Choosing the Best Atta (Flour) for Your Kitchen
Health-conscious individuals often find themselves perplexed when it comes to selecting the appropriate flour due to the various types available, each with its own unique properties and nutritional benefits. Flour, a fine powder derived from grinding grains like wheat, is a versatile ingredient extensively utilized in baking and cooking. It plays a crucial role in providing structure, texture, and aiding the rising process of various delectable dishes such as bread, cakes, and pastries.
Types of Flour
Whole Wheat Flour (Wheat Atta)
Wheat, a cereal grain that is widely consumed across the globe, is derived from the Triticum grass, which is cultivated in numerous diverse forms throughout the world. Wheat Atta, the most prevalent type of flour, is an essential component in nearly every meal. This flour is abundant in a wide range of nutrients, including folic acid, vitamins such as E, B6, and B complex, as well as minerals like magnesium, manganese, and zinc.
In a 100-gram portion of wheat flour, it contains approximately 340 Calories, 11% water content, 13.2 grams of protein, 72 grams of carbohydrates, 0.4 grams of sugar, 10.7 grams of fiber, and 2.5 grams of fat. Whole wheat flour is the predominant ingredient found in Indian households among the various types of atta. It possesses a substantial quantity of gluten, which necessitates undergoing processing and refining to diminish its presence.
Jau Flour (Barley Flour)
Barley flour, known as jau atta, is a finely powdered substance derived from whole barley grains. This versatile ingredient finds its application in a wide range of recipes, such as bread, cakes, and biscuits. Packed with dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, it serves as a nutritious addition to any diet. Moreover, it can be used as a suitable replacement for wheat flour in numerous culinary creations.
Barley flour is a nutritious flour with a low glycaemic index and abundant dietary fiber. It enhances digestion and aids in weight loss. Additionally, it serves as an excellent source of antioxidants and assists in diabetes management. Moreover, it fulfils our daily mineral and vitamin requirements while boosting our immunity. Notably, barley is enriched with selenium, a vital element that preserves skin elasticity, safeguarding it against loosening and damage caused by free radicals.
Barley flour has a caloric content of 345 calories per 100 grams serving. This particular serving size consists of 1.6 grams of fat, 10.8 grams of protein, and 74 grams of carbohydrates.
Bajra Atta (Pearl Millet Flour)
Bajra Atta, also referred to as pearl millet, is predominantly consumed during the winter season. Abundant in essential nutrients such as protein, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and fiber, it serves as an excellent source of vitamin E, B complex, niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin. Consuming Bajra is highly beneficial for maintaining a healthy heart as it aids in regulating cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Bajra Atta, also referred to as Pearl Millet, holds a prominent position among the various types of flours. It is particularly prevalent in regions characterized by elevated temperatures. This nutritious atta is renowned for its abundance of vital vitamins and minerals, making it a true powerhouse.
The nutritional composition of 100 grams of bajra includes: 360 calories of energy, 12 grams of water content, 12 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of minerals, 1 gram of fiber, 67 grams of carbohydrates, 42 milligrams of calcium, 242 milligrams of phosphorus, and 8 milligrams of iron.
Rice flour is a great choice of flour for people with gluten intolerance. A staple in South India, this atta is made by grinding broken rice grains. In a 100-gram serving of rice flour, it contains approximately 11.9g of water, 366 kcal of energy, 5.95g of protein, 1.42g of total lipid (fat), 2.4g of total dietary fiber, and 0.12g of total sugars.
Maize flour or cornmeal is highly favoured in North India due to its prolonged shelf life. This nutritious ingredient is rich in healthy carbohydrates, fibers, proteins, as well as essential minerals like phosphorus and magnesium. In a 100g serving of maize flour, it contains 300 Calories. The total carbohydrate content is 63g. Additionally, it provides 10g of dietary fiber and 6g of protein.
