Pulses are one of the oldest and most consumed foods in the world. Pulses are easily grown in most of the places worldwide and hence there are many varieties of pulses that are affordable and readily available for consumption. Pulses such as beans, lentils, peas, lupine, peanuts, etc. are rich in nutrients. As per a report, one can increase the nutrient intake in their regular diet upon consuming half a cup of pulses (beans or peas) every day.
Consuming pulses can significantly increase the quality of the diet. Aside from being rich in fiber and protein content, pulses also contain iron, zinc, magnesium, folate and phytochemicals such as tannins and saponins. According to a study, the intake of pulses in a regular diet is significantly low in the United States. Hispanic Americans reportedly consume more pulses than others. The study further states that regular consumption of pulses can improve the diet quality of Americans.
Many people avoid eating pulses fearing an upset stomach. In some instances, pulses especially, beans may cause flatulence due to the presence of carbohydrates that are not easily digested by our system. However, soaking and rinsing in fresh water before cooking should reduce carbohydrate levels in the beans. In the case of an upset stomach, people can increase their intake of pulses gradually. Here are some of the surprising ways to include pulses in your every day diet:
Five surprising ways to include pulses in your diet
1. Yummy dip
Pulses like beans, peas and lentils can be used to prepare delicious dip that can add flavor to any snack. Instead of using ketchup or store-bought sauce, ground and flavored pulses can serve as a healthy substitute. The bean dip tastes great with most of the savory snacks.
Tip: Rinse soaked pulses with freshwater and grind to form a smooth paste. Add some crushed garlic and spice mix for a yummy dip.
2. Pea powder blend
According to Glozine healthy news, when compared to some vegetables, peas have high nutritional value. The phytochemicals present in the pulses have antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects. Pulses like peas that have a low glycemic index are extremely beneficial for Diabetics and people with high blood pressure.
A surprising way of adding peas into our daily diet would be to include them in smoothies. Instead of health drink supplements or beverages a healthier option such as pea powder blend smoothies can up the nutrition intake.
Tip: Ground dried peas into a fine powder and store it in air tight container. Pea powder can be added to any smoothies.
3. Pureed beans for oil
Pureed beans can be a great substitute for oil or fat content in any baking recipes. Pureed beans are not only low in fat content, but they are a rich source of fiber too.
Tip: Pureed beans can be a great addition to brownies or cookies. Dark colored bean puree (black beans) can add color to any baking recipe.
4. Bean spread
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A wholesome breakfast can keep your energy levels high for the rest of the day. Regular intake of beans in your breakfast will certainly enhance the quality of your diet.
Tip: Substitute cheese spreads with bean spread over toast. Crushed beans with preferred flavors can replace store-bought spreads.
5. Lentils for meat minced recipes
Lentils can combine very well with any minced meat preparations like spaghetti sauce or meat balls. One can enjoy the taste and also get the high amount of nutrients!
Tip: Lentils can substitute for half the recommended portion of the minced meat in the recipe.
Pulses are the powerhouse of many vitamins and minerals along with protein and fiber. Studies have shown that for healthy lifestyle fitness we require daily consumption of pulses like beans, peas or lentils can enhance the diet quality and increase the nutritional value of our diet. There is evidence that suggests that arthritic patients with common types of arthritis can get some relief when they consume pulses. People who avoid eating pulses fearing stomach upset can gradually increase their intake of pulses to address the issue. Alternatively, people who do not eat enough pulses on a daily basis can get creative to include pulses in their daily diet.
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Kathy Mitchell was born and raised in the USA. She has done MA in English literature. She loves to publish her article on different health websites. In her spare time, she likes to do research on health information. She is an inspirational writer who firmly believe in the power of self-motivation. Also, she is contributing to Consumer Health Digest, which is a leading health news platform. Connect with her on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.