Is black grams good for pregnancy?

Black gram, commonly known as urad dal, is a lentil packed with essential nutrients including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, crucial for human health as they are not naturally produced by the body. This nutrient-rich legume is particularly advantageous for pregnant women, offering both delicious taste and nutritional benefits. However, concerns may arise regarding its safety during pregnancy. Some individuals believe consuming urad dal while pregnant might not be safe. To address these concerns, it is important to explore the nutritional benefits and potential risks associated with incorporating black gram into a pregnancy diet. Here’s what you need to know about consuming urad dal during pregnancy.

Is black grams good for pregnancy?
Is black grams good for pregnancy?

Is It Safe to Eat Urad Dal During Pregnancy?

Urad dal can be safely consumed by pregnant women, with certain precautions to be considered. These precautions will be discussed in this article. Before delving into them, let’s explore the significant nutrients present in urad dal and how its moderate consumption can benefit pregnant women.

Important Nutrients Present in Black Gram

Black gram (urad dal) is not only rich in fatty acids but also contains numerous other essential nutrients:

Nutrients Nutritional value 
Essential fatty acids One cup contains 566 mg of omega-3 and 43 mg of Omega-6
Calories 324 g per 100 gms
Total Fat 1.6 g per 100 gms
Sodium 18.9 mg per 100 gms
Potassium 1157 mg per 100 gms
Total Carbohydrate 51 g per 100 gms
Protein 23.06 g per 100 gms
Calcium 55.67 mg per 100 gms
Iron 4.67 per 100 gms
Vitamin B-6 0.22 mg per 100 gms
Magnesium 173 mg per 100 gms

The Numerous Health Benefits of Urad Dal During Pregnancy

Urad dal, brimming with an array of essential nutrients, emerges as a powerhouse food offering a multitude of advantages during pregnancy. Let’s delve into the various benefits it brings:

– Enhanced Foetal Brain Development: The presence of essential fatty acids in urad dal facilitates the crucial development of the foetal brain, a vital aspect of pregnancy.

– Improved Digestive Health: Rich in fiber, urad dal fosters the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, thereby aiding in smooth digestion of food, an essential aspect of overall well-being during pregnancy.

– Cholesterol Regulation: The fatty acids present in urad dal play a role in managing high cholesterol levels, particularly beneficial for pregnant women prone to cholesterol-related concerns.

– Strengthened Bone Structure: Urad dal facilitates calcium absorption in the body and provides an array of minerals essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones, thereby fortifying skeletal integrity during pregnancy.

– Anaemia Prevention: Abundant in iron, urad dal serves as a potent tool in combating anaemia among pregnant women, ensuring optimal energy levels and overall well-being.

– Constipation Relief: The fiber and magnesium content in urad dal offer relief from constipation, a common discomfort experienced during pregnancy, by promoting regular bowel movements and easing gastrointestinal distress.

– Sustained Energy Levels and Pain Alleviation: Loaded with energy-producing nutrients, urad dal combats fatigue commonly experienced during pregnancy. Moreover, its properties aid in alleviating pain and inflammation while the high protein content supports cellular regeneration.

– Promotion of Healthy Skin and Hair: Antioxidants present in urad dal contribute to disease prevention by combating aging, cellular damage, and supporting skin and hair health, thus ensuring overall well-being during pregnancy.

– Heart Health Support: Potassium, magnesium, and fiber content in urad dal collectively contribute to maintaining heart health during pregnancy by regulating blood pressure, supporting proper heart function, and managing cholesterol levels.

– Weight Management: As a low-fat, high-protein food, urad dal aids in weight management during pregnancy by promoting satiety, regulating blood sugar levels, and supporting healthy digestion, thus contributing to maintaining a healthy weight.

