What is gram flour?
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Originally grown in Mediterranean countries and South Asia, this ancient plant has become very popular in homes all over the world. Packed with phytonutrients, amino acids, and vitamins and minerals, this super food will change your life. What is this magic bean, you ask? It's the chickpea. The chickpea plant is considered a pulse crop which includes dried beans, lentils and peas and excludes crop harvested green such as green peas and green beans. This plant is incredibly versatile in its uses and forms. You can eat it like a pistachio, grind it up cooked or uncooked to either form a paste for dipping or create a flour for baking. Some strains of the chickpea can even be popped like popcorn. -A popcorn that's good for you. Now, that's good news. All of these forms are derived from the same plant, but once changed, take on another name. For now let's talk about the chickpea plant and gram flour.
Gram flour in India and Asia
Gram flour is created from the chickpea plant when raw chickpeas are picked from the stem and ground into a fine flour. This flour has a multitude of uses and is incredibly beneficial to your body regardless of how you use it-go crazy. Want to rub it all over your body? -Do it and live on the edge. In fact, you'll be able to have a spa day at your house any time with the recipes shared here. Ground chickpea goes by many names, including gram flour, which will be used here, and besan, Bengal gram. The chickpea, garbanzo bean, or Egyptian pea, is widely used in Indian cuisine, and as a skin whitening treatment in some parts of Asia. Please keep reading to learn more about this interesting and highly effective treatment.
Is gram flour good for you?
Gram flour is packed full of nutritional benefits that will give you more energy, and according to studies, can help you lose weight, regulate blood sugar and even influence cholesterol levels. Gram flour can also support overall health for individuals needing to have a gluten-free diet and can be used as an egg substitute. This is good news for those with food sensitivities and vegans. This flour will add flavor, protein, and nutrients to your diet.
How can gram flour be used?
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Gram flour can be eaten in baked goods as the base flour, as a component in combination flour and as a coating for fried foods. The benefits of gram flour can even be accessed when used as a topical paste for facials, hair masks, and full-body treatments. The whole chickpea can be used in foods as well. Many Mediterranean countries cook them and add them hot to stews as a thickening agent that adds a buttery flavor or they use them cold in salads. Hummus, which is Arabic for chickpea, is a paste found in homes worldwide and it comes in varying flavors used for dipping veggies. It is also used as a spread for flatbread. In Asia, gram flour has been used as a safe skin whitening treatment and the unripe chickpeas are picked off the stem and eaten while the pod leaves are added to salads. The Philippines preserve the pea in syrup and eat it as a sweet treat while other countries will roast the pea and add spices for a snack. Whatever your preferred preparation, this plant will offer you improved health and glowing skin and hair.
How much gram flour should you eat?
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As they say, "too much of a good thing..." in this case, even too much is still a good thing. There is no recommended quantity available for the consumption of gram flour, however, you will see that its versatility allows you to eat it at every meal and enjoy the many health benefits it offers in every bite. Ten popular ways to eat gram flour are: 1. Fried chicken 2. Cake and other desserts 3. Baked potato falafel 4. Quiche 5. French toast (challah bread) 6. Flatbread 7. Pizza 8. Croutons 9. Stir fry 10. Chickpea fries Gram flour can add a slightly nutty, buttery, bean flavor to your dishes so when adding it to sweets it is recommended that you add a touch more sweetener. For optimal health organic raw sugar (fair trade for the socially responsible), stevia or xylitol are the best options.
Nutrition facts of gram flour
The health and nutrition benefits of the chickpea plant-in all its forms are endless. The chickpea contains vitamins such as folate, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamin A and Beta Carotene. The seed of the chickpea plant holds calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium which are essential for health. In addition, gram flour packs other essential benefits such as high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids, starch, fiber, glucose, sucrose, linoleic and oleic fatty acids and sterols. According to the British Journal of Nutrition, this superfood can help to prevent diseases such as Cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, digestive diseases and some cancers. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) notes that all pulses (chickpea) reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. During this study, the NCBI discovered that eating a large variety of fresh beans and legumes also reduced the negative side effects of hypertension on large arteries and prevented blood pressure from rising. These benefits can save your life and this is just the beginning. Continue reading to learn more about health, beauty and one particular benefit that you will WANT to know.
