Whether brown, green, or red, lentils or dals are an excellent source of energy. Dal rice or khichdi is a staple in most Indian households. Low in calories and high in fibre, amino acids and antioxidants, they are an excellent dietary supplement. Indeed, they can bring multiple benefits to the body.
Urad, masoor, moong, arhar (tur), chana, and rajma are all an important source of vitamins, minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and carbohydrates. These help to maintain an optimal level of energy.
How can lentils help control hypertension?
Our expert Nidhi Dhawan, HOD – Dietetics, Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi, suggests that people with hypertension must add legumes and lentils to their daily diet. Lentils contain a small amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help to eliminate the harmful lipids that form plaque in the arteries. This promotes better blood circulation and thus keeps hypertension at bay. Moreover, their fibre content can reduce the absorption of fat and cholesterol in the gut, to avoid disorders pertaining to high cholesterol levels in the blood.
Another benefit of lentils is that they can help control blood sugar levels. They have high fibre content, which prevents sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal.
Research suggests that the consumption of lentils may increase the availability of arginine and other compounds that may help increase nitric oxide production in the body, thus also adding to the blood-pressure-lowering effects of lentil-rich diets. 
Ways to add lentils or dal to your diet
- Add parboiled lentils to your salads
- Leftover dal or cooked dal can be added to the dough when preparing rotis.
- Legumes like chickpeas can be boiled with salt and consumed as a midday snack
- Add different types of dals like moong, masoor and tur dal to your daily diet
- Make tikkis or sandwiches with kidney beans (rajma) and dal mix
- Hanson M, Zahradka P, Taylor CG, Aliani M. European Journal of Nutrition. 2018 Feb;57(1):297-308. doi: 10.1007/s00394-016-1319-5. Epub 2016 Oct 21.