Hummus from middle east, Navy beans from British Breakfast, Indian daals all come from leguminous crops. And are staple of diets worldwide.
Pulses are legumes that do not yield oil and not picked green. Usually, 12 grains of seeds of variable size, shape and colour within are pod. These are used for both food and feed.
These are very good for fixing nitrogen and good protein sources too.
The commonly used pulses in India are Bengal gram, Pigeon peas, Green Beans, Chickpeas, Black Matpe, Kidney beans, Black eyed peas, Lentils, white peas.
Nutritional value of pulses is:
340 calories per 100gms.
They give 20-25% protein that makes twice what is available from cereals. Though they are a bit deficient in amino acids.
The fat content is 1.5%
Pules also contain calcium magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus. And are nature sources of Vitamin B complex, particularly thiamine, folic acid, and pantothenic acid. In their ungerminated state pulses do not contain vitamin A or C however germinated pulses contain vitamin
why eat pulses:
- Pulses are naturally low in fat and contain no cholesterol.
- Pulses are low in sodium.
- Pulses are a natural plant-based protein. However cooked lentils loose 8% of the 25gms, of protein that the dry legumes contain.
- Pulses are a good source of iron. To optimize iron absorption, it should be combined with a vitamin C source.
- Pulses are good source of potassium which are important for digestive and muscular function.
- Pulses are high fibre food; this helps to support digestive health and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Pulses are also a great source of folate a naturally occurring Vitamin B component. It is essential to the nervous system function. Particularly during pregnancy to prevent foetal defects.
- As pulses can be stored for long time, they help in providing dietary diversity particularly in developing countries.
- The low glycaemic index of pulses helps to stabilize sugar and insulin.
- It is also naturally gluten free.
United Nations has declared 10th February as world Pulses Day since 2016. Check for collection of pulses-based recipe from across the world.