Gram flour enhances the beauty hidden in your skin
Adding gram flour to your daily beauty routine will improve your health and help you achieve glowing perfect skin. For those of you dreaming of that porcelain complexion, keep reading for a skin whitening treatment that works and doesn't have all of those harsh and dangerous chemicals. Use the recipe here and whiten your skin safely without all the risk.
1. Skin acne treatment for face and body
Acne is a skin condition that can be caused by a variety of things, such as excessive oil production and skin cells clogging hair follicles, bacteria, and excessive hormone activity. These conditions can occur on your face, back and shoulders, and cause raised red spots with a white head on the skin. Some conditions are even worse and these clogged pores can develop into sores. For those inflicted with this condition, acne can become a source of embarrassment and reinforce feelings of low self-esteem. The good news is that there is a natural remedy that may improve this condition over time with continued use. Gram flour contains zinc which can help to fight infections and when consumed, will help to stabilize blood sugar which can influence acne breakouts. We'll talk more about blood sugar stabilization later so please, keep reading. Here is how to create a face mask that will help you tame your breakouts and add some much-needed relief.
Acne treatment mask
Place one teaspoon lemon juice and one teaspoon raw honey in a glass bowl. Add equal parts of gram flour and turmeric powder (a natural anti-inflammatory) to the liquid one teaspoon of each at a time, and stir. Continue adding each powder in equal amounts until a paste has been created. Apply paste to a clean, damp face and leave on for ten minutes. Gently rinse your face with cool water. It is possible that a slight orange tint may be left on the skin and this is due to the turmeric powder. It will go away with your next wash. If you are looking to use this on a larger area such as your back, feel free to double the recipe.
2. Gentle-for-your-skin spray tan remover
As seen in the movie 'Bride Wars,' spray tans can and do go horribly, horribly wrong. Fortunately, there's an effective and gentle remedy available. Gram flour has been used for centuries as a skin whitener, and this gentle exfoliating remedy will make your face and body glow. Related to the skin whitening recipe, here is how to turn your orange spray tan into the beautiful, sun-kissed look you've been dreaming of.
Spray tan remedy for face and neck
4 teaspoons gram flour 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon yogurt (plain, no additives) 1 pinch salt Mix ingredients to create an exfoliator and apply to affected area. Gently move your fingertips in a circular motion until product covers area fully. Allow to dry and rinse. Repeat morning and evening as needed until the desired tone is reached.
3. Exfoliating body scrub for all skin types
Spending hours pampering your face will pay off in years of beauty, but don't forget about the rest of you. Full body pampering is just what you need to look and feel your best. It's also a great way to alleviate stress and have a great excuse for some alone time. Here is how to create the ultimate full-body spa treatment at home.
Full body exfoliating scrub
3 teaspoons gram flour 1 teaspoon ground oats 2 teaspoons corn flour Add yogurt one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Apply all over your body in a circular motion, massaging this exfoliant into the skin. Leave on for ten to fifteen minutes and rinse. For increased relaxation, include two to five drops of an essential oil such as rose or lavender.
4. Facial cleanser to reduce skin oiliness
Remember that increased oiliness and accumulated dead skin cells on your face and back can cause an acne breakout. Be sure to cleans daily and exfoliate weekly. This cleanser is gentle enough to add to your nightly routine. It takes about twenty minutes, but it is worth it. Add in a relaxing meditation and you'll be ready for peaceful sleep. This routine for how to achieve deep relaxation before bed is here to stay.
