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Set Your Pulses Right

Posted Jan 26 2010 2:56am
Pulses and beans

Set Your Pulses Right

Set your pulses right! More so if you are a vegetarian or follow a vegan diet. Pulses or ‘dal’ a major source of protein is also very economical as compared to other sources such as nuts and animal proteins.

Legumes Defined: legumes are the most common plant family consumed by people all around the world. They bear fruits in pods which are casings with two halves. The seeds of legumes when dried are referred as pulses. Legumes are mainly classified into 3 major groups;

  1. Lentils
  2. Beans
  3. Peas

Some of the commonly used legumes are Pigeon pea (tuvar dal), spit chick peas (Channa Dal), garbanzo beans (kabuli Channa), kidney beans, Lima beans, soy beans etc.

Nutritional Benefits;

  • Legumes are an excellent source of protein.
  • They are rich in soluble fibers.
  • Good source of complex carbohydrates, vitamin B and minerals such as zinc, foliate, potassium.
  • Legumes have no cholesterol and provide low calories.

Health Benefits;

  • A major source of protein, legume provides essential amino-acid the building blocks of our body. Pulses should be an important part of daily meal for growing children and pregnant ladies.
  • Soluble fiber in beans helps lower the cholesterol and thus protect against high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Vitamin B3 in legumes helps keep the nervous and digestive system healthy.
  • Low glycemic index of pulses regulate the blood sugar levels and stabilize the metabolism.
  • Fibers in legumes give the feeling of satiation for a longer time, keeping a check on hunger pangs and obesity.
  • Hazards of high protein diet: Protein should make about 10-15% of a healthy diet. 50-60 gms of protein is sufficient in a day for a normal person. High protein intake may lead to many complications. Renal failure, osteoporosis and kidney stones are a few.

Prudent ways to incorporate pulses in diet;

  • Include high quality plant protein with very low glycemic index in daily meals for better results such as black eyed beans, soya beans and spinach.
  • All legumes are supposed to produce intestinal gas. To reduce the effect, soak the legume and wash for several times before cooking. Simmer on low heat for the gas to escape.
  • Include plant protein (pulses,tofu) for better health results to animal protein (meat, poultry, eggs).
  • Soups, salads, dips, hummus, dals, spreads are some of the ways to include the power protein in your diet.

Set your pulses right and stay healthy!

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