Is Rajma Good For Weight Loss? What Does the Expert Say?

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Subhanshu Gupta, MBBS, MD, 11 Years of Experience May 22, 2024

What could be more satisfying than a home-cooked plate of Rajma Chawal? Perhaps the peaceful nap that follows on a leisurely Sunday afternoon. Rajma is a staple in Northern Indian cuisine, appreciated not just for its taste but also for its health benefits. When it comes to weight loss, Rajma’s high protein and fibre content can help you manage your weight. Let’s explore how Rajma is good for weight loss.

Rajma for Weight Loss: The Connection

Rajma stands out as a valuable dietary inclusion for individuals seeking to achieve weight loss goals. Its nutritional profile offers a compelling combination of properties that contribute to satiety, metabolic support, and calorie control. Here’s why you should choose rajma for weight loss:

Read More: Best Indian Diet Plan Chart for Weight Loss

Dietary Fibre that Promotes Satiety

Rajma is packed with dietary fibre (around 25g per 100g serving according to USDA), which helps you feel full for longer, reducing cravings and cutting down on calorie intake. This happens because fibre absorbs water and expands in the stomach, triggering receptors that tell your brain you’re full. It also slows down digestion, making you feel satisfied for longer and giving your brain time to register fullness. This helps curb the urge to snack on unhealthy foods and prevents overeating throughout the day.

Protein for Building Muscle and Boosting Metabolism

Consistent intake of protein-rich foods like Rajma enhances overall calorie burn throughout the day. Rajma promotes muscle growth and repair with its high protein content. Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat, raising your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and aiding in long-term weight loss. Protein digestion requires more energy, resulting in a temporary metabolic boost called the thermic effect of food (TEF).

Low-Calorie Option

With Rajma you can get a significant amount of nutrients (fibre, protein) for a relatively low number of calories consumed. Including Rajma in your meals helps you maintain a calorie deficit, a crucial factor for successful weight loss. In simpler terms, if your daily calorie requirement for weight loss is 1500 calories, a 100gm serving of Rajma provides approximately 330 calories packed with satiating fibre and muscle-building protein. This leaves you with more “calorie space” for other nutritious foods throughout the day without exceeding your daily limit.

Other Health Benefits of Rajma

Other Health Benefits of Rajma

Read More: Best Indian Diet Plan Chart for Weight Loss

Now that we have seen how Rajma benefits for weight loss, here’s a glimpse into how Rajma contributes to overall well-being:

Heart Health:

The abundant fibre content in Rajma plays a crucial role in promoting heart health. Soluble fibre binds to cholesterol in the digestive tract, preventing its absorption into the bloodstream. This can lead to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, a significant risk factor for heart disease.

Protein in Rajma may also contribute to heart health by helping to manage blood pressure. While the exact mechanisms are still being explored, some studies by PubMed suggest that protein may influence the production of hormones that regulate blood pressure.

Blood Sugar Control

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking system that assigns a value to foods based on their impact on blood sugar levels. Low GI foods are digested and absorbed slowly, leading to a gradual rise in blood sugar. As per Hindustan Times, Rajma boasts a low GI of 24, making it a heart-friendly choice.

When you consume low-GI foods like Rajma, your blood sugar rises steadily and remains stable for a longer duration. This prevents the sharp spikes and crashes in blood sugar that can lead to energy slumps and cravings for sugary snacks. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is crucial for overall health and diabetes management.

Digestive Health

Rajma is a good source of prebiotic fibre. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that act as food for the beneficial bacteria residing in your gut. These bacteria play a vital role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function.

By nurturing these good bacteria with prebiotics from Rajma, you promote a healthy gut microbiome. This can lead to improved digestion, reduced bloating, and a stronger immune system.

Rajma Nutrition for Weight Loss

According to USDA, 100 grams of Rajma contains a good amount of nutrients that can be beneficial for a healthy diet. Here’s a breakdown of what you listed:

Nutrient Amount
Water 11.8g
Energy 333 kcal (1390 kJ)
Protein 23.6g
Total Lipid (Fat) 0.83g
Carbohydrate 60g
Fiber, Total Dietary 24.9g

Rajma Recipes for Weight Loss

Rajma Recipes for Weight Loss

Read More: Is Diabetes An Unexplained Reason For Weight Loss?

Here are some ways in which you can include Rajma in weight loss diet:

Spicy Rajma Soup:

Sauté chopped onions, tomatoes, and spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder) in a pan. Add soaked and cooked Rajma, and vegetable broth (low-sodium), and simmer. Mash a few beans for thickening. Skip adding cream or butter for a lighter option. Enjoy hot!

Lemony Rajma Salad:

Toss cooked Rajma with chopped cucumber, bell peppers, red onion, and fresh lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of cumin. Skip adding cheese or sugary dressings. Garnish with fresh cilantro for a light and refreshing side dish

Rajma Wrap:

Spread low-fat yoghurt on whole wheat tortillas. Layer cooked Rajma Masala, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and a sprinkle of chopped mint. Wrap tightly and enjoy a protein-packed lunch.

