Pulses – Legumes – Nutritional Values
Pulse (legume, pea, or bean) is a fruit or seed of a plant in the family of Leguminosae (Fabaceae). In other words, it is a simple dry-fruit. This family contains over 20,000 species. It is the third largest flowering family.
Most common pulses:
Beans, chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, peanuts, carob, lupines, tamarind, mesquite, alfalfa, and clover.
Pulses are inexpensive and rich in protein, vitamins (esp. folate = A B vitamins), complex carbohydrates, iron. Phosphorous, fatty acids (both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) and fiber (both insoluble and soluble).
A balanced diet of pulses can be helpful preventing various chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, digestive issues, and cancer. The resistant starch in pulses and legumes are used as food energy by the intestinal cells by producing short-chain fatty acids (butyrate, etc.).
Pulses have a low glycemic index and inexpensive. They can blend well with other ingredients and even used as animal feed. They are key components in a wide range of plant-based meat alternatives.
Their storage (shelf life) can extend up to 5 years by following certain preserving measures.