Is sattu powder healthy? Know benefits, side effects and how to consume it

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Sattu powder is made of roasted gram flour (chickpea flour). Being an excellent source of plant-based protein, it is helpful in muscle repair and recovery after a workout. Know everything about it.

Sattu powder is gaining popularity in the fitness world, and for good reason. With its rich nutritional profile, sattu has caught the attention of health-conscious people seeking natural, nutrient-rich foods to support their fitness and weight loss goals. Packed with protein, fibre, and essential minerals, sattu offers a range of health benefits, including muscle repair and growth, improved digestive health, and blood sugar regulation. From refreshing beverages to savoury snacks and sweet treats, you may enjoy sattu powder in many ways.

What is sattu powder?

Sattu powder is a traditional Indian flour made from roasted gram (chickpea) or barley. It is an indigenous protein source in India, especially in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal. Due to its high protein content, it has gained popularity as a superfood and offers numerous health benefits. Apart from protein, sattu powder is also packed with fibre and other essential nutrients, which make it an energy-boosting food, says nutritionist and dietitian Deepti Lokeshappa.

Sattu powder nutrition

Made from roasted gram flour, sattu powder is rich in protein, fibre, and essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. Its low glycemic index makes it suitable for managing blood sugar levels. Additionally, it is packed with antioxidants, which can help boost your overall health and immunity. Have a look at its nutritional profile:

One cup (92 grams) of chickpea flour contains:

  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Fibre: 10 grams
  • Calories: 356 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Carbs: 53 grams
  • Thiamine: 30 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Iron: 25 percent of RDI
  • Magnesium: 38 percent of RDI
  • Copper: 42 percent of RDI
  • Manganese: 74 percent of RDI
Chickpeas are very healthy. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Health benefits of sattu powder

1. Good for muscle growth

According to a study published by Frontiers in Nutrition, sattu, aka roasted chickpea, is a high-protein food, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans to meet their protein needs. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, as well as overall cellular function.

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2. Promotes digestion

“With its significant fibre content, sattu powder promotes digestive health by aiding in regular bowel movements, preventing constipation, and supporting a healthy gut microbiome,” says Lokeshappa.

Also read: I used good-old sattu powder as a protein shake and it really does work

3. Diabetic-friendly food

Sattu powder has a low glycemic index, meaning it releases glucose slowly into the bloodstream, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels, as found in a study published by Nutrients. This makes it suitable for individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar.

4. Packed with essential minerals

Apart from protein fibre, sattu powder contains essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium, which are vital for various bodily functions, including oxygen transport, muscle and nerve function, and maintaining electrolyte balance.

5. Boosts immunity

The antioxidants present in sattu powder help to combat oxidative stress and strengthen the immune system, reducing the risk of infections and promoting overall health and well-being.

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Sattu can boost your immunity! Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Improves skin and hair health

Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, sattu powder can make hair follicles strong and healthy. It has hydrating properties, which can keep your skin glowing and nourished.

7. Aids heart health

Since sattu is rich in insoluble dietary fibre and protein content, it can help lower high cholesterol levels, as per a study published in the Journal of Food Biochemistry. This can help regulate blood pressure levels.

8. Keeps you cool

Sattu drink is ideal for summer season. It helps keep your body temperature in check while combatting the summer heat.

9. Supports bone health

Sattu has calcium and magnesium content, which can help maintain strong bones and improve overall health.

Sattu powder for weight loss

Sattu powder can help in maintaining a healthy weight due to its high protein and fibre content. “Protein makes you feel fuller for longer periods and reduces appetite, leading to decreased calorie intake. Additionally, the fibre in sattu aids digestion and promotes satiety, preventing overeating,” explains Lokeshappa.

Its low glycemic index prevents spikes in blood sugar levels, curbing cravings and promoting stable energy levels. Since sattu powder can be used in several recipes, you can incorporate it into your diet in different ways, making it easier to stick to your weight loss plan.

Also read: 7 benefits of sattu sharbat that make this drink the humble hero of summer

How to make sattu powder at home?

Making sattu powder at home is a simple process and here is a recipe you can follow:

Ingredients

2 cups chickpeas (Bengal gram or chana)
Water

Instructions

Step 1: Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly and then transfer them to a large bowl filled with water. Soak them overnight or for 8 hours.
Step 2: Next, drain the water and let the chickpeas dry for 30 minutes to an hour.
Step 3: Roast your chickpeas in a pan over medium heat and stir them frequently to ensure they roast evenly. Roast them until they turn golden brown.
Step 4: Let the roasted chickpeas cool completely before grinding. Then, grind them into a fine powder.

Are there any side effects of sattu powder?

While generally safe for consumption, there are a few potential side effects associated with sattu powder:

  • When consumed in high amounts, sattu may result in bloating, gas, or digestive discomfort due to its high fibre content.
  • Overconsumption of sattu powder without considering overall calorie intake may lead to weight gain.
  • People with allergies to chickpeas or gram flour should avoid sattu powder to prevent allergic reactions.

How to consume sattu powder?

Sattu powder can be consumed in various delicious ways, as it can be added to both sweet and savoury dishes. One popular method is to mix it with water or buttermilk to create a refreshing beverage.

Here’s how to make it: Simply blend a couple of tablespoons of sattu powder with water or buttermilk, add a pinch of salt, roasted cumin powder, and, optionally some chopped green chilies or mint leaves for extra flavour. It is a cooling drink perfect for hot summer days and provides a quick energy boost.

sattu
Sattu powder can be consumed in many ways. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Apart from this, sattu powder can also be used to make savoury snacks like litti chokha or stuffed parathas to enhance flavour and make them a protein-rich dish. Additionally, you may also consume sattu powder by making sattu sharbat, laddoos, porridge, soup, and even pancakes, recommends Lokeshappa.

“While the recommended daily intake of sattu powder varies, one can typically consume 2 tablespoons (20 g) of sattu daily on an empty stomach,” suggests Lokeshappa. This amount ensures a good intake of protein, fibre, and essential minerals while maintaining balance with other food sources. For those engaging in physical activity, the quantity can be increased to 2 to 4 tablespoons (20–40 grams) per day for better nutrition. Ideally, sattu should be consumed during the daytime, either on an empty stomach or at least 2.5 hours after a meal for optimal benefits.

Common myths about sattu powder

Myth 1: Sattu powder may cause weight gain

One common myth is that consuming sattu powder may cause weight gain. But if you are consuming the recommended amount and ensuring that physical activity is a part of your everyday life, it will not lead to weight gain. In fact, it helps with weight management.

Myth 2: May cause Indigestion

When consumed in excessive amounts, only then can sattu cause digestive issues. However, when consumed in moderation, sattu may promote digestive health.

Myth 3: May heat your body

Sattu is considered cooling and refreshing, making it suitable for the summer season.

Overall, when consumed in moderation, sattu powder is helpful for weight loss, digestive health, and many more.

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