Wheat is the staple food of all Indians, just after rice. Irrespective of their locality, religion and language people of India use milled wheat for making their respective foods. It is used for making different varieties of Indian bread and other dishes. It not only makes us feel heavy but also has its nutritional benefits. The nutritional value of wheat depends upon the procedure involved to mill it.
Let us discuss about three of the major sources of wheat and the associated food value-
Atta is the urdu word for dough. It is basically wheat flour and used for making Indian breads such as chapattis. The whole bran of atta makes it a fiber-rich food with a fiber content of 10-12%. Hard wheats are rich in gluten which increases the elasticity. So, atta-made breads are easy to roll. Atta helps in regulating blood pressure and prevents diseases.
Many people are under the misconception that Maida has no nutritional value; it just adds weight and causes indigestion. But in reality, Maida helps a lot in providing nourishment to the body. Maida is obtained from wheat processing. About 83% of wheat is endosperm and the remaining is bran and germ. Wheat processing separates the endosperm, which contains all the protein and nutrients, from the rest. Thus in fact, Maida contains most of the protein and nutrient part of the Wheat. It is the cake flour that is used in the manufacture of Indian fast food, Indian breads and even some of the Indian desserts. Many products are labeled that they contain 100% Atta and no Maida. This is impossible and wrong since both Maida and Atta are import products of wheat processing. As a matter of fact, since Maida is a rich source of protein it provides nourishment and helps in repair of wear and tear in our body.
In India and Pakistan, Semolina is known as Rava. Its main source is wheat. In fact, it is a coarse, purified form of wheat. It contains carbohydrates, dietary fiber, fat, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Pasta, breakfast cereals, snacks items like Upma and desserts like Halwa and puddings use Rava. In the manufacturing process of Rava, at first the bran and endosperms are removed. Then, the endosperm is broken into smaller, coarse pieces’’. The endosperm is very fragile and the inner part breaks easier than the outer part.
Wheat prevents obesity in women. It is also protective of childhood cancer and decreases the chance of asthma. It provides a lot of energy to us to continue our day-to-day activities. Chakki fresh Atta, Maida and Rava are wheat-based healthy foods which does not produce any harm or side effects.