When you hear of the word pulse, I’m sure your head goes instantly to heart rate and good health. Mine does too. However,recently, the world “pulse” has been paired with foods and has started to have a good, yet different meaning–“dried seed.” Pulse foods are known for good health, but are specifically known as chickpeas/garbanzo beans, beans, legumes and lentils. Pulses are a type of food that are grown in a pod, packed with protein, fiber and phytochemicals, which are known to have anticarcinogenic effects! On top of that, since they are nitrogen-fixing crops, they improve the environmental sustainability of annual cropping systems!
Additionally, pulses can be counted as a vegetable and protein. Like other plant based foods, pulses are cholesterol free, limited sodium and fat and full of iron, folate, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.
Check out the nutrient content of certain pulses in comparison with a reference:
The concept of pulses isn’t new, as these dry products have been used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Indian cuisines for centuries. Yet, pulses are finally getting the nutrient recognition they deserve and with their versatility, you’re guaranteed to not get bored with these foods.
If you’re interested in adding more pulses into your meals, why not:
- Add lentils, chickpeas or beans to chili, curries, taco meat, meatloaf, (minestrone)soup,stir frys, tostados, salads or spaghetti sauce
The best part? Pulse foods can be incorporated into any meal, dish or snack! For my diabetic, vegetarian and gluten free friends, you can join in the fun too! What’s your favorite way to incorporate pulses into your meals? Have any recipes you have to share?
Photo Credit:India Mart