How healthy is your ‘roti’?


The Indian bread or Roti has been a part of an Indian staple diet since olden times. It also goes by the names of chapatti and phulka, however, difference in names does not change its properties.

How is it made?

The roti is primarily made up of whole wheat. It is typically made by kneading wheat flour with water into soft dough, which is then rolled and roasted on a flat pan or griddle.

That sounds pretty harmless. What’s the problem?

Yes, plain rotis are quite healthy with a long list of health benefits.

  1. It has soluble fibre to help clean plaque from your blood vessels and prevent constipation
  2. Digests easily
  3. Has plenty of complex carbohydrates to give you sustained energy
  4. And plenty of proteins to help build and maintain muscle
  5. Has almost no fat (till you smother it with ghee or butter!)
  6. Doesn’t cause in make your blood sugar shoot up and then crash.
  7. Roti is also a rich source of vitamin (B1, B2, B3, B6, and B9), iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium etc.
  8. Vitamin E, soluble fibre and selenium in rotis help reduce the risk of cancer
  9. They are also low in calories – about 70 calories without oil or ghee

Normally rotis are made from wheat flour but those allergic to gluten can opt for bajra rotis. Bajra contains fibre, complex carbohydrate protein and low fat, making a healthy alternative to wheat.

Having said that, not all rotis are healthy, especially those made from maida. Maida is refined flour and has the same effect on the body as sugar – fattening. However, another option for healthy roti is chickpea flour. Normal chickpea flour can be made tastier and healthier by adding chopped cooked vegetables to the dough – like spinach, carrot, etc.

Interesting fact
Roti is a common term used for bread in many countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. But they’re not the same rotis. In Thailand, roti is actually a pancake made from wheat flour (maida), fried and loaded with goodies like fruits, honey, condensed milk etc.