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The Health Benefits of Multigrain Atta
What is Multigrain Atta and Why You Should Switch to it
Flour is a staple ingredient in most Indian cuisines. When you think of pooris, chappatis, parathas, or cheela, flour emerges as the common thread that ties these food items together. Until recently, Indians used certain flours for dedicated usage.
For instance, whole wheat flour remained undisputed as the go-to flour for rotis and pooris. Cheelas mainly used besan, while ragi or other millet flours helped make a healthier version of dosas. On the other hand, accompaniments like makke ki roti or bhakri used cornflour and bajra/jowar flour, respectively.
While each flour has its own qualities and health benefits, multigrain atta combines it all together for an added nutritional boost. In this blog post, we will discuss everything that you should know about multigrain atta and why you should switch over to it!
What is Multigrain Flour? What are its Benefits?
As the name suggests, multigrain atta is a mix of three or more flour of different grain origins. It grants the following advantages:
- Since multigrain atta is a mix of more than one grain, its nutritional value will naturally be more than that of the single grain flour.
- Similarly, multigrain atta contains all the health benefits granted by each flour present in it.
- Most multigrain atta is also whole grain flour. In a research paper titled “Fibre-Rich and Wholegrain Foods,” it came to light that all wholegrain flours have higher concentrations of dietary fibres and bioactive compounds, which makes it ideal for our digestive systems.
- Due to the presence of a healthy amount of dietary fibres, whole grain multigrain atta grants higher satiety levels, which eventually helps in weight loss and management.
- Consumers can customize their multigrain atta to exclude whole wheat flour and include ragi and other millets to make it allergy-friendly and gluten-free.
Grains in Multigrain Flour
As stated previously, multigrain atta contains different types of flour depending on the consumer’s preferences or manufacturing brand. Typically, it contains the following:
Whole grain wheat grain flour is one of the basic ingredients of multigrain atta. Wheat bran contains a wealth of nutritious elements such as antioxidants, dietary fibres, vitamins, and minerals.
100 grams of whole grain wheat flour contains the following nutritional value:
- Organic atta is enriched with other minerals and vitamins that add to its nutritional value.
- As indicated by studies, bran contains insoluble dietary fibres and prebiotics that improve gut health.
- Observational studies published in the Journal of Nutrition indicate that the antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fibre present in whole wheat flour can reduce risk of colon cancer.
Besan or Bengal gram/chickpea flour is yet another common ingredient present in multigrain flour. It has a mildly nutty flavour that intensifies when you roast it. Considering that it is gluten-free, it is an excellent substitute for whole wheat flour.
100 grams of besan possesses the following nutritional value:
- Research suggests that the antioxidants present in besan fight the damaging effects of free radicals and the harmful effects of acrylamide.
- Clinical trials conducted by researchers highlighted that the chickpea flour lowered ghrelin, the hunger hormone, to promote the feeling of fullness.
- A study published in the Journal of Food Science highlighted how besan-based food items have a GI of 28-35, which helps with blood sugar regulation.
- It is rich in protein and fibres, which helps in weight loss and weight management.
Barley, or “jau,” is a vital cereal crop grown in India next to wheat, rice, and maize. The grain has a chewy, nuttiness that complements dishes like halwa or cheela.
100 grams of barley flour bears the following nutritional profile:
- Just like wheat flour, barley flour is rich in lignans that reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
- The presence of soluble fibres in barley flour promotes satiety and can help with weight loss. At the same time, the high fibre content also improves digestion. Studies indicate that barley flour may help those with gut-related issues, like IBS, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
- Various studies have discovered that insoluble fibre present in barley can reduce the risk of developing gallstones, while the beta-glucans lower cholesterol levels.
Millet is an umbrella term for a group of grains that belong to the grass family. There are different types of millets available, with the most common ones being pearl millet (bajra), sorghum (jowar), foxtail millet (kangni), proso millet (barri/chena), and finger millets (ragi/mandua).
Other lesser-known varieties of millets include Kodo millet (kodra/kodon), barnyard millet (jhangora), and little millet (kutki).
Normally, 100 grams of millet flour contains:
- Millets are rich in phenolic compounds, such as catechins and ferulic acid, which protect the body from oxidative stress. Further, it also possesses anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties.
- The fibre and non-starchy carbohydrates present in millets help control blood sugar levels. Hence, diabetics can include organic millets atta to their multigrain mix.
- Since millets are a gluten-free grain, those suffering from Celiac disease or gluten intolerance can make use of millet flour.
- A 2010 study discovered that millets reduce cholesterol levels, thereby promoting heart health.
A combination of the above organic atta, depending on your preferences and availability, will offer a healthy and wholesome multigrain atta mix for all purposes!