7 Reasons to Love Pulses
If you think you’ve never heard of pulses- think again! Pulses are just another word for legumes, which include dry peas, dry beans, lentil, and chickpeas. Pulses are actually the edible seeds of plants with a pod, but don’t include their fresh counterparts, like green beans or soy beans. This is because soy beans and green beans have a much higher fat content, while pulses contain almost no fat- making them the perfect addition to any diet.
However, if you’re not used to eating them on a daily basis, be sure to add them into your diet gradually to help control the bloating and gas that can often result from eating large amounts of them at one time. But don’t let that scare you! The ease with which they can be prepared and the health benefits they bring will quickly make them your next favorite food group.
Pulses are amazing because not only are there benefits from eating them, but there are also benefits from growing them, both industrially on farms and at home. Pulses are one of the few families of plants that make their own nitrogen fertilizer by siphoning off nitrogen from the air. This ensures that the soil remains healthy through the entire growth cycle. There are tons of reasons to love pulses. Find a few of them below!
Pulses are super high in fiber
Whole grain and pulses are the best source of dietary fiber that you can find in supermarkets today. We usually think of getting fiber from things like bread and cereal, but studies have shown that on average, a slice of white bread only contains between 0.5 and 0.8 grams of fiber. That’s not much, considering most doctors recommend ingesting between 25 grams (for women) and 38 grams (for men) per day. You’d have to eat over 50 slices of white bread to get the recommended minimum per day! Pulses contain anywhere between 4.4 grams and 16 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Doctors recommend eating 5 servings of pulses per day, and if you followed that suggestion, you would easily get enough fiber in your diet.
There are tons of different types of pulses to try
Some common pulses include black beans, kidney beans, cranberry beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Many cultures around the world have a staple food involving a simple puree of cooked or raw pulses, such as dal from India, and hummus from the Middle East. These recipes have become staples because they’re easy, and healthy too. Since many pulses have a similar texture once pureed, try switching up an old recipe with a new type of pulse that you may not have tried before. Why not make your favorite hummus recipe, and substitute in cranberry beans for the chickpeas, or try making a new kind of dip with black beans?