Pulses Ticking the Pulse

Pulses are one of the important food crops globally due to higher protein content. Pulses are an important group of crops in India, which is also responsible for yielding large financial gains by amounting for a large part of the exports. Pulses are the major sources of protein in the diet. Pulses are 20 to 25 per cent protein by weight which is double the protein content of wheat and three times that of rice.

Major pulses grown are chickpeas (gram), pigeon pea (tur or arhar), moong beans, urad (black matpe), masur (lentil), peas and various kinds of beans .
Pulses are rich in protein, fibers, complex carbohydrates, low in fat, sodium and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. Pluses are important part of healthy and gluten-free diet.

  • Good source of plant protein
  • Pluses contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and other blood lipid levels, while insoluble fiber maintains bowel movements and digestion.
  • Pluses have a low glycemic index. This will help in controlling blood glucose levels and maintain high energy levels and lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Low in fat and sodium so it is a heart healthy option. Pluses are free of trans fats and cholesterol
  • Pluses are excellent source of folate, a B vitamin such as thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5) and pyridoxine (B6).They are high in potassium, a mineral which helps regulate fluid balance and maintain normal blood pressure. Pluses contain minerals also like iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium.

As pulses are good source of protein, carbohydrates everyone should eat it. Nutrition value of pulses make an important part of any healthy diet and can help maintain a healthy body weight.

Research suggests that eating pulses may help to increase satiety or feeling of fullness over the short term. Over longer periods, regular pulse consumption as part of a reduced caloric diet may contribute to weight loss.

Pulse consumption can help in managing blood sugar levels.
Regular consumption of pulses can lower blood cholesterols, a major risk factor of heart disease. Seeing this benefit of pulses it is considered as a heart-healthy food
Pulses contain fibers and minerals, which help in digestion and bowel movement.
Pluses are best alternative to wheat-based products. They add fiber, protein, many vitamins and minerals that may lack in a gluten-free diet.
Every vegetarian should eat pulses to get maximum amount of protein. A healthy vegetarian diet like Hummus with pita bread, lentils with rice, backed beans with toast are few examples of high quality protein recipes.

In India most of the pulses are locally produced and consumed, below is the main types of pulses:

  • Peas
  • Yellow peas
  • Green peas
  • Split yellow peas
  • Spilt green peas
  • Lentils
  • Large green lentil
  • Red lentil
  • Fresh green lentil
  • Split large green lentil
  • Split red lentil
  • Dehulled red lentil
  • Chickpeas
  • Garbanzo
  • Desi chickpeas
  • Spilt Desi chickpeas
  • Beans
  • Navy beans / white pea
  • Cranberry beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Great northern beans
  • Black beans
  • Dark red kidney beans
  • Light red kidney b