Pulses are a sub-category of the legume family, and the term “pulse” refers only to the dried seed of the plant. Dried beans, lentils, and peas are the most commonly known and consumed types of pulses; are versatile and can be included in a variety of meals. Pulses have a host of health and nutritional benefits; they contain high levels of protein and essential nutrients such as fiber, folate, calcium, iron, and vitamin C. Pulses can be stored for many months without losing their high nutritional value. Pulses are as good for soil health as they fix nitrogen and boost the productivity of farmlands in the long term. Many pulses promote higher rates of accumulation of soil carbon and have been used by farmers in intercropping for many centuries now.
Let us now look at the following four main types of pulses and their nutritional facts. beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peas.
Moong beans or green gram is a widely used pulse across cuisines and is delicious when soaked and cooked well. Rajma or kidney beans are another. Kidney beans have protein that can help expedite the muscle-building process. Overall, these beans help strengthen bones, keep the heart-healthy, and lower harmful cholesterol levels. They are also rich in fiber and can help improve digestion. What is more? They can be churned out into lip-smacking recipes across any cuisine.
Black and white chickpeas have a delicious nutty flavor and a starchy texture when cooked and are popular across India, Iran, Mexico, and Ethiopia. They are packed with nutrients, are protein-rich, and help in weight management. They help control blood sugar, are highly recommended for good bone health, help build red blood cells, and is packed with vitamin B6 which helps elevate brain functions. It is always important to soak chickpeas, for at least 8 hours before cooking them.
Who doesn’t like a humble Dal preparation? One of the most nutritious pulses provides a variety of health benefits and a splendid variety to choose from! They are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamin B and can protect the heart. Red split lentils are known to be a food to increase eyesight. Dals can be dry roasted, powdered, and made into Rotis/ pancakes as well.
Black-eyes peas and garden peas are some popular varieties of peas. They are rich in dietary fiber and one of the best plant-based proteins. They are also a useful source of iron which is needed for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen around the body. Peas are also popular across cuisines.
Above all, pulses are packed with a host of health benefits, inexpensive, easily available anywhere in the world, can be stored without a fuss, and are highly versatile. All one needs to be mindful about, is washing thoroughly, and soaking as needed before it is consumed. A selfless set of four brothers ( read 4 varieties of pulses) who bring along their powerful ammo anywhere and anytime for the larger good. (read nutritive value)!