Loved by all as a heart-warming comfort food, pulses are one of the best sources of protein in a vegetarian and vegan diet.
Apart from being deliciously healthy, legumes also hold a special place in the hearts of organic farmers. As the plants produce nitrogen compounds and help enrich the soil for the next set of crops after harvest.
Add these 7 pulses to your daily diet, and make way for a zero-fat recipe all day every day.
One of the major ingredients in every pulao recipe, the kidney bean is a variety of the common bean. It comes as spotted and in colours – white, cream, purple, red being the most common. 100 grams of kidney beans contain 9 grams of protein. The beans are also rich in vitamins and nutrients such as folate, molybdenum, iron and potassium. As a good source of Vitamin K1, it helps improve immunity.
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are used in Indian cooking as Kabuli chana and black chana. They’re a staple in the Mediterranean cuisines, as they are the basic ingredient in Hummus. The dietary fibres in chickpeas help with weight management and improve digestion. They also lower appetite and aid in the reduction of snacking between meals. 100 grams of chickpeas contain a little over 8 grams of protein.
Also known colloquially as mung beans or moong dal, green gram offers unique flavors with a high nutritional value. Moong dals are especially good when sprouted and consumed as part of salads. 100 gm of boiled green grams contain approximately 7 grams of proteins. Rich in vitamin B9, a cup of moong beans makes up 80% of the recommended daily dose of folate. They are also rich in manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
Green and yellow split peas are dried versions of the common sweet peas. The difference in color is attributed to strains; however, there is not much difference in nutritional value. They are considered high sources of protein for anyone who follows a vegetarian diet. 100 grams of it contain 8 grams of protein. With a negligible amount of fat, split peas provide vital supplements in the form of calcium, iron, copper and folate. They are a good source of high-fibre carbs.
Small, round cherry-colored seeds, pigeon peas are native to India, although their usage in the continent is reduced now. Known as red gram, 100 grams of pigeon contains 14% of folate. Being so rich in folate, they are very good for anaemic, high blood pressure and general cardiovascular patients. 100 grams of pigeon peas also contain a stunning 21.7 grams of protein. It is a real boon to vegetarians who are looking for a pulse with high protein.
Also known as cowpeas or lobia, black-eyed peas have a rich nutty flavour that is especially good as a dry curry with roti, chappathi or rice. Nutrient rich, cowpeas contain approximately 8 grams of proteins per 100 grams. They are also a good source of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that prevent cell damage. The fibers present in the pulse support weight loss and aid digestive health.
Loaded with fiber, navy beans are especially recommended for diabetics patents as they prevent the rapid increase of sugar levels and improve insulin resistance. Navy beans or white beans are used in the preparation of baked beans in a traditional English breakfast. 100 grams of white beans contain approximately 8 grams of proteins. They are also a good source of Vitamin B1, manganese, copper and iron.
Almost all pulses are considered good sources of fat-free proteins and can be easily integrated into our daily diet. They are easy to cook and can be incorporated in many of our recipes including curries, salads, and more. Improving your appetite through pulses gets you one step away from harmful snacking. So, make sure that these pulses find their ways to your kitchen. Happy and healthy eating, folks.