Is it perhaps time to redefine your relationship with pulses?
Let’s be honest. Pulses are a necessary “evil” for a large part of the population. A food that plays a central role in the pyramid of the Mediterranean diet, but which is not adored by many.
Whether we belong to one or the other category, we usually consume them twice or even three times a week, because we are well aware that pulses serve as a “safeguard” for our health. Our mothers were right when they used to tell us as children that we should eat all of our beans, lentils, chickpeas as they are good for us, even though each spoonful felt like… torture. From the ancient times to today, pulses have been a very important and popular food, as they can be preserved for a prolonged period of time in dried form, while they are very easy to cook.
But what has made them a part of all cuisines worldwide and helped them maintain their “status” throughout the centuries is their unmatched qualities. To begin with, pulses are a source of protein and minerals, such as zinc and iron. Indicatively, a cup of chickpeas offers 45g of hydrocarbons, more than 14g of protein, 12g of fibre, 5mg of iron and 2.5mg of zinc. Also, did you know that beans and lentils help control diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, contributing to maintaining a healthy heart? Furthermore, pulses contain probiotics, which help with the healthy growth of bacteria in the gut.
Pulses are also ideal for those who are trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Research has shown that those who eat pulses regularly have a thinner waist and a 22% lower risk of being overweight, than those who rarely eat them. This is mainly due to their high fibre content.
If you do not eat pulses regularly because you don’t have enough time to cook them, we suggest you opt for lentils and black-eyed beans, which cook fast and do not need to be soaked before cooking. And if this is too time-consuming for you, you could buy pre-cooked canned pulses and add them to your soup or salad, after you rinse them thoroughly.
These superfoods are a real treasure for your health and you would do well to give them a second chance!