Falafel is one of the most famous dishes in the Middle East, and it is prepared from chickpeas or beans, so what are the most prominent health benefits? How do we prepare it in a healthy way?
Falafel is known by this name in the Levant and Tomia Egypt, and its mixtures vary, but generally it is prepared from chickpeas or ground beans, or a mixture of them, with spices and herbs such as parsley, then fried in hot oil in the form of tablets.
Falafel tablets are eaten directly, or placed in sandwiches with tahini sauce or chickpeas with tahini and green salad, and some people are proficient in adding pans of potatoes and eggplant in the sandwich, pickles and chili.
Falafel is served as a side dish, or many people eat it as a main meal, especially with fava beans and chickpeas with tahini.
what does it contain?
Here we present the food ingredients contained in 100 grams of fried falafel, equivalent to 6 small pieces of traditional small falafel, or 3 of the larger falafel, depending on the size of the falafel tablets.
- Calories: 333.
- Carbs: 32 grams.
- Protein: 13 grams.
- Fat: 18 grams.
- Dietary Fiber: 5 grams.
- Vitamin B6: 94% of the Daily Value, based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
- Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
- Copper: 29% of the RDA.
- Folate: 26% of the daily value for the body.
- Magnesium: 20% of the RDA.
- Iron: 19% of the RDA.
- Phosphorous: 15% of the RDA.
- Zinc: 14% of the RDA.
- Riboflavin: 13% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 12% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 12% of the daily value for the body.
What are the benefits of falafel?
- Falafel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps to feel full, as it occupies a large space in the stomach when consumed, while in the intestine it stimulates its movement and helps prevent constipation.
- Falafel contains – as mentioned above – a variety of important nutrients, including manganese, copper, folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, potassium and vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
- Falafel is an excellent source of plant-based protein, and proteins are important for building muscle in the body, and eating protein helps reduce the feeling of hunger, thus controlling appetite better.
- Studies have shown that the dietary fiber in chickpeas (which is a component of falafel) may help control blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates. The dietary fiber in chickpeas has also been linked to improving intestinal health, and reducing the risk of heart disease and colon cancer.
What are the harms?
Falafel is fried with oil, and therefore it contains a large amount of fat and calories. Freedom as a result of drinking falafel tablets with oil, and the result is that falafel may make your efforts to control your weight difficult, or increase the risk of obesity if you overdo it so that the total daily calories you eat exceeds what your body burns .
According to studies, eating fried foods regularly increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and this applies to falafel.
Doctors and experts warn that some restaurants may use oil for a long time and do not change it, and therefore frying falafel may be in oil that has been used dozens of times, and this makes it contain harmful substances.
How to prepare falafel in a healthy way to avoid potential damage?
The answer is through baking falafel, so you get the crunchy crust of falafel from the outside, as in frying, without the falafel absorbing a large amount of oil.
One of the ways is to heat the oven to a temperature of 200 degrees, then put baking paper in a tray and brush it with a little oil, and then form the falafel patties and put them in a tray and put them in the oven.
Bake it until the falafel is golden, and flip it. The use of baking paper ensures that the falafel will absorb the least amount of oil.
The second option is to fry falafel at home, thus ensuring the use of new oil, and using healthy vegetable oils such as canola oil and corn oil.