Rajma Bowl:

Combine cooked Rajma Masala with brown rice or quinoa. Top with roasted vegetables, leafy greens, avocado (optional), and a drizzle of lemon juice. Customise with your favourite toppings for a wholesome meal.

You can include all these recipes in your rajma diet plan for weight loss.

Rajma Consumption: Potential Side Effects

While Rajma offers a plethora of health benefits, it’s essential to be mindful of potential side effects, especially for those with sensitive digestive systems. Here’s a breakdown of some common concerns:

Read More: Lose Your Weight to Reverse Diabetes

Gas and Bloating

Rajma contains complex sugars called oligosaccharides. These sugars are poorly digested by the human small intestine and end up reaching the large intestine. Here, gut bacteria ferment these sugars, producing gas as a byproduct. This fermentation process can lead to bloating, gas, and discomfort.

Soaking Rajma before cooking is a simple yet effective solution to minimise gas and bloating. Soaking allows some of the oligosaccharides to leach out into the water, reducing the amount available for gut bacteria to ferment. Aim to soak Rajma for at least 8 hours, discarding the soaking water before cooking.

Certain spices, like cumin, fennel seeds, and ginger, possess carminative properties. Carminatives can help expel gas from the digestive tract, offering relief from bloating and discomfort. Consider incorporating these spices into your Rajma dishes.

Health Complications: Other Considerations:

Before indulging in Rajma, it’s important to address potential health concerns. For those susceptible to kidney stones, the oxalates in Rajma could worsen the condition. Some people may find that Rajma triggers discomfort like migraines.


Read More: 7 Best Foods That Burn Fat & Help You Lose Weight

Rajma’s impressive fibre content keeps you feeling full, reducing cravings and calorie intake, while its protein supports muscle building for a potential metabolism boost. This low-calorie density powerhouse also promotes heart health by lowering cholesterol and regulates blood sugar with its low glycemic index. Finally, Rajma’s prebiotic fibre nourishes your gut for improved digestion and immunity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are some healthy substitutes for Rajma?

Look no further than legumes like lentils and chickpeas! They boast similar qualities to Rajma, being rich in fibre and protein, making them fantastic additions to your weight-loss journey.

How much Rajma should I consume for weight loss?

A healthy serving size of Rajma for weight loss is generally around 1 cup of cooked beans. However, this can vary depending on your individual calorie needs and goals.

Can Rajma alone help me lose weight?

Rajma is a powerful tool for weight management, but it’s one piece of the puzzle. For sustainable weight loss, it’s crucial to combine a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with regular exercise.

Can I have Rajma Chawal for weight loss?

Rajma Chawal can absolutely be part of a weight-loss plan, but portion control is key. Here’s how to make it work:
Opt for Brown Rice: Brown rice is a healthier choice than white rice due to its higher fibre content, which promotes satiety and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Control White Rice Portions: If you prefer white rice, keep your serving size small.
Focus on Overall Calorie Intake: Regardless of rice choice, ensure your entire meal, including the Rajma and other ingredients, fits within your daily calorie goals.

How to make rajma curry for weight loss?

Making a Rajma curry for weight loss is simple! Here are some key tips:
Skip the Cream and Butter: These ingredients add unnecessary fat and calories.
Embrace Vegetables: Add plenty of chopped vegetables like tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spinach for extra fibre, vitamins, and flavour.
Spice it Up: Spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chilli powder not only add taste but may also support metabolism.

Can you include Rajma for vegetarians in a weight loss diet?

Absolutely! Rajma is a great addition to a vegetarian weight-loss diet. It’s packed with nutrients that can aid weight loss, including high protein, dietary fibre and low glycemic index.

Rajma vs. lentils for weight loss: Which is better?

Both rajma and lentils are excellent for weight loss. Here’s a breakdown:
Protein: Rajma has slightly more protein per serving.
Fibre: They are comparable in fibre content.
Calories: Lentils are slightly lower in calories.
Ultimately, you can include both in your diet for variety.

Rajma vs. chickpeas for weight loss: Which is better?

Both are great choices. Here’s a comparison:
Protein: Chickpeas have slightly more protein per serving.
Fibre: Rajma has a bit more fibre.
Calories: Chickpeas are slightly lower in calories.
Both offer similar weight loss benefits. Include whichever you prefer or rotate them for variety.

Does rajma protein content for weight loss matter?

Yes, the protein content in rajma is helpful for weight loss. Protein keeps you feeling full for longer, reducing hunger pangs and cravings. This can lead to a decrease in overall calorie intake.

How is Rajma’s fibre content for weight loss helpful?

The high fibre content in rajma plays a key role in weight loss by:
Promoting satiety
Regulating digestion
Stabilising blood sugar

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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