The list goes further with complaints about hair fall, skin dryness, tanning, giddiness, insomnia and menstrual problems such as irregular manses, premenstrual pain. Then she talks about some serious issues such as hormonal imbalance, thyroid problems, low BP, low haemoglobin, deficiency of many vitamins and minerals, mostly vitamin B 12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, etc.
And her list does not stop here. Actually, now we have new lists. First, the list of the specialists she had consulted. Physician, orthopaedic surgeon, dermatologist, endocrinologist, gynaecologist, nutritionist and many more. And then, that one with the medicines she was prescribed. Multivitamin tablets, calcium supplement, iron, vitamin E, hormonal therapy, vitamin D and vitamin B 12 injections followed by tablets, as well as tablets for the thyroid and tablets for balancing the irritability, mood swings and getting good sleep, pain killers, antacids, creams for the skin, bam for the joints and many more.
You must be tired just by reading her lists of complaints and medicines. Can you imagine what must be happening to the poor lady and her family? Oh, I forgot some other medicines: oils for hair fall and omega 3 capsules. And this is just the list with modern medicines, since she also tried other pathies and household remedies. Some Ayurvedic medicines, tonics and treatments were also there, as massage and steams, shirodara and other Panchakarma treatments. And of course, acupressure, acupuncture, homoeopathy, psychoanalysis, yoga, different meditation techniques, flax seeds, neem juice, aloe Vera, almond oil, olive oil. It is almost an endless list. And despite all her efforts, the complaints were unmoved. What went wrong?
This brings to my mind the story of an old lady who wanted to advise her grandsons. She asked them to search for her lost pin outside her hut. They searched and searched but were unable to find it. Finally the old lady found it inside the hut. She knew they were going to be upset with her. And certainly, they blamed her. But then she explained that she wanted to enlighten them. The answers to your questions are inside you, close to you. Do not try to find them outside.
In the case of our young lady, the answer was immediately clear. However, we went through all her routine, her daily activities, her food habits. As I thought, she was not eating when she was hungry; or even if she ate, instead of having cereals she used to drink good quantities of tea, coffee or juices, or used to eat fruits or salads. At lunch or dinner she used to take just one or two very tiny chapatti and a spoonful of rice with lots of vegetables and salad, total deprivation of Cereals. What to say about oil and ghee? She was just consuming few drops. Everything was just a confirmation of my presumptions about her. All her complaints and deficiencies were nothing but excess Pitta and Vata in her body. The external medicines and treatments might have supported her for some time and up to some extent. But they were certainly not a solution.
And why did she undergo so many changes and reductions in her diet? Because she read some article on vitamins and minerals, or on weight loss, or on healthy food, or maybe a doctor or any diet specialist advised her in this direction. I asked her one single question. Are you happy with this few inches loss, this few kg loss and such a huge gain of complaints, this unhealthy face and irritable mind? Also I was able to throw light on the fact that as she reduced her consumption of cereals her complaints started, before that she was fine. Yes it is fine if after doing some changes in her diet she is feeling better, all the parameters of the health are fine. But if everything is going upside down then be cautious about your food.
As she understood the reason behind her problem she started eating normal food with good amount of carbs and oils. Her complaints, along with her different doctors, medicines and treatments reduced very soon. Now she has a healthy body and mind, works a lot, does regular exercise, eats well and has put her weight-scale in a cupboard.
Did you understand why the focus has gone to minerals and vitamins, the micro-nutrients? All these complaints have been rooted down to a lack of vitamins and minerals. Naturally fruits and vegetables, and so many medicines have come into play. But no one focused towards macro-nutrients. The real root cause is lacking in macro-nutrients, in quantity as well as in quality.
Mother Nature has provided most of the micro-nutrients together with the macro-nutrients. If you go through the Chart three you will understand that except for very, very few, you will get most of the micro-nutrients by consuming cereals, pulses, dairy and oils. Instead, the opposite will not happen. A multivitamin capsule or a calcium supplement will not give you carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Nor will do it the fruits and vegetables.
Last but not least, let us give a quick thought to the economics of the subject. The most important food is the cheapest of all even today. Again, thanks to Mother Nature. Even the so called poorest people can be healthy by fulfilling most of their needs having plenty of cereals. We are always happy when we read or hear that the price of vegetables and fruits has risen. Let the farmers grow more cereals, pulses and oil seeds instead of fruits and vegetables for themselves and for others. May they get good income from growing what is really important!


