Rajma, also known as kidney beans, is a staple food in India and a beloved dish in many households. Whether it’s Rajma Chawal, Rajma Masala, or Rajma Salad, this legume has become a household name in the country. But besides its delicious taste, Rajma offers several health benefits, making it a popular food for weight loss diets. However, many people are unaware of these benefits and often give up on their favourite Rajma dishes while on a weight loss journey. So, the question remains, “Is Rajma Good for Weight Loss?” Let’s find out.
Rajma can take a while to soak and then cook so I generally like to cook at least 250 g of it at a time. I can then use it to make a yummy curry as well as have extra to put into a salad for my evening snack or to make hummus. When I have it on hand, it’s a great way to pep up protein in any of my meals.
—Aditi Shenai (Product Nutritionist)
Nutritionists and health experts worldwide have been touting the benefits of including legumes in a healthy diet for a good reason. Legumes, including Rajma, are a rich source of plant-based protein, fibre, and complex carbohydrates. These nutrients help you feel satiated for extended periods, stabilise blood sugar levels, and prevent overeating. Moreover, legumes are also low in fat, making them a perfect addition to any weight loss diet. So, if you’re looking for a food product to support your weight loss efforts, Rajma might just be the answer.
Rajma: An Overview
Originating from South America, Rajma has a rich history dating back to the Incas, who cultivated this legume for its high nutritional content. Over time, Rajma spread to other parts of the world, including India, where it has become an integral part of the cuisine. Rajma is known for its high protein content, making it an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans. It is also a rich source of fibre, which improves digestion and keeps you feeling full for extended periods. Additionally, Rajma is low in fat and contains complex carbohydrates, making it nutritious food for those looking to lose weight.
Nutritional Profile of Rajma
Rajma (kidney beans) is a high-protein legume often used in Indian cooking. As per the USDA, one hundred grams of cooked kidney beans (Rajma) offer the following nutrients.
- Energy: 127kCal
- Protein: 8.67g
- Total lipid (fat): 0.5g
- Carbohydrate: 22.8g
- Fibre, total dietary: 7.4g
- Calcium: 28mg
- Iron: 2.94mg
- Magnesium: 45mg
- Phosphorus: 142mg
- Potassium: 403mg
- Sodium: 2mg
- Vitamin C: 1.2mg
Rajma and Weight Loss: The Connection
Rajma, or red kidney beans, is a legume rich in nutrients. Therefore, it can be an excellent addition to a weight-loss diet. Numerous studies have shown that incorporating rajma into your meals can lead to weight loss and improved health outcomes.s.
Rajma is a good source of plant-based protein, which is crucial for repairing and building muscles. Additionally, protein has a more significant thermic impact than carbohydrates or fat, meaning that the body expends more calories digesting and metabolising protein. A study found that eating protein-rich foods can help reduce cravings and result in weight loss.
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Rajma is also high in dietary fibre. Research shows Rajma’s dietary fibre and protein help improve satiety and lower overall calorie consumption. As a result, Rajma can be helpful for weight loss. In addition, fibre is necessary for optimal digestive health and can help manage blood sugar levels.
Low in Fat
Rajma is low in fat, making it a good food for individuals trying to cut calories and lose weight. High-fat foods are also high in calories, which can lead to weight gain. While low-fat meals like rajma can assist in reducing calorie intake, it is still necessary to watch portions and overall calorie intake to meet weight loss objectives.
Low Glycemic Index
Rajma has a low glycemic index of 24. It indicates that Rajma consumption does not raise blood sugar levels quickly. It can help with weight loss because fast variations in blood sugar can cause an increase in hunger and overeating, ultimately leading to weight gain.
Research shows that Rajma is an excellent source of dietary fibre, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and phytochemicals, including phenolic compounds. These nutrients benefit health by promoting weight loss, reducing the risk of heart disease, balancing blood sugar levels, and improving gut health.
Several studies have been conducted to determine the impact of rajma on weight loss. For example, a study found that the consumption of rajma led to decreased body mass index (BMI), body weight, and waist circumference in overweight and obese adults. It also led to more significant weight loss and improved lipid profiles in overweight and obese individuals compared to a control group. Additionally, research shows that regular intake of white kidney beans has been shown to induce weight loss in obese individuals.
In summary, rajma is one of the most beneficial legumes to incorporate into a weight loss diet plan due to its high levels of soluble fibre and protein. These beans keep you full, slow stomach emptying, and help you lose weight. By adding rajma to your meals, you can benefit from its numerous health benefits while also enjoying delicious and nutritious food.