Stir together equal parts gram flour and plain, organic yogurt. Apply to your face and rinse with warm water after about twenty minutes. If you struggle with the quantity, simply begin your measurements with one-half of a tablespoon of each, apply and add another one-half tablespoon of each if necessary. Everyone is different when it comes to how thick they like their product and how much area there is to cover. Feel free to apply the product to the decolletage.
5. Whitening agent for skin
Skin whitening has been around for quite some time and is a practice used to lighten skin color by altering melanin production. Some do-it-yourself routines include bleach, which can be dangerous, even causing lasting damage to the skin, face and eyes. There are many treatments available today, and it is always best to follow the advice of your dermatologist or esthetician when it comes to skin whitening. Some people whiten their skin for the same reasons some make their skin darker. Others do so in order to decrease the appearance of sun spots, age spots, and birthmarks or because they tend to have dark areas such as their neck as well as in their arm creases. Skin whitening products are also widely used for individuals with skin conditions such as rosacea and scaring left from acne breakouts. Whatever your reasoning, the process of whitening your skin should be approached with gentleness and safety. Here is how to whiten your skin using ingredients you can, for the most part, eat. This particular mix of products is also good for dealing with those ever-present dark circles under the eyes.
4 teaspoons gram flour 1 teaspoon ground orange peel 1/2 teaspoon malai or coconut oil 3-5 drops of essential oil such as chamomile, rose or lavender Leave on the desired area for fifteen minutes and rinse with cool water. Repeat treatment three times a week for best results.
6. Nourishing facial hair remover for sensitive skin
If you are among the many women battling unwanted facial hair, listen up because there's a home remedy that will save you a bundle in waxing costs and improve the appearance of your skin. Read on for how to eliminate your peach fuzz for good.
Healthy hair removal routine
Step 1: Prepare gram flour and ground fenugreek seeds in equal parts in a bowl. Add water to create a paste. Apply paste to face and leave on for twenty minutes. Rub off with a clean, dry cloth. Step 2: Prepare in a bowl two parts honey and one part lemon juice. Stir together and apply generously to face. Gently remove using a lukewarm cloth after twenty minutes. You should notice an immediate difference in the density and noticeability of unwanted facial hair. It is recommended that you perform this treatment two to three times a week for approximately six months in order to see permanent hair removal. This treatment has many beneficial qualities due to the nutritional value of the ingredients. It is likely that other skin issues that you may have will also be improved.
7. Cleansers and masks for all skin types
For a variety of faces comes a variety of facial cleansers and treatments for facial conditions. From dry, flaky skin to super oily skin, there is a natural remedy that can help improve your condition. Gram flour plays a key role in these remedies and it is full of nutritional benefits that you can access through both consumption and absorption. Here are even more recipes for how to improve your skin's health using gram flour as a topical.
Dry, flaky skin
1 tablespoon gram flour 1 teaspoon coconut oil 1/2 teaspoon honey 2-3 drops lemon juice Stir ingredients together. Apply to face. Let dry. Rinse with warm water.
1 egg white, beaten 2 tablespoons gram flour Stir together and apply to face. Leave on for fifteen minutes and rinse with cold water.
Grind together and store until ready to use: 50 grams lentils 10 grams fenugreek seeds 2-3 pieces of turmeric Mix a small amount of powder with milk cream until creamy and not runny. Use daily to cleanse face.
Get glowing skin
2 tablespoons gram flour 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon coconut or grapeseed oil 2 tablespoons water Apply mixed ingredients to face and neck and allow to dry completely. Drying may take up to twenty minutes. Once dry, gently rub product with your fingertips in an upward, circular motion until it is mostly off your face. Rinse face with cold water.
8. Cleansing hair mask
Now that you have a full arsenal of tools for facial care, it's time to discuss your hair. The beauty industry, today has a lot to offer for hair products. Many of these products are full of all types of chemicals that are bad for your hair. You can find these chemicals in your shampoo and conditioner, in your hair dyes, gels, and sprays. All of these products can leave your hair dry, damaged and dull. So what is the best remedy to maintain clean hair without all those damaging chemicals? Sometimes the best solution is the simplest solution. Continue reading to learn how to cleanse your hair both easily and cheaply.
