World Pulses Day, celebrated annually on February 10th, is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the benefits of pulses – a term used to describe leguminous crops such as lentils, beans, chickpeas, and peas. This day is a unique opportunity to bring together people from all over the world to celebrate and educate others about the numerous benefits of pulses in our diets.
This year the theme for World Pulses Day is ‘Pulses for a Sustainable Future.’ The theme focuses on creating equitable possibilities for livelihoods, which are important for developing sustainable agri-food systems.
Pulses have been a staple food in India for centuries and are considered a highly nutritious and sustainable food source. They are low in fat, high in protein and fibre, and rich in essential minerals and vitamins. Additionally, pulses are considered an important source of plant-based protein, which makes them an ideal ingredient for vegetarians and vegans.
In this blog, we will explore why including pulses in your diet is so important. From their role in improving heart health and aiding in weight management, we will dive into the science behind the benefits of this versatile and nutritious food. We will also highlight the nutritional value of pulses to get clarity on the richness of this superfood.
Nutritional value of pulses
Pulses are packed with:
Protein: A bowl of cooked pulses can provide between 7-18 grams of protein, depending on the type of pulse.
Fibre: Pulses are high in fibre, with a one-bowl serving of cooked pulses providing between 6-16 grams of fibre.
Complex carbohydrates: One bowl of cooked pulses contains about 40-60 grams of carbohydrates, depending on the type of pulse.
Folate: One-bowl serving of cooked lentils, for example, provides about 90% of the recommended daily value (DV) of folate.
Iron: One bowl of cooked lentils contains about 6.6 milligrams of iron or about 37% of the recommended daily value (DV).
Potassium: One bowl of cooked lentils contains about 731 milligrams of potassium or about 21% of the recommended daily value (DV).
Other micronutrients: Pulses are also a good source of other micronutrients, including magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B.
Top 5 health benefits of pulses
Pulses are a great source of nutrients
Pulses, such as lentils, beans, chickpeas, and peas, are a great source of essential nutrients for maintaining a healthy diet. They provide protein, fibre, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Incorporating pulses into your diet can regulate digestion, sustain energy, prevent chronic conditions, and protect cells from damage. Eating pulses can help you achieve a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet.
Good for heart health
Pulses contain fibre which helps lower cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease. Pulses also provide protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit heart health. Including pulses in your diet can help maintain a healthy weight, regulate blood sugar levels, and improve cardiovascular function. Pulses are a delicious and nutritious addition to any heart-healthy diet.
Supports in managing blood sugar levels
Pulses have a low glycemic index and are a good source of fibre, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. They also contain protein, which can slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, further helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Incorporating pulses into a balanced diet can also help promote overall health and prevent chronic diseases.
Eliminates the risk of cancer
There is some evidence to suggest that consuming pulses, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas, may help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Pulses are rich in fibre, antioxidants, and other nutrients that have been shown to have a positive impact on health.
Pulses are low in fat and high in protein, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels and support a healthy weight, both of which have been linked to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer.
Superfood for pregnant women
Pulses, also known as legumes, are a healthy food choice for pregnant women as they provide essential nutrients such as protein, fibre, folate, iron, and zinc. These nutrients support the growth and development of the baby and help keep the mother healthy during pregnancy. Pulses are also low in fat and calories, making them a great food for weight management during pregnancy. Additionally, they are versatile and can be easily incorporated into many meals.
Pulses are an excellent addition to anyone’s diet due to their numerous health benefits. They are low in fat and calories, high in protein and fibre, and packed with essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B. Consuming pulses can help regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Furthermore, on world pulses day let’s promise to add pulses to our diets as they are versatile and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes, making it easy to add them to your diet. Whether you’re struggling to lose weight, improve your health, or simply enjoy delicious and nutritious food, pulses should be a staple in your pantry. So go ahead, experiment with different types of pulses, and see how they can enhance your diet and overall well-being.