Pulses: Little Beans With Big Opportunities

Courtesy of Pulse Canada As a new year quickly approaches, so does the United Nations' 2016 celebration of pulses. What is a pulse anyway? And why does the UN care so much about them? And, perhaps more importantly, why should you? Pulses represent 12 crops of grain legumes, which include dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils -- they are quite simply the little beans we have been cultivating from the soil for more than 10,000 years. To be exact, pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. They are low in fat, high in protein (about 20-30 percent) and fiber, and contain various vitamins and amino acids. They also improve the environmental sustainability of annual cropping systems because they are nitrogen-fixing and water-efficient crops; they use 10-50 percent less water compared to other sources of proteins. Eating pulses can help reduce obesity-related chronic diseases such as diabetes. By consuming as little as a half-cup of pulses daily, you can increase absorption of these key nutrients: iron (transports oxygen throughout the body), zinc (fights bacteria and viruses), folate (makes DNA), and magnesium (necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body; regulates muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure; and makes protein, bone, and DNA). You probably already are consuming these nutritiously-dense foods and if you are not, a day to start is in 2016 during the International Year of Pulses and more precisely on J...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

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