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Natural shampoo and conditioner
Place about one-half a cup of gram flour in a bowl and slowly add water until a paste is formed. Coat hair from scalp to ends and allow to sit for ten minutes. Rinse and repeat every two to three days. Adjust quantity as needed.
9. Stimulating hair mask
Are you dreaming of having long, gorgeous hair? Keep reading and find out how to get that hair growing again.
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Get growing hair treatment
Twice a week: Combine together equal amounts of gram flour and almond flour. Slowly add water to make a paste. Stir in curd (see How To Curdle) and 1 teaspoon of olive oil until mixed. Apply to hair and let sit for ten minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. For dry hair, add two capsules of vitamin E. For fragrance, add two to five drops of essential oil, such as rose or lavender. Amounts will vary based on length of hair.
How To Curdle: 1/2 gallon whole milk 1/4 cup white vinegar Heat milk to 180 degrees Farenheight (should be almost boiling). Pour in the vinegar and stir. It will become curds and whey within seconds. Immediately remove from heat. Pour into a muslin lined colander until solids are left. Store any excess curd in the refrigerator - can last up to ten days.
10. Nourishing hair mask
Here is how to nourish your dry hair without spending a bundle at the salon. This home remedy will have your hair looking and feeling healthy again.
For dry hair
2 tablespoons gram flour mixed with water to form a thick paste 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon coconut oil Apply mask to hair and massage like shampoo. Rinse with warm water. Add this to your beauty routine as needed.
11. Anti-dandruff hair mask
Many people today are forced to deal with dandruff. This condition occurs when dead skin cells flake off of the scalp and become mixed in with excess oil. While washing and brushing your hair can help to loosen these flakes, general hygiene is not typically the cause. Some causes include skin and medical conditions, stress, and the use of some hair products. This condition can become embarrassing for those who have it and misunderstood by those who don't. Here's how to create your own remedy.
Once a week: Mix 6 tablespoons gram flour with water to form a paste. Add ten drops of tea tree oil. Apply to scalp and massage in, ensuring scalp is fully covered. Leave on for ten minutes. Rinse with cold water. For continued care between applications, place 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar in 1 cup water and spray onto scalp and massage. Leave on for fifteen minutes and rinse. Do this once a week.
You can see that gram flour can be used in many recipes and that it has extensive health benefits. It can be used as a substitute for gluten for those with food sensitivities and allergies or intestinal diseases. Gluten can be found in wheat, rye, spelt, triticale, barley, oat, and Kamut. So, if you're baking for a friend who is gluten-free, be sure to avoid any contamination from any of these sources. Gram flour can also be used as an egg substitute as it contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. There is another amazing benefit of this delicious plant that will be shared later-trust me, you're going to want to know this. But, first an explanation of the specific ways that gram flour can improve your health.
12. Gram Flour Lowers cholesterol
We all know that high level of cholesterol in our blood stream can be a trigger for other serious health complications. However, alot of people do not know that there is a GOOD CHOLESTEROL which is needed by the body and a BAD CHOLESTEROL which triggers things such as atherosclerosis, oxygen deprivation to organs etc..... ___________________ The liver naturally produces enough cholesterol to help the body carry out necessary tasks like production of hormones and Vitamin D so if you eat alot of food which increase your LDL level it becomes a health problem... _________________________ Checking your diet is the first line of action when you have cholesterol issues....If you aim to increase the number of the GOOD CHOLESTEROL by eating; Whole grains A range of fruits & veggies Skinless poultry Unsalted seeds,nuts etc And AVOID FOOD THAT MAY INCREASE THE BAD CHOLESTEROL SUCH AS; Baked food with trans fat Fried food Untrimmed red meat Tropical oils etc. ___________________ Other natural approach to cholesterol management are ; quit smoking, exercise regularly , reduce stress ____________________ NOTE: Being overweight is a risk factor to high cholesterol level but it's not restricted to it.....Individuals with normal BMI can also experience this so healthy lifestyle is key...... #askyourpharmacist #healtheducation #preventivehealthcare #pharmacistese #nigerianwomen #naijafitfam #cholesterol #essentialoil #integrativepharmacist
A University of Toronto study showed that consuming 130 grams or 3/4 Cup of pulses a day can improve health by lowering LDL levels (bad cholesterol). Participants in the study reported intestinal discomfort when beginning this regiment, however these symptoms subsided with regular consumption of pulses.
