Pulses belong to the legumes family and are referred to as dried seeds. The most common types of pulses include dried beans, peas, and lentils. Moreover, they are packed with fiber and protein with minimal fats. This nutritional property of beans and pulses makes them the most suitable replacement of meat.
For the people who cannot consume meat for health or any medical reasons, pulses are a blessing in disguise. They contain the same amount of protein and are healthier as they are low in fats. You can easily substitute pulses with meat in soups, sauces, or casseroles. Pulses are also a rich source of iron and fiber. The high fiber content in pulses also helps reduce the risk of developing heart disease or type-2 diabetes.
Common Types of Pulses
- Baked beans
- Red, brown, yellow, or green lentils
- Garden peas
- Black-eyed peas
- Kidney beans
- Butter beans
- Runner beans
Interesting Facts about Beans and Pulses
1. Pulses and ‘five a day’ Phenomenon
As a part of a healthy daily diet, it is recommended that we incorporate five portions of fruits and vegetables in our diet. If you think you cannot manage this much fruit and vegetables, then let the pulses come to your rescue!
According to nutritionists, pulses are one of the main food sources that fulfill one of out of five portions of fruits and vegetables recommended for us daily. This calls for consuming about three tablespoons of cooked pulses daily. Interestingly, beans such as broad and runner beans account for more than one portion ofdaily recommended fruits and vegetables. So, pulses and beans all the way for a healthy diet!
2. Pulses and Beans = Protein Punch
If you have been searching for something to give you an instant punch of protein, then look no further than lentils. As compared to quinoa, lentils are claimed to deliver double the amount of protein per serving. USDA ascertains that only half a cup of cooked lentils will provide you with 9grams of protein as compared to only 4grams of protein per equivalent quantity of quinoa.
3. Beans are Iron Packed
Beans are an excellent source of pumping iron in your body. If you are an avid steak fan, then this fact is for you. Ditch your flank steak and jump on the bandwagon of beans. Only a half cup of black beans is claimed to contain more iron than regular 3-ounce flank steak.
Also, as not all the iron you consume gets absorbed by your body, so help your body is absorbing the most of it by pairing beans with leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, that are rich in vitamin C.
4. Beans and Pulses Are Environment Friendly
Consuming beans and pulses is not just healthy for you but also for the environment. Hard to believe? Well, pulses are acclaimed as having a carbon footprint that is less than any other type of food. They can increase the soil’s worth and need the least amount of chemical fertilizers. Legumes, for instance, are utilized as a type of rotational crops that are used by farmers for maintaining the fertility of the soil.
5. The Most Resilient Crops of All
Pulses are the most resilient crops of all. They require only one-tenth of the water consumed by other protein-rich produce to grow. They can endure severe weather conditions and still manage to thrive. They can survive days without water and also some of the most extremely cold days.
6. Light On the Pocket
According to the statistics provided by The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a single serving of common food sources of protein such as beef, pork, and chicken costs about $1.49, $0.73, and $0.63. Comparatively, a single serving of lentils costs about $0.10 only on average.
For a family of two or more, multiply these costs for at least three times a week, and you can see where most of your expenses lie. However, switching to lentils as a protein source in your diet can save you a lot of bucks and your health.
Some More Fun Facts about Pulses and Beans
- The meaning of the word Pulse is derived from the Latin word Puls which translates to “mushy, porridge, thick, and gruel.”
- Pulses have been around for several centuries. Some of the archaeological remains in Turkey have identified that the cultivation of chickpeas and lentils originated in 7000-8000 B.C.
- Africa has the widest varieties of pulses cultivated all around the world, including pigeon peas, common beans, cowpea, soybean, chickpea, and groundnuts
- One pound of pulses can be produced by only 43 gallons of water as compared to 216 gallons of water required to produce a pound of soybeans
- Pulses enrich the soil and increase its worth. They are known as nitrogen-fixing crops. They do not just take nutrients out of the soil for their growth; rather pay it back with nutrients.
- Pulses and beans are the most secure foods for storage purposes. They can be easily stored in dried forms without losing their nutrition.
- Pulses and beans are the most dependable food items. They are grown all year round in almost all the weather conditions. From frost to drought, these food items can withstand any weather condition
- Pulses and beans are the main sources of protein for low-income countries. Their protein content is almost equivalent to that of the meat; hence, people use beans in place ofmeat in numerous cuisines.
- If you thought that protein is the only essential nutrient pulses could provide you then be ready to change your mind. Pulses are an excellent source of fiber, folate, and even calcium, lysine, vitamin C, and potassium.
- Pulses incorporated into the daily diet of kids and expecting mothers keep fueling the growth process as they are rich in folate – a nutrient that is essential for babies and mothers.
Even with a little side effect of being flatulent, pulses and beans cannot be disregarded. They are arich source of protein and iron, along with other abundant nutrients. They are perfect for weight-loss diet plans as they fill you up with fiber and help you keep away from binge eating. They are ideal food items for storing for a long time and are thus, one of the most dependable food items.
Incorporating pulses and beans in your daily diet is not only good for your health but also lighter on your budget. So make the right and most informed choice of switching to the more sustainable food items.