Pulses, belonging to the legume family, have been sustaining g human civilisation on for thousands of years. Also known as grain legumes, they include a group of 12 crops featuring the likes of dry peas, lentils, dry beans and chickpeas. They come packed with a variety of health benefits and even mana get to leave you satiate ed without the high risk of weight gain or disease. So what exactly y made this a go-to food group for nutritionists and chefs alike this year?
They help repair damaged cells in the body because they not only have a rich source of Vitamin B folate, but also high antioxidant levels. The folate also works to produce and maintain new cells, making them a major player in the periods of growth, like in infancy and during pregnancy. That’s why mothers-to-be are advised to increase their iron and folate consumption before and after the pregnancy to help reduce the risk of birth defects or anaemia.
Here’s another way this low-glycaemic index food comes in handy. It has a minimal effect on your blood sugar and only causes a small rise, unlike carbs which cause it to spike. By adding more low-glycaemic foods into your diet, you’re effectively lowering the risk of diabetes. In the event you already have diabetes, pulses work to make it a little easier to manage your blood sugar.
Friendly with The Gut
We wouldn’t wish constipation on our worst enemy. In fact, we’d recommend these fibre rich pulses to prevent constipation and promote regularity. Just like eating your kales and spinaches, the fibre is a natural laxative that will keep your tummy smiling by ensuring that there isn’t a back log of inventory.
In the fight against cardiovascular disease, including more pulses to your diet can help lower your risk level. Researchers have found that consuming pulses daily can lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels by five per cent due to the high fibre in the pulses. Mix these with more potassium-rich foods and they can aid in lowering blood pressure and fight the sodium effects on your body.
Helps with Weight Loss
The most obvious impact of pulses is their protein and fibre which lead to increased feelings of satiety; making you snack less throughout the day. Then there are its burning capabilities. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, consuming pulses increases the burning of fat and carbohydrates in the individual. They believe this is because pulses contain more of a certain amino acid known as arginine. Throw in the fact that they have a low glycaemic index, and you have the ideal food for weight loss.
Keeps Exhaustion at Bay
Does the fatigue get you down? Try increasing your pulse intake. The fact that they have a low glycaemic index enables a slow and steady release of glucose, which is ideal. This is unlike carbohydrates, which causes a sudden surge of energy inevitably leading to a crash leaving you feeling even more lethargic than before.
Whether you occasionally take a break from carnivorous life or you’re completely in the vegetarian lifestyle, pulses are a perfect avenue to get your protein fix. In addition, you’ll pay much less than what you’d need to cough up for animal proteins. Disclaimer: pulses don’t offer all the essential amino acids your body requires so ensuring you get a good balance going by adding other grains and veggies into your diet is crucial. Soybeans, is one of the few exceptions to the rule, being a plant food that can provide you will all essential amino acids. Oh, and did we mention that they are also gluten-free? Which makes this a great alternative for someone with Celiac disease.