Other Health Benefits of Rajma
Rajma, or kidney beans, is a nutritious food that offers several health benefits beyond just aiding weight loss. Therefore, as per a study, increasing the consumption of beans is beneficial. Below are the advantages of consuming Rajma and how it can contribute to overall health.
Good for Heart Health
Rajma is rich in dietary fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals, which can benefit heart health. A study found that regularly consuming kidney beans lowers LDL cholesterol, improving overall heart health. In addition, kidney beans have low saturated fat and protein content, contributing to a healthy heart. Moreover, the potassium in kidney beans promotes better heart muscle activity, improving heart health.
Consuming Rajma can also lower the risk of certain cancers, such as pancreatic and colon cancer. Rajma is high in fibre, which promotes anti-cancer actions in the gut. The bacteria in the colon ferment the fibres, causing the development of chemicals that lower the risk of colon cancer. According to a study, regular consumption of Rajma reduces the risk of colorectal polyps by a similar method.
Metabolism is the chemical process that occurs in the cells of an organism. Specific proteins regulate these processes, such as transforming food into energy, allowing you to perform activities such as moving, thinking, and growing. According to a study, consuming kidney beans improves overall metabolic health, aiding in regulating the chemical reactions in our bodies.
Rajma contains vitamin B1, which contributes considerably to optimal cognitive functioning. Vitamin B1 synthesises acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitter that promotes healthy brain function and improves focus and memory. Furthermore, a study reveals that consuming Rajma delays the negative impacts of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Nutraceuticals for Human Supplementation
Beans can be a good source of nutraceuticals for human supplementation, mainly compounds that disappear with cooking conditions but exhibit crucial biological activity. These nutraceuticals aid in fighting some of the significant health issues of our time, including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, cholesterol, and more. A study reveals that increasing the consumption of beans is beneficial, which could be due to the presence of nutraceuticals.
Rajma’s numerous health benefits make it an excellent addition to any diet. Its cholesterol-lowering properties, anti-mutagenic and anticancer effects, prevention of obesity and lifestyle diseases, and enhancement of heart health, metabolism, and memory are some of the many advantages of consuming Rajma.
Rajma Consumption: Potential Side Effects
Harmful Chemical Component
The covering of uncooked Rajma contains a hazardous chemical component known as phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and lectins, which can harm gut health. As a result, vomiting and diarrhoea may occur. To avoid these side effects, it is recommended to soak Rajma for at least 5 hours and fully prepare them by boiling them for at least 30 minutes.
Antinutrients in rajma can reduce the nutritional value of other foods. In addition, substances such as protease inhibitors and starch blockers may impede digestion by inactivating various digestive enzymes. However, soaking the beans before boiling them can swiftly remove these chemicals. Therefore, soaking them for 30 minutes is sufficient.
Overeating rajma can lead to gas, constipation, and bloating. Therefore, watching portion sizes while cooking rajma is essential to avoid these side effects. Moreover, consuming too much of any food can result in weight gain, so it is crucial to eat in moderation.
Rajma is a nutrient-dense food with numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation. However, to avoid potential side effects, it is essential to soak and cook the beans thoroughly and watch portion sizes. Additionally, a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can help you ensure your diet is well-balanced and meets your nutritional needs.
Rajma Recipes for Weight Loss
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- Red Kidney beans, boiled:2 Cups
- Onion, thinly sliced: 1 (small)
- Tomato, chopped: 1 (medium)
- Green Chilies, chopped: 2
- Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp
- Low-fat Yoghurt: 2 tsp
- Salt: To Taste
- Red Chilli Powder: 1 tsp
- Chaat Masala: 1 tsp
- Potato diced: 1
- Fresh Coriander: A few leaves
- Soak the beans (2 cups) for 5 to 6 hours or overnight before cooking.
- After 6 hours, thoroughly rinse and wash.
- Add half a cup of water to the pan with the rajma.
- Now season with salt (to taste).
- In a regular pressure cooker, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Begin preparing the Salad: Add kidney beans (rajma) to a mixing dish.
- Add thinly sliced onion, chopped tomatoes (peel skin and remove seed), lemon juice, and green chillies.
- Season with salt, red chilli powder, and chaat masala to taste.
- Now add yoghurt to give it a creamy appearance.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander.
- Mix everything and serve!
Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Whole wheat wrap: 1
- Boiled rajma: ½ cup
- Tomato chopped: ½ cup
- Onion, thinly sliced: ½ cup
- Green bell pepper, thinly sliced: ½ cup
- Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
- Salt: To taste
- Red chilli powder: ½ tsp
- Cumin powder: ½ tsp
- Coriander powder: ½ tsp
- Low-fat yoghurt: 1 tbsp
- Fresh coriander leaves, chopped: A few leaves
- Combine boiled rajma, chopped tomato, thinly sliced onion, and thinly sliced green bell pepper in a mixing bowl.
