What is Besan?
Besan, also known as gram flour or Chickpea flour is a staple constituent of a lot of dishes prepared in the Indian subcontinent. It is prepared from raw or roasted gram beans. Besan is used as a dough and covering paste in dishes like bhajji, cheela (Besan dosa), soan papdi, Mysore Pak, Besan ladoo and commonly eaten pakoras and sev.
Besan is also used as a facial paste to act as an exfoliant. Read on to find various important facts about Besan!
“Mix equal amounts of besan powder, ground oats and sandalwood powder. Make a paste with an infusion of green tea and add 1 tsp of honey. Give it a good mix. Apply it on your face and let it dry. Wash it off with lukewarm water and use every day to help your skin relax.” By Neena Chopra, Co-founder Just Herbs.
Health Benefits Of Besan
Besan is highly nutritious due to its high protein content. It has lower calories as compared to wheat flour and also has a lesser amount of fat. With high amounts of fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, folate and Vitamin B-6, it provides various health benefits. Let’s look at some of its benefits below.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
When not deep fried, it retains its highly nutritious value and is helpful in lowering bad cholesterol. It adds protein and fibre to your diet which helps you keep full for a longer duration. It also aids in weight loss.
Besan has a low glycaemic index and contains healthy unsaturated fats. Due to this property, it helps in controlling diabetes. It can be used as a substitute for wheat flour to make rotis and parathas.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Besan is rich in vitamins and minerals with high soluble fibre content. Three spoons of besan are said to have the same amount of potassium as a banana. Potassium can lower blood pressure and therefore, Besan is good for a healthy heart as well.
Besan contains a rich amount of iron that can help prevent or cure Anemia
Clears Acne Scars and Blemishes
Besan helps to clear skin and give a radiant look. Women across India use it as a face mask for getting blemish-free skin. It also works well as a tan remover.
Besan is gluten-free and when mixed in right amounts can act as a substitute for egg. It is suitable for vegan cooking and helps those who are allergic to gluten.
Helps During Pregnancy
Gram flour or besan is rich in folate which helps in the development of the foetus’ brain and spinal cord. It is thus beneficial for adding to the health of the growing baby.
Reduces Fatigue and Regulates Mood
Rich in Thiamin and Vitamin B6, besan helps in converting food to energy which reduces fatigue. It also helps in the synthesis of serotonin which aids in regulating mood.
Regulates Blood Pressure
As besan is rich in magnesium it helps in maintaining vascular health and regulates blood pressure.
Phosphorus, magnesium and calcium content in besan helps in the formation of stronger bones.
Uses of Besan
This basic kitchen ingredient has varied uses. Besan can be used as a dough, flour covering for frying, face mask and even cooked as a popular dish called gatta.
Nourishes and Cleanses Hair
Besan can be mixed with water and made into a mask. When applied on damp hair and left on for 15 minutes, this mask cleanses your hair. It also nourishes dry hair when used as a shampoo mixed with honey and coconut oil.
Clears Dandruff and Aids in Hair Growth
Besan mask can aid in clearing dandruff. When mixed with other essential ingredients like almond powder, curd and vitamin oil, it can help in getting you long luscious locks of hair.
The zinc content in besan helps fight acne-causing bacteria. The fibre content helps in keeping your bodily functions clear. Both these factors help in clearing out acne.
Anti-Tan and Brightening Agent
Besan mixed with lemon juice and curd helps in removing stubborn tan to give you clear and glowing skin. Other ingredients like orange peel grind can also be added for instantly glowing skin.
Acts as an Exfoliator
Besan can be used as a body scrub for exfoliating your skin. Simply mix besan with ½ a teaspoon of turmeric and milk and scrub it on your body. You can even add ground oats to this mixture. This scrub helps in removing dirt, grime and excess oil from your face.
Removes Fine Facial Hair
Besan can also be used to remove fine facial hair. Mix besan with egg white, sugar and corn starch and rub it into your skin in circular motion. Leave this mask on until it is completely dry and then wash off with water.
How To Use Besan
Make A Besan Facepack
To make a besan face pack for removing tan and getting glowing skin, mix besan, papaya pulp and orange juice. This mixture should be like a smooth paste. Apply it to your face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Wash with water thereafter to get glowing skin.
Make A Besan Face Wash
For a blemish free skin, you can use besan instead of your usual facewash. Grind 50 grams of red lentils along with 10 grams of fenugreek seeds and some amount of turmeric. This powder can be stored in a container and you can use it with milk cream or plain water as a scrub-facewash.
Besan Dosage (Consumption)
There is no specific dose as such for intake. To use it as a tan remover, one can add 4 teaspoons besan with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon yoghurt with some turmeric. It can also be mixed with milk for glowing skin.
Side Effects of Besan
Besan does not have side effects if taken in proper quantity. It may cause slight indigestion or may be unhealthy if deep fried. Besan has no side effects when used as a face mask. If you are allergic to besan, it is best to avoid it as it may cause a loss of appetite, redness, skin rash or anxiety.
Harmful Interaction of Besan
There are no recorded harmful interactions of besan as such.
Precautions and Warnings of Besan
Some people might be allergic to besan, so it is best to do a patch test before using a besan mask or scrub. You should also consult a doctor if you face any side-effect after its consumption.
Besan should ideally be avoided during summers as it may lead the body to generate excessive heat within.
9 Important Questions Asked About Besan
Q. Is Besan made from chickpeas or from Chana Dal?
Chana Dal is made by splitting de-skinned chickpeas. Therefore, Besan can be made either from chana dal or chickpeas. Both are the same thing.
Q. How good is Besan for diabetes?
Besan is a very healthy option for diabetics. It has a low glycaemic index of just 10 which makes it a great food for those suffering from diabetes. Use it to make rotis or paranthas as a healthier replacement for wheat flour.
Q. Can we apply Besan to our hair and scalp?
Besan is not only a good dietary option but can also do wonders to our skin and hair. It has high protein content which is essential to make hair healthy and strong. You can wash your hair with Besan as it is a chemical-free substitute for shampoo. It will make your hair shiny and soft.
Q. Can I wash my face with gram flour/besan daily?
Yes, you can wash your face with Besan daily. It is extremely good for the skin and will make it softer. Besan granules will also help you get rid of blackheads and exfoliate your skin gently. Ditch your chemical laden face wash and soap and switch to Besan for glowing, healthy skin.
Q. What can be used as a substitute for Besan?
If you wish to get similar flavour and texture as besan from another substitute, then use flour of a different legume. The best options are lentil, fava bean, or soyabean. Buckwheat flour is another substitute that has similar taste and properties as Besan.
Q. Is eating Besan good for piles?
No, eating Besan is not good for those who suffer from piles. It may worsen the condition.
Q. Is Besan bad for health?
No, besan is highly nutritious and good for health. It might be a little unhealthy when fried though. If it is not cooked properly, then besan might also cause flatulence.
Q. Is Besan good for skin?
Besan works wonder for the skin and hair. It has various benefits and gives you healthy, clear and glowing skin.
Q. Does Besan lighten the skin?
Yes, besan helps in lightening the skin. It exfoliates the skin and removes dirt and grime. It also fades acne scars and tan to give you brighter skin.
|Tata Sampann Besan – 500 g||Rs 51|
|Fortune Besan – 500 g||Rs 39|
Buyer’s Guide for Besan
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Research on Besan
|Baidyanath Brahmi Oil|
A study published in the US National Library of Medicine says that chickpeas are rich in dietary fibre and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The intake of chickpea flour (besan) in the diet showed improvements in serum lipid profile and glycaemic control.