Choose a right cereal (again regional) for you and go back to Cereals!
Some suggestions---
1 Eat only after getting hunger. Otherwise you cannot digest cereals (Or in that case anything) and will have to face side effects of indigestion.
2 Satisfy your hunger. You should not feel like eating every now & then.
3 Be flexible. Due to various reasons such as your life style, exertion, climate, your intensity of hunger fluctuates. So be wise and change the quality & quantity accordingly. If you have very light hunger go for very light from of cereals such as popped or puffed rice (Churmura, lahya) and if you have very strong hunger go for Roti, Parathas. And for moderate hunger rice, khichadi, lighter Roti such as Phulka, chapati.
4 Preferably choose regional cereals – In south Rice and Ragi, In North Wheat and rice from North etc.
5 know the qualities of cereals
Rice -- is sweet and slightly astringent, oily (means not dry), cold in nature, increases vigor, light (as compared to wheat), diuretic, good for health. e.g. Red rice, Basmati, Kalimoong, Jeera, Aambemohar , Kolum, Sonamasuri etc.
There are thousands of varieties. Use the locally grown rice. It is suitable for that particular climate.
Use hand pounded one or single polished rice. It retains all the goodness of rice. Ayurveda keeps it on the top of the list in cereals. Fortunately modern science is coming up with the research that no other cereal can give variety of nutrients like rice.
This is the biggest misconception that rice causes weight gain. If that was the case then whole of china, south East Asia, south India, Konkan region in Maharashtra were full of obese people as their staple food is rice.


Wheat – Is heavy, oily, sweet, increases vigor and strength, life enhancing, helps to clear bowel, reduces Vata, Pitta and helps in joining bones. As it is heavier in nature, it is a staple food for Northern parts of India. Ayurveda suggests to avoid wheat to lose weight.

Barley (Jav)– Is cold, heavy, dry, sweet, helps to clear bowel ,increases stool quantity (means more fibrous), reduces Kapha, Pitta and increases Vata and also reduces fats and urine. (Due to its dry quality)

Sorghum (Jawari - Indian millet) – Cold, light, dry and sweet. Good for
the middle part of the Indian continent . Again very good to lose weight.

Bajara (Indian millet) – Hot, heavy, dry, sweet, increases Vata and pitta and increases digestive fire. Good in northern and middle part of India, especially in winters as it hot in nature.

Ragi (Nachani) - Cold, light, sweet. Due it’s cooling and lighter qualities it is a very good cereal for southern part of India.

6 Most important is listen to your wise body and learn lessons from your own experience!

Dr Nikhil
Pune 28 th Dec 2015
Reference books
Book of Biochemistry (For MBBS students, India) by U. Satyanarayana & U. Chkrapani Edition 2013
Nutritive Values of Indian Food by National Institute of Nutrition, Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad, India

Pulses /legumes/ Beans:

As we have learnt that food means cereals, they come at the top of the list. After them the second on the list is Pulses, legumes. They are Dicot seeds, having two halves together. Means if we break them they depart in to two halves. As per Ayurveda although they have presence of earth and water element they also have wind and space elements in dominance. So they are generally astringent along with the sweet taste; some are also bitter tasting. They are dry, cooling, light, constipating, causes excess Vata, good for Kapha & Pita imbalance and for obesity.

Do you remember what we need every day as a nutrition? Yes, we need around 10-15 % of proteins from our food. Cereals provide around 7-10% of proteins to us, so we can say half of the required proteins come from cereals. To fulfill the remaining half Pulses is a very good source along with dairy products.
Also cereals and pulses work complimentary to each other. Cereals lack some amino acids (Proteins are made up from various amino acids) & pulses lack some. When we eat combination of two we get all the required amino acids.
Those who have non-veg food as their staple diet they get proteins easily. But for a vegetarian person pulses & dairy is essential. If you see the chart( at the end) you can easily conclude that all the pulses have little higher protein content, around 17-28%. Naturally they take care to fulfill the demand. As they are high in proteins they have little less carbohydrates, around 54-61 %
If you see how peoples eat pulses/beans world-wide is interesting. In India Dal-Roti or Dal –rice (Dal is a soup made out of pulses), in South America rice with beans, In Europe bread with beans, it’s a perfect combination, which makes the food almost complete food. But see the proportion, almost 70-80 % is cereal and 20-30% is a pulse, legume, not vice versa. That will cause imbalance. We will understand it latter.
Along with carbs and proteins pulses give lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber if they are unpolished. They are rich in Vitamin B group vitamins. Now you know it means 7-8 Vitamins. They also have Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus and other minerals.

As their protein content is more they are hard in nature. You can easily notice their hardness. When you cook them they take longer time to become soft than cereals. As they are hard they take long time to cook. But remember they are not heavy. Heaviness and hardness are two different qualities. Try this, take one fist full of cereals in one hand and one fist full of Pulses in other hand. You will notice the lightness of them as compare to the cereals.
Now let us understand them with Ayurvedic wisdom. Ayurveda also gave them importance after the Cereals. All the pulses have slightly astringent or bitter taste along with the sweet taste. Naturally they have more wind element into them than cereals. Can you correlate? Astringent & bitter tastes have dominance of wind element. As wind is light the pulses are lighter than cereals. And also wind makes them more dry and hard. If you remember the taste chart the bitter, astringent tastes come at the lower part of it. So they are less important than cereals. Both the sciences modern medicine & Ayurveda talking the same about the proportion of Cereals and Pulses.
In Marathi language the dals are also known as Varan, it means Aavaran, means topping, covering. It speaks about the proportion of cereals to pulses. So you take a heap of rice and cover it with Dal, Varan. That’s the proportion. Not vice versa, taking a dal and mixing small portion of rice into it.
You can very well understand with the wisdom of Ayurveda that if you have more pulses you are going to suffer from Vata issues, wind issues as they have more wind into them. Many of the patients very clearly correlate that when they have more pulses they suffer from gases and problems due to them.
Remember your experience. One day you ate more pulses and your stomach bloats. If you don’t know the gaseous nature of pulses you cannot correlate this bloating with Pulses. Especially a person suffering with Vata issues cannot tolerate pulses, he eats pulses and his Vata becomes stormy. The dryness, pains and aches in the body, the gases increases immediately.

