Horse gram

Horse gram is a lentil that is highly nutritious but unfortunately it is not as popular as black gram, green gram or red gram. It is under explored and underutilized food crop. Know it’s health benefits and side effects.

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Horse gram

Horse gram is a type of lentil that is highly nutritious. It’s scientific name is Macrotyloma uniflorum.The plant can withstand poor weather and soil conditions. It grows mainly in the arid regions of Asia: South and South East. Hence, it can be a good food to feed hungry mouths and fight malnutrition. It is a food of the future and can overcome food insecurity.

Horse gram
Horse gram (Source: Amazon)

The plant is a climbing plant with white flowers and tiny leaves in triplets. The stem is short and slender. On maturity, it bears seeds that are small and flattened with brownish color. At times, they have a reddish hue too. They have the shape of a curved beak. And it is packed with vital nutrients that are excellent for health.

It was mainly an animal fodder but humans too consume it. It is loaded with carbs and protein. And it has iron, molybdenum and calcium along with vitamin B complex. It can be cooked, sprouted, or ground and added to drinks or soups.

100 grams of this pulse has 321 calories with 22 grams of protein, 287 mg calcium, 311 mg phosphorus and 7 mg iron.

Health benefits

Due to its healing properties, it has great use in ancient traditional medicine. It was used for various ailments.

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology carried out a study on this lentil and found that it can lower blood sugar spikes. It delays gastric emptying and can improve insulin resistance. Hence, it lowers blood sugar levels and is an excellent food choice for diabetics.

Horse gram
Horse gram (Source: Organic Mandya)

It has an astringent nature and this can give a glow to the skin. As a facial pack, it cleanses the skin and prevents skin problems. Moreover, it can treat leucoderma. It lowers bad cholesterol in blood and is a natural fat burner. Thus it aids weight loss.

Its micronutrients boost sperm count and quality. It can improve blood flow to male gonads and enhance enzyme activity. It is rich in flavonoids and polyphenols that are hepatoprotective. Additionally, it is a remedy for kidney stones and ailments.

Horse gram has use in the treatment of menstrual irregularities and leucorrhoea. It corrects anemia too. Moreover, its phytosterol esters have ulcer healing properties. And can help cure mouth and peptic ulcers.

The antioxidants in it can mop up the damaging free radicals and protect the body. It’s calcium content fortifies bone and teeth.

Read here: How to reduce risk of food poisoning with lentils consumption?

Side effects

Horse gram
Horse gram food dish cooked (Source: Pinterest)

This lentil can aggravate gout. Hence gout patients should be cautious of excessive intake of horse gram. Pregnant ladies should have it in small amounts lest it complicates pregnancy. It has a lot of heat and could lead to abortion, bleeding or other pregnancy issues.

Horse gram is an excellent pulse for health. Include it in your daily diet to reap it’s vast health benefits.