13. Gram Flour Helps With Type 2 Diabetes Management
There are multiple factors involved in the management of Type 2 Diabetes, however, the main contributor is the glycemic index (GI) of the foods you consume. In order to maintain blood sugar levels for optimal health, foods with low GI should comprise most, if not all of your dietary intake. One food, in particular, offers a low GI along with high fiber, and many other benefits. What is this mystery food? You guessed it - the chickpea. As pointed out previously, the chickpea is filled with fiber, glucose, protein, carbs, and sterols. The glycemic index of the chickpea is around 10 as long as you stay away from canned chickpeas. The canned version is preserved in brine (salt solution) which increases the GI to 38 - not such a great number. Just remember in everything you eat: fresh is best. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was shown that individuals who consumed foods high in fiber and with a low GI, had decreased insulin resistance and pancreatic fatigue. This shows that individuals with a diet that includes pulses will be far less likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes. For those with diabetes, adding pulses to their diet has shown in this same study, that glycemic control improved, hypoglycemic episodes decreased and the risk of cardiovascular diseases was lowered.
14. Supports a Healthy Heart
Getting into healthy habits now can definitely affect how healthy you are when you are older. Along with exercise, diet is a key part of being fit, looking sexy and staying healthy. Adding gram flour to your diet will help to support a healthy heart. In fact, according to the NCBI, this food source (pulses) is the biggest dietary contributor to protect the heart against hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
15. Reduces Belly Fat
According to a study done in Canada, 21 clinical trials showed that pulses such as the chickpea can aid in weight loss. The properties of this superfood including vitamins, minerals, fiber and low glycemic index help it break down more slowly in the digestive tract. This slowing of the digestive process, allows the intestines to absorb more nutrients for optimal health and vitality as well as create a feeling of satisfaction for longer. Goodbye cravings. The fiber helps to reduce the absorption of fat which lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and the combination of slowed digestion and decreased cravings aids in the loss of belly fat.
16. Substitute for gluten
For some people, gluten has a negative and often painful effect on their health. Individuals with Celiac Disease cannot have any gluten. Celiac, as it is often referred, is a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine making it difficult for the intestines to absorb nutrients. Others with a food sensitivity or intolerance to gluten can experience intestinal distress, joint pain and swelling, exhaustion and mental fog. Gluten is a mixture of proteins and helps dough to rise and stay elastic in order to maintain its shape.
17. Gram flour is a great source of iron
If you suffer from anemia, can't remember to take that iron pill, or are a new vegetarian or vegan, take comfort because adding gram flour to your diet is an amazing source of iron. A lot of women in their 20's are turning to vegan and vegetarianism for optimal health solutions. It's not just about saving animals anymore, although that is totally worth doing it just for that reason. New studies are coming out showing the innumerable health benefits of alternative sources of protein common with these diets. The good news is you are implementing the solutions here and you won't have anything to worry about. You'll have plenty of red blood cells, the best metabolism you've ever had and a ton of energy. All these benefits of a diet rich in iron, but without the digestive challenges of red meat. Who knows, you might even save a cow or two, which is pretty cool.
18. Gram flour can help in cancer prevention
It has been estimated that 30-40 percent of all cancers can be prevented by lifestyle and dietary measures alone.