Oats Flour is a rich source of various vitamins and minerals. It provides numerous nutritional advantages such as lowering sugar levels, decreasing the risk of heart diseases, and aiding in weight loss. Oats, a bountiful source of dietary fiber commonly referred to as beta-glucan, provides a wide array of nutritional advantages. Moreover, it is an ideal choice for individuals who have gluten intolerance. 100g of oat flour contains 389 Calories, 8.86 g water, 13.2g protein, 6.31g fats, 69.9g carbohydrate, and 10.5g dietary fibre.
Jowar (Sorghum) Flour
Jowar, also referred to as sorghum, offers numerous nutritional advantages. With its high levels of phosphorus, calcium, protein, and fiber, it aids in maintaining proper blood flow, which in turn impacts the overall functioning of the body and promotes cell and hair growth. Additionally, Jowar is a gluten-free flour option that is favoured by many individuals.
Jowar, as a gluten-free flour, is an excellent option for those seeking a nutritious alternative. It boasts a high fiber content and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals including phosphorus, calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin A, zinc, and iron. Jowar flour, weighing 100 grams, provides a total of 349 Calories. It is rich in protein, containing 10.4 grams, and has a high carbohydrate content of 72.6 grams. Additionally, it contains a moderate amount of fats, with 1.9 grams.
Missi Atta (Missi Flour)
Missi Atta is a blend of flours, mainly including gram flour (besan) and wheat flour, providing a rich source of protein for individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet. The combination of different flours in Missi Atta contributes to its high fiber content, supporting optimal digestion and fostering a healthy gut.
Missi Atta is a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, and B-vitamins, which play a crucial role in maintaining overall well-being. Missi Atta is an excellent choice for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, offering a safe and delicious option. With its low glycemic index, Missi Atta helps regulate blood sugar levels, making it a suitable choice for individuals with diabetes when consumed in moderation.
Ragi Atta (Finger Millet Flour)
Ragi, also referred to as finger millet, is an exceptional grain that serves as a rich source of calcium, iron, niacin, thiamine, and amino acids. This remarkable grain not only assists in curbing frequent hunger pangs, but also contributes to weight loss. Furthermore, it plays a vital role in the restoration of muscle tissues, bones, and skin. 100g of Ragi flour contains 455 calories and 3.4 g fats. Ragi is also an abundant protein source.
Kuttu Atta (Buckwheat Flour)
Kuttu Flour, derived from buckwheat, holds a prominent position among all types of flours. Usually consumed during fasting, it is also commonly combined with other flours to impart a robust, earthy taste and appearance.
100 grams of buckwheat flour provides a nutritional composition consisting of 343 Calories, 10% water content, 13.3 grams of protein, 71.5 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 10 grams of fiber, and 3.4 grams of fat.
This is an alternative type of flour that is abundant in essential nutrients. Multigrain Atta is made by blending various types of whole grains to offer enhanced nourishment. Multi-grain flour is made by combining various types of grains. These grains can be whole wheat (triticum aestivum), barley (jau), amaranth (chaulai), maize (makka), sorghum (jwar), gram (chana), water caltrop (singhara), soybean, ragi, and pearl millet (bajra).
Multigrain flour offers a nourishing and delightful alternative to traditional wheat flour. Packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, it serves as an excellent choice for individuals seeking a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, its low fat and cholesterol content make it an ideal option for those aiming to maintain a well-balanced diet.
The majority of products are manufactured using white or wheat flour. Although this poses no issues for most individuals, those with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or those who choose to avoid gluten for various reasons should refrain from consuming these particular flour varieties. Buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, Amaranth Flour, Oat flour, brown rice floor, and corn flour are among the well-liked gluten-free flours available.
How to Choose the Best Flour?
If you want to select the finest variety of flour (atta) for yourself, you don’t need to stick to a single type of flour throughout the entire year. Yes, it is crucial to ensure the excellence and nutritional worth of the flour you consume. However, it is not the sole factor to consider. You can try different flours and experiment. Go for the flour that not only promotes good health and is rich in nutrients, but also provides cost-effective advantages and aligns with the prevailing season.