Potential Side Effects of Consuming Black Gram (Urad Dal) During Pregnancy

While black gram (urad dal) holds a plethora of health benefits for pregnant women, it’s essential to be mindful of potential side effects, especially with excessive consumption or under certain conditions. Here’s an in-depth look at some of the potential side effects to consider:

– Flatulence and Bloating: Excessive intake of urad dal, particularly for individuals with sensitive digestive systems, may result in uncomfortable symptoms like gas, bloating, and flatulence. These issues could exacerbate existing digestive discomfort commonly experienced during pregnancy, impacting overall well-being.

– Allergic Reactions: For some individuals, consumption of legumes like urad dal can trigger allergic reactions ranging from mild itching and swelling to more severe symptoms like hives or even anaphylaxis. Pregnant women with known legume allergies should exercise caution and avoid urad dal to prevent adverse reactions.

– Increased Risk of Kidney Stones: Urad dal contains oxalates, compounds that have been linked to the formation of kidney stones, especially when consumed excessively. Pregnant women with a history of kidney stones or predisposition to developing them should moderate their intake of urad dal to mitigate this risk.

– Gastrointestinal Issues: Excessive consumption of urad dal may irritate the gastrointestinal tract, leading to symptoms such as indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea. Pregnant women are advised to consume urad dal in moderation to minimize the risk of gastrointestinal discomfort.

– Interference With Iron Absorption: While urad dal is a good source of iron, it also contains phytates, compounds that can hinder the absorption of dietary iron. Consuming urad dal alongside iron-rich foods or supplements may reduce the absorption of iron, potentially contributing to iron deficiency anaemia in susceptible individuals.

– Concerns Over Pesticide Residues: Like other agricultural products, urad dal may contain pesticide residues if not properly washed or sourced from organic sources. Pregnant women should prioritize organic or pesticide-free varieties of urad dal to minimize exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and ensure the safety of their pregnancy.

Precautions for Consuming Black Gram During Pregnancy

While black gram (urad dal) offers numerous health benefits, pregnant women should take certain precautions to ensure its safe consumption:

– Thorough Washing and Cooking: Prioritize washing black gram thoroughly and cooking it until it reaches boiling point. This step is crucial as black gram may harbor harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella. Boiling helps destroy these bacteria, reducing the risk of infections that could lead to pre-term labor, miscarriage, stillbirth, or other serious complications for both the mother and the baby. If consuming black gram at home, ensure proper washing and cooking. When dining out, opt for freshly prepared and well-cooked black gram dishes.

– Moderation: Avoid excessive consumption of black gram during pregnancy, as overindulgence in any food can have adverse effects. Moderation is key, especially for pregnant women prone to acidity.

Tips for Incorporating Black Gram (Urad Dal) Into Your Pregnancy Diet

Incorporating black gram (urad dal) into your pregnancy diet can provide essential nutrients and contribute to overall maternal health. Here are some simple and delicious ways to include black gram in your meals:

  1. Urad Dal Soup: Prepare a nutritious soup using urad dal, vegetables, and spices for a comforting and filling meal option.
  2. Urad Dal Curry: Cook urad dal with tomatoes, onions, and aromatic spices to create a flavorful and protein-rich curry dish.
  3. Urad Dal Salad: Sprout urad dal and toss it with fresh vegetables, herbs, and a tangy dressing for a refreshing and nutritious salad.
  4. Urad Dal Dosa: Use urad dal to make dosas or savory pancakes, which can be enjoyed with chutney or sambar for a wholesome meal.
  5. Urad Dal Idli: Prepare soft and fluffy idlis using urad dal batter, which can be served with coconut chutney or a lentil-based curry for a balanced meal.
  6. Urad Dal Khichdi: Cook urad dal with rice, vegetables, and spices to make a comforting and easy-to-digest khichdi, perfect for days when you need a simple yet nutritious meal.
  7. Urad Dal Ladoo: Make nutritious and energy-boosting ladoos using roasted urad dal flour, jaggery, and ghee, which can be enjoyed as a healthy snack during pregnancy.
  8. Urad Dal Sprouts: Sprout urad dal and add them to salads, sandwiches, or wraps for a crunchy and nutritious boost of protein and fiber.

