05May

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Our Indian diet is never complete without rotis. It’s our staple food. Have you noticed anything about flours lately? Aren’t more and more people turning towards multigrain flour? Where earlier there was wheat flour on the racks of food marts, now the shelves are laden with multigrain flours. Have you wondered why this transition happened? Why suddenly the food marts, television advertisements are buzzing with and going gaga over multigrain variety? Well, multigrain flour does deserve the reverence it is getting. One cannot deny its numerous health benefits. 

What is Multigrain Flour?

As the name suggests, it’s a flour made of multiple grains as less as 5 or up to 12 to 14 grains. The combination of grains helps in supplementing carbohydrates, proteins, some vitamins & minerals, and most importantly dietary fiber. All of this makes it a nutrient-dense food.

Multigrain flour

Commonly found multigrain flours in India contains a mix of below grains:

  1. Wheat
  2. Soy
  3. Maize
  4. Barley
  5. Ragi
  6. Oats
  7. Chana dal

However, if you have an allergy to any of the added grains, then you should exercise caution before consuming it.

Health benefits of Multigrain Flour:

  1. Since multigrain atta is a rich source of fiber, it is good for digestion. Apart from digestion, fiber helps in lowering cholesterol, reducing weight.
  2. It’s a good source of iron which makes it a better option for those suffering from anemia.
  3. Ragi added in multigrain flours is a rich source of calcium & hence it is good for bone health.
  4. It helps to control blood sugar spikes and hence diabetes-friendly.
  5. It is a good carb option for bodybuilders.
  6. Since it’s loaded with millets, it helps in lowering inflammation in the body.
  7. It helps in toning the body and getting the small waist you have always been craving.

 

Let’s compare the nutrient contents of two widely used and popular brands in India.

One is Aashirvaad multigrain flour and the other one is Pillsbury multigrain flour.

Nutrients per 100 gmAashirvaad Multigrain AttaPillsbury Multigrain Atta
Energy (kcal)365367
Protein (gm)14.514.5
Carbs (gm)72.9 (5 is sugar)72.9 (5.4 is sugar)
Fats (gm)1.7 (MUFA: 0.3, PUFA: 0.3, Saturated:0.9)1.9 (Saturated fat:0.44)
Fibre (gm)1311.25
Calcium (mg)5754.45
Iron (mg)4.48.78
Vitamin B1 (mg)0.5 
Sodium (mg)10.82.19

*Above nutrition information is as mentioned on the packets of Aashirvaad & Pillsbury multigrain flour

From the above data, both the available brands in the market have similar macronutrient contents. However, sodium content in Pillsbury is significantly lower than Aashirvaad. Hence, if you want to reduce your sodium intake, then we suggest go for Pillsbury. Pillsbury also has higher iron content as compared to Aashirvaad.

Aashirvaad atta, on the other hand, is fortified with MUFA, PUFA, and Vitamin B1, which are lacking in Pillsbury. The choice is up to you as the macronutrient content of both the flours is more or less similar.

But the problem with these store-bought flours is we can’t guarantee if the grains used are whole grains. The grains used go through a lot of processing due to which nutrients are lost. Hence, use the chakki fresh multigrain atta. ( Due to Coronavirus pandemic, flour mills are temporarily closed, hence you can use the store-bought variety till virus spread subsides and life normalizes). You will just need to buy whole grains for the multigrain mix & give it to a flour mill for grinding.

You can use grains in the quantity as below:

GrainQuantity
Whole wheat5 kg
Ragi500 gms
Chana Dal500 gms
Jowar250 gms
Bajra250 gms
Oats250 gms
Barley200 gms
Flaxseeds200 gms
Maize200 gms

(Make sure you do not have allergy for any of the above grains)

Lastly, whether you choose to get multigrain flour from the store or from a flour mill or make it at home, it sure is a nutrient-dense food with a plethora of nutritional benefits. Do include it in your diet.

References:

  1. Luxita Sharma, Exclusive Food Product Researches, Educreation Publishing, 07-Mar-2018 , Page no-68, 69

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