Today one stream of health emphasizes on having high protein diet. One has to check that having such diet doesn’t come up with any gas issues? Especially the proteins from pulses lack fats and can create more gas issues as compare to proteins from Dairy, Non-veg & nuts. Even the basic science from modern medicine says that for good metabolism of proteins fats are necessary. So be cautious for the side effects while having excess of proteins, especially from the pulses.
There is one very good information has come up about hormone of happiness—Serotonin, which is in abundance in the brain. The carbs, sweets, chocolates increases this hormone making you happy but if you have more proteins serotonin levels goes down making you unhappy. So remember the side effect of excess protein intake.
The culture around the world knows this fact about the pulses so while cooking them care has taken that how the wind, gas can be pacified.
Do you remember which tastes pacify Vata? Yes, Sweet, sour & salty. See how people around the world cook pulses. In the north India they use sourness of raw mango. Of course they use the best medicine of Vata that is oil in abundance or ghee while cooking pulses. This oiliness and sourness pacifies Vata.
In Maharashtra, middle part of India they use Jaggery & tamarind or Kokam, sweet and sour and with some oil or ghee. There is a tradition of putting a ghee on a sweet dish named Puran Poli made from chick peas. This is also a complete food --rice, plain dal & ghee. (Carbohydrates, proteins & fats)In south India they will go for sourness of tamarind.
The famous humus, an Arabian dish, works on the same principles. It is a mix of chick peas, sesame seeds & olive oil. In china they ferment the Soybean (Which increases the sourness of it) before eating.
Use of salt and asafoetida will also pacify the windiness of pulses. So with this precautions pulses are very useful for us.
Another precaution is about eating them raw in the form of sprouts. As we have seen that they are hard to cook. So in this form they are hard for digestion and so Ayurveda recommends not to have them raw.
Another very good way to have proteins is fried pulses, pharsan, shev, Bhujiya, phafada etc. I was always wondering why this Gujarathi people always have Pharsan (Fried Pulses items) in their food. Now I got the answer. They used to be strictly vegetarian, now the culture is changing. Few of Gujarathi’s started eating Non-Veg food now. For a vegetarian person pulses is a very good source of Proteins and when you have them with oils then their gas producing effect is pacified.
After many years I was reading a book on Biochemistry, a subject in Modern Medicine, and it mentions that for protein metabolism (proper utilization of protein in the body) fats are essential. So the Pharsan’s, the fires Pulses is a very good combination of Proteins & fats. And due to extreme fear about the oils the vegetarian person stopped having them, what a loss! Although our wise body demands it often but we restrict this very important food as a junk food.
If you actually calculate how much oil you need to make a Pharsan, you will come with the answer that very minimal oil actually goes inside. Just think if lots of oil was going inside these fried pulses items their prize should have touched the sky, as oils are expensive. But it is not the case. So in reality Pharsan’s need very less oils. So don’t worry. Yes, you can worry about the quality of oil used. It should be filtered or cold pressed Groundnut, Sesame, Musturd or coconut.
I am waiting for the day when someone will make Pharsan’s in these oils and also using the organic pulses. Now a days they use cheap quality refined oils. Or the best way is to make them is at home. But have them and they will fulfill your nourishment.
This is the normal proportion but you can increase them especially during Kapha issues. As the dryness of them acts against the stickiness of kapha. They play a role of balanced food for kapha. During excess kapha when very little hunger comes one can go for soups of pulses with addition of hot spices ( sambhar or rassam) or if hunger is little better some solid item made from pulses –– dosa or roti made of pluses flour. Or Thalipeeth--- roti from roasted flour of pulses. Or just eating roasted pulses as it is-- Chana –Phutana (Roasted Pulses). And our wise body prefers anything made from Pulses when Kapha takes over us.
For obesity one can give preference to Pulses, increase the quantity of pulses to grains and you will benefit. But again remember the side effect of pulses. If you start getting gases, has suffer from Vata issues reduce the amount of pulses.
As most of the pulses are cooling in nature (Except Horse gram) soup of pulses without hot spices is a very good remedy for the raised Pitta. And with the addition of the best medicine of Pitta, the ghee, it will be more ideal.
Amongst them Green Gram (Moong) is the best one because it produces least gases. If you cook soup (Dal) from it a slimy layer like cream on the milk comes on the top. This is the stickiness of Green Gram. Due to this it produces least gases and therefore best among all Pulses.
Next to it are Red Gram (Masoor) and Pigeon Pea (Toovar). Pulses like chick peas, Chinese peas, Garden Peas, kidney beans, flat beans, Chole, Rajma makes lot of gases and one has to take proper precautions while making them. ( See how they cook Chole & Rajma in North India – with lot of oil, isn’t it?)
Only the Black gram (Udid, adhar) is heavy, sticky, sweet, and warm in nature and reduces Vata.
See the table for the qualities of different pulses.
The rough flour made from this pulses especially from Red gram or Chick peas acts as a very good scrubber for cleaning the skin.

And remember to have less polished or naturally polished Pulses. They will offer you all the nature’s wealth into them.

Pulses, Beans


1. Green gram (Moong) – Best among pulses, less Vata producing, strength giving, best for making soup (Dal) and purities (cleans) wounds.
2. Red gram (Masoor) - Strength giving, good for skin, increases Vata, good for making bathing powder.
3. Pigeon peas (Toovar) - Increases Vata, cold, reduces Kapha and Pitta.
4. Garden peas (Matar) - Increases Vata too much, little bitter also.
5. Chinese peas (Chuli) - Increases Vata too much, dry, heavy and increases bowel quantity.
6. Chick peas (chana) - Increases Vata, are constipating.
7. Flat beans (Pavata) - Hot, increases Pitta and Vata, reduces Kapha heavy, not good for eyes and genesis, helps in getting motions.
8. Kidney beans (Mataki) - Cold, light, increases Vata.
9. Black gram (Urad) - Hot, heavy, oily, sweet, helps in getting motions, reduces vata increases Kapha, Pitta and fats, increases stool quantity, increases shukra dhatu (responsible for genesis) and nourishing.
10. Horse gram (kulith) – Hot, sour, dry, light, increases Pitta, causes acidity, reduces Kapha and Vata.

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