Nourishing Black Gram (Urad Dal) Recipes for Expectant Mothers

Pregnancy marks a critical period where prioritizing nutrition is paramount, and integrating black gram (urad dal) into your diet can offer a plethora of health benefits. Here are some wholesome and delectable urad dal recipes, including a urad dal laddu, tailored for pregnant women:

Urad Dal Khichdi


    • 1/2 cup urad dal
    • 1 cup rice
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 1 tomato, finely chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • Salt to taste
    • 2 tablespoons ghee Method:
    • Rinse urad dal and rice separately under running water.
    • In a pressure cooker, heat ghee and add cumin seeds. Sauté until they start to splutter.
    • Add chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
    • Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook until tomatoes turn soft.
    • Add urad dal and rice to the cooker along with water. Mix well.
    • Close the lid and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or until the khichdi is cooked through.
    • Serve hot with a dollop of ghee on top.

Urad Dal Ladoo


    • 1 cup urad dal (split black gram)
    • 1 cup grated jaggery or sugar
    • 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter)
    • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
    • Chopped nuts for garnish (optional) Method:
    • Dry roast urad dal in a pan over medium heat until it turns golden brown and fragrant. Let it cool down completely, then grind it into a fine powder using a mixer or food processor.
    • In the same pan, melt jaggery or sugar with a little water to make syrup. Cook until it reaches a thick consistency.
    • In a mixing bowl, combine the powdered urad dal, jaggery syrup, ghee, and cardamom powder. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
    • Take small portions of the mixture and shape them into round laddus (balls) using your hands. If desired, garnish each laddu with chopped nuts.
    • Allow the laddus to cool down completely before serving. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.


Is black gram good during pregnancy?

Black gram, also known as black lentil or urad dal, is generally considered safe to consume during pregnancy. It is a good source of protein, iron, and other essential nutrients, making it a nutritious addition to a pregnancy diet. However, like any food, it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Is black chana safe during pregnancy?

Yes, black chana, or black chickpeas, are safe to eat during pregnancy. They are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which are beneficial for both maternal health and fetal development. Incorporating black chana into your pregnancy diet can provide essential nutrients and contribute to a healthy pregnancy.

Who should not eat black gram?

While black gram is generally safe for consumption, individuals who have allergies or sensitivities to legumes should avoid eating it. Additionally, those with certain medical conditions such as kidney stones or gout may need to limit their intake of black gram due to its purine content. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized dietary advice.

Can I eat black beans while pregnant?

Yes, black beans are safe to eat during pregnancy and can be a nutritious addition to your diet. They are packed with protein, fiber, folate, iron, and other essential nutrients that support maternal health and fetal development. Incorporating black beans into meals can help meet increased nutrient needs during pregnancy. However, ensure that they are cooked thoroughly before consumption to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Can Black Gram Trigger Allergic Reactions During Pregnancy?

Although allergic responses to black gram (urad dal) are uncommon, individuals with existing legume allergies may exhibit symptoms such as itching, swelling, or hives. Pregnant women who have known allergies to legumes should exercise caution and avoid consuming black gram to mitigate the risk of potential allergic reactions.

Is Soaking or Sprouting Black Gram Beneficial Before Consumption During Pregnancy?

Both soaking and sprouting black gram before consumption during pregnancy offer advantages as they help reduce anti-nutrients and enhance nutrient absorption. Soaking black gram overnight aids in softening the dal and improving its digestibility, while sprouting increases its nutrient content, making it a healthier option for pregnant women. Therefore, both soaking and sprouting black gram are recommended before consumption during pregnancy to optimize nutrient absorption and digestion.

Black gram can be prepared in various ways and is commonly used for tempering dishes (tadka) when preparing vegetarian side dishes. It is a rich source of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and Vitamin B6. Consuming it in moderation during pregnancy, while adhering to the mentioned precautions, is advisable. Consulting with your doctor or a nutritionist before incorporating it into your diet is also recommended for personalized guidance and safety assurance.


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