The NCBI study goes on to say that the consumption of refined flour, red meat, and sugar contribute to excess cancer risk. For optimal health and cancer prevention, the NCBI states that a diet rich in selenium, folic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, and antioxidants is best. These can be found in raw vegetables and pulses, mostly. Add digestive enzymes and probiotics and you are 60-70 percent less likely to develop breast, colorectal and prostate cancers. If you are a cancer survivor, making these necessary dietary changes will help in recovery as well.
19. Fatigue fighter
Having optimal health also means having an abundance of energy. Gram flour and chickpeas will improve your energy because of the many properties the plant holds. This pulse is a great source of iron which aids in red blood cell production, zinc which aids in a strong immune system, fiber which slows digestion optimizing nutrient absorption and increased feelings of satisfaction. This translates into fewer cravings, less food consumed less frequently and will often lead to a reduction in weight or maintaining a healthy weight. 1 cup of cooked chickpeas is equal to 12.5 grams of fiber. Fiber has been shown in multiple studies to directly decrease colorectal and other gut cancers.
20. Blood pressure regulation
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The chickpea can help in regulating blood pressure. Whether you eat them like pistachios or cook them or grind them into a flour, the health benefits seem endless. Gram flour is low in sodium, one of the main contributors to high blood pressure. A study conducted in Canada showed that the consumption of pulses helped to decrease the effects of hypertension and improved the health of affected blood vessels while improving blood flow to extremities. -Good news for the diabetic in your family.
21. Bone strengthener
Chickpea seeds contain large amounts of usable calcium and magnesium. Pair these with a good source of vitamin D and you have a magic bean. Regular consumption of the chickpea seed will also reduce calcium loss - a thing to note if osteoporosis runs in your family. It is recommended by health professionals that, in order to optimize this effect, one must limit salt, get most protein from plant sources, engage in regular resistance training and don't smoke or drink alcohol. Hmmm, that last one might be tough-maybe just stick to organic (sulfite free) red wine.
22. Promotes brain health
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Glucose is brain fuel and gram flour is a great source of it. Couple the glucose with the fiber and low glycemic index and you have a continual and even source of glucose for the brain, to its slowed absorption. Gram flour will also relax blood vessels allowing more blood flow, which allows for greater oxygenation of the brain for sharper concentration. The B-vitamins contained in gram flour boost brain health and if you add fish oil (omega fatty acids) your brain will be able to run smoothly. So, gram flour plus fish oil equals optimal brain function.
23. Decreases inflammation
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Inflammation can be caused by stress, eating too much sugar, illness and disease, by consuming too many processed foods such as bread and sweets, drinking soda/pop, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, grain fed meat, fried food, milk...and the list could go on for quite a while. Chronic inflammation can harm your body and can cause joint pain, decreased mobility, acne, weight gain, loss of muscle tone, fatigue, memory loss, cognitive decline, premature aging and wrinkles, digestive challenges and much more. Using gram flour in your diet will help in substituting refined and enriched flour, it will decrease cravings for sweets, it will help you increase your fiber intake and it eve contains selenium, potassium and vitamins A and B6.
24. Boosts immune system
Just think, you can have all of the fried foods you love, eat bread, cake, muffins, donuts, cookies all you want. All you have to do is make them at home substituting your all-purpose flour with gram flour or find a bakery that uses gram flour. If you are diabetic, you can substitute sugar for xylitol (a natural sweetener with a low GI) or use prune sauce or applesauce, cinnamon, a little honey or smaller amounts of raw, organic sugar. You will enjoy the benefits of a boosted immune system due to vitamins A and B6, iron, zinc, selenium, potassium, and fiber. That's not all the benefits that you will receive from this superfood super plant. Keep reading and discover a more vibrant you.
25. What gram flour can offer that no other flour can
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It's true. Chickpeas actually are an aphrodisiac. ...so as your health improves and your unwanted cravings decrease, your appetite for all things naughty will increase. Who knows, if you're older, you may end up with the libido of your youth and if you're still young, well, be safe. Make good choices.