The Health Benefits of Incorporating Pulses into Your Diet
February the 10th was World Pulse Day so we're feeling inspired in the Root Kitchen to write a short article extolling the virtues of that nutritional powerhouse, the pulse.
Pulses are edible seeds that belong to the legume family and have been an integral part of the human diet for centuries. They are rich in essential nutrients and provide numerous health benefits to the human body. Pulses are low in fat and high in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, making them an ideal food choice for people of all ages. In this article, we will discuss the nutritional benefits of pulses and why they should be a staple in your diet.
One of the most significant nutritional benefits of pulses is their high protein content. Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies, and they play a crucial role in maintaining and repairing our tissues. Pulses are a plant-based source of protein, making them an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans who may have limited options when it comes to protein sources. They contain all the essential amino acids, which are required by the human body to produce proteins. Lentils, for example, contain 18 grams of protein per cup, making them an excellent option for people who want to increase their protein intake.
Another important nutritional benefit of pulses is their high fiber content. Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that helps regulate digestion and prevents constipation. It also helps lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Pulses are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which work together to promote digestive health. A single cup of cooked beans, for example, contains about 13 grams of fiber, making it a great option for those who want to increase their fiber intake.
In addition to their protein and fiber content, pulses are also rich in vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent source of B vitamins, such as folate, niacin, and thiamin, which are essential for energy production and a healthy nervous system. Pulses are also a good source of iron, which is important for maintaining healthy red blood cells, and magnesium, which helps regulate muscle and nerve function.
Another important nutritional benefit of pulses is their low glycemic index (GI) score. The glycemic index measures how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI score are slowly absorbed into the bloodstream, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels. This makes pulses a great option for people with diabetes or those who are trying to regulate their blood sugar levels.
Pulses also contain a number of antioxidants that help protect the body against damage from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells, leading to inflammation and disease. Antioxidants work by neutralizing these free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's.
Finally, pulses are an affordable and accessible food option for people around the world. They are widely available and can be purchased in bulk, making them a cost-effective option for people on a budget. Pulses are also versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to salads and side dishes. This makes it easy to incorporate them into your diet, regardless of your culinary preferences.
In conclusion, the nutritional benefits of pulses are numerous and diverse. They are a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them an ideal food choice for people of all ages. Whether you are looking to increase your protein intake, regulate your blood sugar levels, or simply improve your overall health, incorporating pulses into your diet is a simple and effective way to do so. So the next time you're in the grocery store, be sure to pick up a bag of beans, lentils, or chickpeas, and start enjoying the many nutritional benefits that pulses have to offer.
Root Kitchen has a delicious range of chef-prepared vegan ready meals that are available in wholesale or delivered to your door using next day, carbon neutral courier.
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