Health & Nutrition
Source of Protein
Typically, pulses contain twice the amount of protein found in whole grain cereals like wheat, oats, barley and rice. Pulses have higher amounts of the essential amino acid lysine whereas cereals have higher amounts of the essential amino acids methionine and cysteine, so blending pulses with cereals or nuts results in a better quality protein that contains all essential amino acids in appropriate amounts. This is particularly important for people eating vegetarian or vegan diets.
High in Fibre
Pulses are very high in fibre, and contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. While soluble fibre helps to decrease blood cholesterol levels and control blood sugar levels, insoluble fibre helps with digestion and regularity. According to Health Canada, Canadian women need 25 grams of fibre per day and men need 38 grams of fibre per day, but most Canadians are only getting about half that much. Eating just 125 mL (1/2 cup) of cooked pulses provides 7 – 17 g of fibre.
Pulses provide substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals including iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Pulses are also abundant in B vitamins including folate, thiamin and niacin.
Reduced Risk Factors for CVD and Diabetes
Pulses have a low glycemic index which means they do not cause a fast rise in blood sugar after eating. Studies have shown that eating pulses is a good way to manage blood sugar levels which is particularly important for people with diabetes. There is also strong scientific evidence linking regular pulse consumption to lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure (which may reduce your risk of heart disease).
Satiety and Weight Management
Research suggests that pulses may help to increase satiety over the short term. Pulses have also been shown increase weight loss when used in energy restricted diets.