Pulses are the edible seeds of various crops such as peas, beans, or lentils of the legume family. Pulses are said to be of high nutritional value and are affordable and widely available. They are a rich source of dietary protein and minerals like zinc and iron. Among these pulses, the dried beans and peas are preferred the most. They are cheap with high nutritional value and can play a vital role in solving the global issue of hunger and malnutrition.
In addition to being nutritious, they are also sustainable crops as they can be dried and stored for a long time and may be used when required. Also they can be grown easily in harsh climatic conditions and require slightest quantity of water, low carbon footmark, and enriched soil conditions.
Pulses are Essential for a Better Health
The health benefits of pulses are beyond satisfaction of our daily nutritional needs as quoted by the researchers and doctors. Research have shown that eating pulses on a regular basis can help you lose weight if you are overweight as its small portion can make you feel full and even decrease your appetite. It also shows that beans and lentils (classified under the same group) can help in controlling diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure (hypertension), which later leads to various hear diseases.
Studies have shown that eating a bean-based meal can make you feel full similar to that of eating beef or meat based diet but without gas or bloating. Beans are rich in pre biotics (non-digestible food helping good bacteria to grow in the gut).
A Healthy Twist in the Cuisine
Right from the historic times, pulses were used immensely as they could be stored easily in their dried forms and provide unmatched quantity of plant protein. Pulses are a very common element in everyday meal. The combination of rice and pulses is a traditional staple diet throughout the world. People from all over the world cook varieties of dishes using beans and other pulses. In India curried daal with steamed rice is very popular. In India, there are varieties of dishes prepared using pulses like various types of beans, peas, etc. Few of the dishes are:
This is one of the popular dishes in India. White chickpeas are first steamed and then spices like cinnamon, turmeric, and cumin in a base of coconut milk and tomato, along with chopped green chilly are added making it a thick and consistent gravy. This dish is not only made in home but is also served in restaurants.
Rajma or kidney beans are also a high nutrient pulse with a great taste. It is also cooked using spices and usually eaten with steamed or jeera rice.
A combination of different pulses, tadka is an all-in-one dish with a high nutritional value.
Pulses are not only healthy but also tasty. They are cheap and affordable and give high nutritional value to your diet. You should make it a routine to have a cup of cooked pulses on a daily basis for a better and healthy life free from disease or medication.