Friday, 6 January 2012

Why Moong ki Dal ki pakori or Paush-bade in winters??

Moong dal pakoris consist of Moong dal whole n besan(chana dal power) & oil.(fat)
Out of above two dals Moong dal Whole is most easily digestible lentil. 
Moong has 24.1gm of protein per 100 gm.It is packed with 13 essential amino acids which are needed by the body.

What does essential amino acids mean-Essential amino acids are "essential" not because they are more important to life than the others.These are Amino acids that body does not synthesize. So its essential to include them in one's diet in order to obtain them.The amino acids regarded as essential for humans are phenylalanine,valine, threonine,tryptophan,isoleucine, methionine, leucine, lysine,histidine,cysteine,tyrosinen Arginine especially required by infants and growing children.

Moong n Chana are rich in EAA(essential amino acids.)
Combination of soaked moong + chana dal makes the Amino acids present in both compliment each other. The amount of Lysine content in Moong dal pakori is increased by combing two dals{Chana(Besan) n soaked Moong whole}
As Lysine is mostly the limiting Amino acid during absorption & utilization of proteins in body.
Limiting amino acid - is the essential amino acid found in the smallest quantity in the particular foodstuff)
Our bodies use amino acids in a specific ratio to each other, so if a person doesn’t get enough of one of them to match with the rest, the rest can only be used at a level to balance with that low one. 
Most of these amino acids are fairly easy to get in a reasonably well-balanced diet. However, there are Eessential amino acids which generally act as limiting amino acid & that are a little harder to get than the rest.
Thus it is important to make sure you’re getting enough of these. 
These are called limiting amino acids, because if a person’s diet is deficient in one of them, this will limit the usefulness of the others, even if those others are present in otherwise large enough quantities. These limiting amino acids include the sulfur-containing ones (methionine and cysteine), tryptophan, and lysine.

Hypothetical Explanation of  Limiting Amino acid

Hypothetical level Needed
Low Lysine intake
Limits usefullness of all

By looking at the chart we make out the green is the amount of each amino acid content in food. In second diagram the low lysine content Third represents the low lysine level -limits the utilization of SC,AROM,THR,VAL,TRY,ISL,LEU etc other amino acids.

Lysine is found in most cereal grains, but is plentiful in most pulses specially Chana. Chana /Bengal gram-raw: 6.69% of the protein is lysine.
Moong has 5.71 % of protein is lysine.
Thus due to combination of two dals in Pakoris the total lysine content of food stuff is increased.
L-Lysine is a necessary building block for all protein in the body.
 L-Lysine plays a major role in
·        calcium absorption;
·        building muscle protein;
·        recovering from surgery or sports injuries; and
·        the body's production of hormones,
·        Enzymes and antibodies.
Human studies have also shown negative correlations between reduced lysine intake and anxiety.
The combination of besan which is rich in LYSINE (essential amino acid) with moong dal whole increases Biological value of protein in Moong dal pakoris.

Biological value (BV) is a measure of the proportion of absorbed protein from a food which becomes incorporated into the proteins of the organism's body. It summarizes how readily the broken down protein can be used in protein synthesis in the cells of the organism.

Now comes the third ingredient – Oil seed/cooking oil
When we fry Pakoras.Lots of oil is added to it.
The oil seeds are also rich in sulphur containing EAA-lysine n methionine.
This further enriches the Biological value of protein

Now last but not the least question arises- WHY we eat Moong Pakoras in winter???
During winter months the human body requirement of fats & proteins raises automatically due to factors
  • To sustain body temperature at normal more of adipose tissue needed. So high energy n high calorie food intake required
  • Fat deposits are made up by body underneath skin to provide a natural insulation to body, just to keep it warm.
  • In my earlier blog also I mentioned about the increase in Blood circulation needed due to lowered BMR during winters.. Same here, more heamoglobin synthesis would be needed. Globin part of heamoglobin is a transport PROTEIN thus more of Essential amino acids & proteins of high Biological Value.(BV) required.
  • The growth spurts in children; found in certain studies indicate- that in the months of Jan, Feb , March(Paush n Chaitra).. Tissue n muscles are built up process is more. It can be associated with low BMR n High acceptability of Energy rich food during these months
  • To cope up adverse environmental conditions & to maintain homeostasis in terms Body temperature .The daily requirement of Protien & fats during winters increase.
  • Also the cereal, oilseed, pulse &.legume combination.(Til laddu+moong pakori on Makar Sankranti) adds on to complimentary effect of  Essential Amino Acids.
  • Moong dal whole in abundant in roughage.. During winters as the general water intake of humans decreases because people feel less thirsty. Roughage helps in avoiding constipation due to dehydration effect of lesser water intake.
  • Certain Antibodies which are proteins themselves need EAA for their synthesis more in months of Winter. These antibodies are required by body to combat general sickness like cough n cold. Influenza, fever (flu) conjunctivitis etc.
  • Last is not a very major reason but still it is a prime reason- During winters the Sunlight availability to skin for synthesis of Vitamin D is less.If amount of Vit D is less there will be lesser calcium absorption. This may lead to body aches & bone malfunctioning etc. Here again lysine plays a major role in calcium absorption.
We may conclude again our Indian food practice of eating Moong Dal Pakori / Paush wadas in month of Paush or on Makar Sankranti were very logical.
Once scientific mind starts exploring reasons for a Indian practice –The results are amazing..
Lot of research still needed to find out a BIG REASON hiding behind each Indian food fad, custom n practice.
So GOD gifted us Moong. It is abundant & easily available in winter,due to its harvest.
And our ancestors developed a food practice of eating Moongdal ki pakoris on Makar sankranti!
Finally, I must say- Hats off to almighty & those who started food practices..
They can be termed as Prefect Nutritionists-Taste, economy, availability & festivity combined to provide excellent nutrition to society!!
Don’t forget to have  Moong dal n Its Pakoris on Makar Sankranti!!