Eating more Pulses & Beans

Pulses BenefitsPulses – which are defined as an edible seed that grows in a pod – can be a truly excellent component of your diet and eating habits. As well as counting towards your ‘Five a Day’ of fruit and vegetables, they are a low-fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Due to their protein content, pulses are often favoured by those that do not get protein from meat, fish or dairy products. However, they can also be beneficial for meat-eaters too – pulses can be added to dishes to add flavour, texture and volume, meaning that less meat can be used and thus reducing the fat content (and price!) of the dish.

And the advantages of pulses just keep coming! The fibre found in pulses could be beneficial in lowering blood cholesterol, plus their iron content could avoid the need for iron supplements. They’re also an excellent source of folate, which has been found to lower homocysteine levels (high levels of the protein homocysteine can damage arteries and promote plaque buildup and blood clots – this damage can slow or even block blood flow to the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke)

Finally, remember that pulses are gluten free! They’re a great alternative to wheat-based products and add starch, fibre, protein, and many vitamins and minerals that may be lacking from a gluten-free diet.

Examples of pulses:

  • baked beans
  • runner beans
  • garden peas
  • red, green, yellow and brown lentils
  • black-eyed peas
  • chickpeas
  • kidney beans
  • broad beans
  • butter beans