Pulses

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Pulses, lentils or Dal are one of the best-known sources of proteins.  Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family.  It grows in pods and comes in variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.  Pulses have always been very important in a typical Indian meal.  It is easily one of the most adaptable ingredients in an Indian kitchen.  Each region has a favorite dal, and well every household has a different way of preparing their dal.  

 

Major pulses grown in India are chickpeas (gram), pigeon pea (tur or arhar), moong beans, urad (black matpe), masur (lentil), peas and various kinds of beans . Dal is most commonly served with steamed rice or rotis but apart from that dal is used to make rasam, halwas, chillas, missal pav, kachodis, stews, etc. and the list is endless.  It is very difficult to imagine a home cooked food without our favorite dal on the side.  Each dal has its own set of nutritional value.  For example, moong dal is considered to be healthiest of all with an added advantage of being easily digestible even by an infant.  It would be a good idea to have a mix of all varieties of dal in your diet.  Pulses are super high in fiber, protein, iron and folate all of which are essential to a healthy diet. Pulses are both nutritious and inexpensive and incredibly delicious if prepared in the right way.

 

Benefits of Organic Pulses:

  1. Pulses are high in fiber both soluble and insoluble.  A bowl of cooked lentils contains about 15 g of fiber.
  2. Pulses are low-glycemic index food.  When the low-glycemic pulses are combined with a serving of roti or rice, it becomes a wholesome meal.
  3. We all know that pulses are high in protein.  They are very easy to prepare and can serve as a great alternative to meat.  Proteins in pulses lack certain essential amino acids and are said to be incomplete proteins but when it is combined with other cereals the lack of amino acid is made up by other cereal.
  4. It improves overall heart health and lowers cholesterol being rich in dietary fiber and low in fat.
  5. Pulses are rich in complex carbohydrates, micronutrients, and B-vitamins.
  6. Being protein and fiber dense it helps to increase satiety and will keep you full longer, and hence reduce overall caloric intake.
  7. Pulses are rich in folate and iron, which is especially beneficial during and after pregnancy.
  8. Pulses are good for people with gluten intolerance.
  9. It is an extremely nutrient dense food which is very easy to store and can be prepared in countless ways.
  10. Apart from its nutrient value, legumes are also beneficial for environmental health as they help fix nitrogen in the soil and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.

It is very important to choose the unpolished and natural pulses.  Your pulses should be free from any harmful chemicals such as marble powder, leather polish, oil polish or pesticides. So, take an active interest in buying the right product for your family.

Even if you are a non-vegetarian, have your daily dose of pulses.  They are easily the most versatile ingredient which can be incorporated in our diet very easily.  It can be used in every meal of the day from breakfast, to lunch and dinner.

 

– An Article by Ranjeeta Pathak ( A health Enthusiast)