- Add lemon juice, salt, red chilli powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder to taste.
- Mix well and set aside.
- Heat the whole wheat wrap on a non-stick pan.
- Spread low-fat yoghurt evenly over the wrap.
- Place the prepared rajma mixture in the centre of the wrap.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- Wrap the filling tightly in the whole wheat wrap.
- Serve hot.
Have you ever tried making Rajma hummus? Yes, you read it right! Hummus is a great snack option for weight loss, and by adding Rajma, you can give it a new twist. To make rajma hummus, take boiled rajma, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil in a blender and blend it to a smooth paste. Season it with salt and red chilli powder to taste. Finally, garnish it with olive oil, chopped coriander leaves, and red chilli flakes. You can enjoy this healthy and unique snack with carrot sticks, celery sticks, or whole wheat pita chips.
The Final Word
Rajma is a nutritious food with various benefits that can support weight loss. Rajma’s high protein and fibre content can increase satiety, reduce hunger, and boost metabolism, while its low glycemic index can help regulate blood sugar levels. Rajma is also beneficial for brain health, can lower bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, and is an excellent alternative to meat for vegetarians. However, consuming it as part of a balanced meal is essential. Furthermore, be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating, which can cause bloating and constipation. Therefore, it’s always recommended to consult a nutritionist to achieve your weight loss goals.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is rajma, and how does it aid in weight loss?
A: Rajma, or kidney beans, are legumes that are high in protein. These legumes are high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is also high in soluble dietary fibre, which keeps you fuller for longer and prevents you from snacking on harmful foods. As a result, it keeps your weight in check.
Q: How many calories are in a serving of rajma, and how does this affect weight loss?
A: When boiled, 100 g of rajma can have up to 130 calories. While rajma has a high-calorie content, it is a nutrient-dense diet abundant in protein, fibre, and other vital components. Therefore, having rajma in your diet can help you lose weight by making you feel satiated for longer and lowering your overall calorie intake.
Q: Is rajma high in protein, and how does this help with weight loss?
A: Rajma contains a good amount of protein considering it is a vegetarian or vegan source of protein. For example, a 100g portion of boiled rajma includes approximately 8 grams of protein. In addition, protein in your diet can help you lose weight because it promotes feelings of fullness and satiety, leading to lower calorie consumption and, eventually, weight reduction.
Q: Can rajma be included in a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet for weight loss?
A: Rajma has a higher carbohydrate content than other protein sources, making it less suitable for very low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diets, which often limit carbohydrate intake.
Q: How should Rajma be prepared for optimal weight loss benefits?
A: Several methods exist to incorporate rajma into your diet for weight loss without sacrificing flavour.
The method for cooking rajma is the same for any recipe. First, Rajma should be washed and soaked in water for 5-6 hours. Then, pressure cook the beans for 20-25 minutes. Next, you can add vegetables to make a balanced meal. For example, you can make healthy vegetable patties. It, like other legumes, can be sprouted. Sprouting rajma permits nutrients to be kept rather than lost during cooking.
Q: Can rajma be eaten as a main meal for weight loss, or is it better as a side dish?
A: Rajma can be used as a main weight-loss meal, particularly when combined with other nutrient-dense vegetables and probiotics to make a balanced and enjoyable meal. Balancing rajma with additional healthful and low-calorie items is crucial when serving rajma as a main course.
Q: Is it safe to eat rajma daily for weight loss, and are there any potential risks?
A: Rajma is the finest legume for weight loss because of its high protein and fibre content. However, consuming raw or partially cooked kidney beans is harmful because it contains high levels of phytohaemagglutinin. This toxic protein can cause diarrhoea and vomiting.
Q: Can rajma be consumed in moderation as part of a weight loss plan while still enjoying other foods?
A: While Rajma Chawal can be a nutritious addition to your weight loss diet, it’s crucial to remember to watch your portion limits. Consuming too much of any food might result in weight gain. Therefore take Rajma Chawal in moderation.
Q: Are there any specific weight loss diets or plans that incorporate rajma?
A: No, no specific Rajma weight loss diet or regimen exists. But on the other hand, rajma is nutrient dense and high in protein and fibre, which may help in weight loss by providing a feeling of fullness and satisfaction.
Q: Can rajma be combined with other weight-loss foods for even better results?
A: Yes, rajma can be paired with other weight loss foods to make even more healthy and satisfying meals that will help you achieve your weight loss goals, such as salads, soups, and curry.
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