Indian flatbreads or rotis are famous for their variety and sumptuous taste. We tell you about why the whole-grain variety have a nutritional edge over those made with flour. 

One of our most popular daily foods, the humble roti or chappati is found in almost every corner of India. Rotis come in different shapes and sizes. Also, they are made from various kinds of grains: wheat, sorghum, soya, jowar, bajra, besan, corn, and even rice.

Your daily roti is healthy

Your daily roti is probably made of the most common type, wheatflour. Fortunately, this is more nutritious than white breads and pastas, because whole grain atta contains fibre and vitamins.

You can enjoy savory rotis, made from seasoning the dough with spices such as fenugreek and even cumin seeds. These can even be stuffed with meat and vegetables. Or you can go for a sweet roti, with a dollop of butter and a sprinkle of sugar.

Bajra roti or Jowar Roti or Indian bread made using Bajra or Jowar, served with green chilly thecha

Wholegrain variety contains protein

Whole grain flours contain the 3 essential parts of a grain. The first is the starchy centre or endosperm. The second is the vitamin rich inner shell or germ. And the third is the fibrous and mineral rich outer shell, the bran.

Some kinds of rotis- such as those made of Jowar and bajra – contain more protein than regular chappatis. They also have more unsaturated fats, making them a perfect food choice for winter.

Rich source of vitamins and minerals

Rotis are a rich source of B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9), calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Research shows that whole wheat is effective for weight control.

In addition, whole grains reverse symptoms of metabolic disorders that pre-dispose you to heart disease and diabetes. And that’s not all.  Whole wheat rotis also help with digestive issues, such as constipation and flatulence.

Stack of not sweet frying flour Flatbread Paratha roti tortillas. Ingredients for Flatbread Paratha roti cherry tomatoes asparagus parsley wooden board served on light gray background.

Refined varieties lack nutrition

Industrial milling techniques today, have made it easier to remove the fibrous outer shell of whole grain. The consequence is that our rotis are more refined.  Though these may be fluffier and easier to eat, they aren’t as healthy, since they cause a rapid spurt in blood sugar.

Other refined roti preparations, like naan, also have fats in them. Eaten on a regular basis, these can raise your cholesterol level and lead to weight gain. So at the end of the day, nothing can beat a good old wholewheat chappati.