Here are some common questions about Pulses.
What are Pulses?
Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. Pulses grow in pods and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognizes 11 types of pulses: dry beans, dry broad beans, dry peas, chickpeas, cow peas, pigeon peas, lentils, Bambara beans, vetches, lupins and pulses nes (not elsewhere specified – minor pulses that don’t fall into one of the other categories).
Pulses are a rich source of protein and fibre, as well as contains significant number of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc, folate, and magnesium.
In the last few years, meat eaters have switched to plant & pulse based protein which has become the No.1 healthy choice of food. It is also a preferred meal choice as it is low in fat content. Eating a diet high in fibre is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Pulses are consumed in every cuisine across the world. While pulses are mainly used for soups and desserts in India, many are experimenting by adding pulses to casseroles and meat sauces to add extra texture and flavour.
What are the nutrients found in pulses?
Pulses provide protein and fibre, as well as a significant source of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc, folate, and magnesium.
Do pulses have anti-carcinogenic effect?
The phytochemicals, saponins, and tannins found in pulses possess antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects, indicating that pulses may have significant anti-cancer effects.
Are pulses good for diabetes?
Pulses are high in fibre and have a low glycemic index, making them particularly beneficial to people with diabetes by assisting in maintaining healthy blood glucose and insulin levels
Are pulses good for your heart?
Regular consumption of pulses can lower blood cholesterols, a major risk factor of heart disease. Seeing this benefit of pulses it is considered as a heart-healthy food.
Are pulses good for our planet?
Among protein-rich foods, pulses have the lowest carbon and water footprints.
Pulses also improve soil health by naturally balancing atmospheric nitrogen in the soil; thus, growing pulses reduces the need for nitrogenous fertilizer.
Do Pulses aid in food security?
Food security means ensuring balanced nutritive meal to the poorest citizen of a country.
Pulses are an affordable source of protein and minerals for a large proportion of rural populations in the world.
➤ Pulses have a long shelf life, which means they can be stored for long periods without losing their nutritional value.
➤Deep rooting species such as pigeon peas are able to improve food security and nutrition of farmers in marginal environments.
➤ Many pulses are drought-resistant and are suitable for marginal environments. Pulses can be cultivated in arid climates that have limited, and often erratic, rainfall of 300-450 mm/year. These are lands where other crops can fail or produce low yields.
Protein obtained from pulses is significantly less expensive compared to meat based foods and milk. The iron absorption of pulses and the protein quality of the diet are enhanced when pulses are eaten with cereals and vitamin C rich foods.