Unlock the 12 Health Benefits of Dalia (Cracked Wheat)

Health Benefits of Dalia
Health Benefits of Dalia

Dalia, also referred to as bulgur wheat or cracked wheat, is a form of whole wheat that has been parboiled, dried and cracked into smaller, quick-cooking pieces. It has become a popular breakfast, lunch or dinner option across India thanks to its health benefits and versatility.

Compared to regular wheat, dalia is easier to cook and has a nutty, mild flavor profile. It is an excellent source of protein, fiber, manganese, magnesium and other essential vitamins and minerals. Incorporating more dalia into your diet can help boost digestion, aid in weight management, stabilize blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.


Benefits of Dalia

There are many research-backed health reasons you may want to consider adding more dalia into your regular diet:

  1. High in Fiber – Dalia is made from wheat berries that have been minimally processed so it retains the nutritious, fiber-rich bran layer. Fiber is important for healthy digestion, weight maintenance and stabilizing blood sugar. Just one cup of cooked dalia contains 12% of the recommended daily fiber intake.
  2. Good Source of Protein – Dalia packs in approximately 5 grams of vegetable protein per 3⁄4 cup cooked serving. The amino acids in its protein support muscle building and maintenance which helps sustain energy and a healthy metabolism.
  3. Rich in B-Vitamins – Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine are some of the important B-vitamins found in dalia. These vitamins help convert food into usable energy, create new red blood cells and promote healthy skin, hair and liver function.
  4. Contains Antioxidants – Dalia provides antioxidants like vitamin E, phytic acid and phenolic acids. These compounds can protect healthy cells from free radical damage and lower oxidative stress which has been connected to multiple chronic diseases.
  5. Supports Heart Health – The soluble fiber, plant-based protein and antioxidants in dalia all contribute to improved cardiovascular function. Dalia has been shown to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol while lowering blood pressure levels as well.


Oats vs Dalia

Both oats and dalia provide valuable health benefits, but there are some key differences that may make one better suited for some people over the other:

Taste and Texture – Oats have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and creamy, smooth texture when cooked. Dalia has more of a subtle, neutral flavor with a chewy, grain-like consistency.

Cooking Time – Rolled oats cook faster than dalia. Oats need just a few minutes on the stovetop, while dalia requires 10-15 minutes of simmering to soften completely.

Glycemic Index – The glycemic index measures how quickly foods impact your blood sugar levels. Dalia has a lower GI of around 48 compared to oats which have a GI of 55 to 68 depending on how processed they are, making dalia the better choice for controlling blood glucose.

In summary, while oats and dalia contain similar amounts of protein and many of the same essential vitamins and minerals, dalia stands out when you are looking for more fiber and fewer carbs. Dalia also has less impact on blood sugar response. Consider your own nutritional preferences when choosing between the two healthy whole grains.


Popular Indian Brands of Dalia

There are many good brands producing high quality dalia varieties in India. Some top packaged choices to look for include:

Aashirvaad – This is one of the most well-known, mainstream dalia brands sold across India. Aashirvaad makes their dalia from select whole wheat grains giving it a light, fluffy texture.

Saffola – Another established brand providing healthy dalia options is Saffola. They focus on low oil preparations enhanced with beneficial spices.

MTR – MTR is popular for their regional specialties from South India, including signature dalia made from carefully milled wheat.

Organic Tattva – For those looking for certified organic dalia, Organic Tattva provides whole grain dalia grown without pesticides or genetically modified seeds. They produce plain and masala dalia blends.


Nutritional Value Per Serving

One of the main reasons dalia deserves a regular place in Indian cooking is due to its nutritional value. Here is the breakdown per 3⁄4 cup cooked serving:

Calories: 193

Protein: 7 grams

Dietary Fiber: 6 grams

Manganese: 96% DV

Magnesium: 16% DV

Dalia is very high in manganese, a mineral that supports bone health and nutrient conversion. It also contains significant magnesium and phosphorus along with zinc, copper, folate and B vitamins. The fiber keeps you feeling satiated longer after eating.


Delicious Indian Dalia Recipes

Health Benefits of Dalia
Health Benefits of Dalia

Here are three highly rated dalia recipe concepts to easily incorporate this ancient grain superfood into your meals:

  1. Dalia Khichdi – This comforting rice and lentil dish gets an extra nutrition and fiber boost from nutty dalia. Dalia gives khichdi wonderful texture.


  • 1 cup dalia
  • 1⁄2 cup moong dal
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • Spices: cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, green chilies, ginger, onion, tomatoes

Directions: Rinse dalia and moong dal. Sauté spices in ghee, then add dalia, moong dal, tomatoes and water. Simmer until dalia reaches desired softness. Season to taste. Garnish with cilantro.

  1. Savory Dalia Porridge – Whip up this quick hearty dalia porridge for breakfast. The veggies and seasoning makes it really savory and delicious.


  • 1⁄2 cup dalia
  • 11⁄2 cups milk
  • Diced tomato
  • Corn, peas
  • Butter
  • Cumin seeds
  • Dried red chili
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: Bring milk, water, tomatoes, corn and peas to a boil. Add dalia and spices, reduce heat, stir frequently until thickened. Finish with butter. Season to taste.

  1. Dalia Pulao – This flavorful one-pot meal highlights protein-rich dalia with warm Indian spices and mix of vegetables. Easy to make and packed with nutrition.


  • 1 cup dalia
  • Vegetable broth
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Indian whole spices
  • Onion, green chilies
  • Cilantro

Sauté spices, onion and chilies. Add dalia and vegetables, stir in broth. Simmer until liquid absorbed and dalia is tender. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro.


Potential Side Effects

Dalia is generally well tolerated but there are some possible side effects to note:

Wheat allergy symptoms in sensitive individuals

Digestive problems from extra fiber/carbs

Blood sugar spikes

Cross contamination with wheat or other allergens

Weight gain if overeating portions

Introduce dalia slowly watching for any sensitivities. Be mindful of portion sizes as well.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to the top 8 commonly asked questions:

Is dalia good for weight loss diets?

Yes, dalia provides fiber to keep you full along with protein to preserve muscle. It has fewer calories than white rice too. Just watch added fats or sweeteners that boost calories.

How do you prepare basic dalia?

Rinse dalia then simmer in boiling water or broth for 10-15 minutes until softened. Fluff with a fork before eating.

Why soak dalia overnight?

Soaking cuts cooking time in half. It also makes nutrients more bioavailable.

Is dalia easy to digest?

Properly prepared dalia tends to be easier to break down thanks to the fiber and nutrients supporting gut health. Those with sensitivities may want to limit portions at first.

Can you eat dalia on keto or paleo diets?

Strict keto and paleo diets prohibit grains, but some variations may allow small amounts of ancient grains like dalia. Check your specific diet’s allowed foods.

How long does cooked dalia stay good refrigerated?

Cooked dalia keeps 4-5 days refrigerated. Revive leftovers adding a little liquid before eating or incorporate into grain bowls or stir fries.

What is the best way to reheat dalia?

Reheat leftovers on the stovetop adding a little milk or water to refresh as needed for 1-2 minutes until hot. Stir frequently.

Is dalia healthier than rice?

Dalia has more fiber, vitamins and minerals compared to white rice. However, their calories are similar per cup. Dalia’s extra fiber gives it a lower glycemic load.


Wrapping It Up

As you can see, adding more dalia or cracked wheat into daily meals provides tremendous nutritional benefits from protein and fiber to essential vitamins and minerals like manganese and magnesium. Dalia makes for a nutrient-dense addition to breakfast bowls


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *