5 Frequently Asked Questions about ‘Pulses’

Have you ever heard the word ‘pulses’?

It’s not the one the doctor is using when checking your heart but it’s something your mouth would definitely love to eat.

Honestly, I never knew what pulses were until one night when I attended an event hosted by no less than Mr. Philip Goldberg, the US Ambassador to the Philippines, I get to know more about these little creatures.

Last April 19, Mr Goldberg presented several dishes and ways on how ‘pulses’ will be beneficial to our body. During the event, Mr Goldberg also highlighted that this year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has formally declared that 2016 is the "International Year of Pulses." This is part of the United Nation’s global mission to get us to eat more pulses.

...but wait, what the heck is a pulse?

To answer this question, I gathered the Five FAQs about ‘Pulses’:

1. What are pulses?
In technical terms, they’re the dry, edible seeds of plants in the legume family. In understandable terms, they’re a category of superfoods that includes chickpeas, lentils, dry peas, and bean varieties. They’re also incredibly healthy, affordable, sustainable and tasty.

2. What are some examples of pulses?
According to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, some of the most widely consumed types of pulses include dried grain legumes like kidney beans, navy, faba beans, chickpeas, dried or split peas, mung beans, cowpeas, black-eyed peas, and several varieties of lentils. 

3. Why are pulses so nutritious?
Pulses are packed with nutrients, and are a fantastic source of protein, which is particularly important for human health. Pulses are made up of about 20-25 percent of protein by weight, which is double the protein content of wheat and triple that of rice. When eaten together with cereals, the protein quality in the diet is significantly improved and a complete protein is formed.

Pulses have a low fat content and contain zero cholesterol. The Glycaemic Index (an indicator of the effect on blood sugar) is also low in pulses, and they are a significant source of dietary fibre. Since they do not contain gluten, they are an ideal food for celiac patients. Additionally, pulses are rich in minerals (iron*, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc) and B-vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and folate) all of which play a vital role in health.

4. Why are they considered superfood?
Pulses are nutritional powerhouses, loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They’ve also been shown to lower the risk of heart diseases and diabetes, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and help with weight loss. Gluten-free and vegetarian, they contain twice the protein of quinoa.

Black beans contain 1.5 times the amount of iron as flank steak, and chickpeas have three times the folate (as essential B vitamin that helps prevent neutral tube birth defects) as kale, Plus, pulses are high in fiber – linked to weight loss and feeling fuller – and loaded with more antioxidants than blueberries or pomegranate juice. In fact, they’re so nutrient-dense that nutritionists actually consider them both a protein and a vegetable at once.

5. How good do they actually taste?

Pulses can be prepared countless ways and are delicious as well as nutritious, which is why many of the country’s top chefs have begun including them in recipes from smoothies and ice cream to main dishes.

You can check this link https://pulsepledge.com/pulse-recipes/ for more easy to prepare ‘pulses’ dishes.


Do you want to commit to eat pulses once a week for 10 weeks and join a global food movement?

Take the Pulse Pledge here.

Happy Year of the Pulse! :)

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