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Health Benefits Of Power-Packed Pulses

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Being an Indian, pulses such as lentils are not new for us. India is famous for its multi-cultural cuisine. People always wonder about the food we serve because of its diversity and deliciousness. Pulses are a constant ingredient with other spicesDesserts, curries and other varieties of dishes can make with different pulses like lentils and peas.


Along with India, pulses have been used widely in cuisine throughout the world, particularly in Pakistan, the Mediterranean region and the near east. Pulse is an essential ingredient of a diet plan in health-conscious people who want to keep themselves fit. They are gluten-free and a great source of nutrients in a vegetarian diet. They help to generate enough amount of energy in the body.

Nutritional facts about pulses

 Pulses are incredibly rich in nutritional content and low in fats and cholesterol. They are rich in- 

  • Proteins  
  • Essential amino acids 
  • Fibres 
  • Carbohydrates
  • Antioxidants like polyphenols
  • Folate and iron
  • Minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium

Did you know?

What are dals and pulses?

Dals: They include moong dal, split green lentil, split chickpeas and split black gram. These dals are the most common and universal raw food items that one can find in an Indian kitchen. Different regions in India have their own take on forming delicious recipes for making curry. They form the main ingredient in several authentic Indian recipes. Dals are flavourful, nutritious and super healthy.

Pulses: These include chickpeas, mung beans, black-eyed beans, kidney beans and lentils etc. They are a native food in India and are known for making a balanced and healthy meal. They are gluten-free and a great source of nutrients in a vegetarian diet. They are eaten as an accompaniment with cereals such as wheat (in form of roti or paratha) or rice. They help to generate a good amount of energy in the body. Both pulses and dals are high in protein as they serve as the main source for vegetarians who abstain from eating meat, poultry, eggs and fish.

As you age, you might face some neurological issues such as dementia. Studies have shown that eating plant-based proteins in the form of pulses might improve cognitive function in elderly patients.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Health benefits of pulses

1: Great source of nourishment 

Pulses are the best source of proteins, fibres, antioxidants and complex carbohydrates. The varied yet essential set of nutrients helps fulfil a part of your balanced diet. All mentioned nutrients help the body to function normally and maintain a healthy life.

2: May help to control appetite: 

While pulses are high in proteins, complex carbohydrates and fibres, they are low in fats that help digest food slowly and give you a feeling of fullness. Pulses promote steady, slow-burning energy while their iron content helps to transport oxygen throughout the body. It helps to boost energy production and metabolism. Pulses are rich in fibres that help to increase the volume of stool volume and transit.

3: May work as a tonic for the body: 

Regular consumption of lentils, dried beans, peas and chickpeas are a great way to attain nutrients like protein and calcium. By consuming all types of pulse, you can skip animal products and seafood if you are a vegetarian. These various types of pulses are essential when you are in your growing stages. At the adolescent age, your body requires these nutrients that are present in pulses. Many children, who are underweight, weak or fall sick easily, need to include healthy foods like pulses in their daily diet. 

4: Good for the heart: 

People who consume foods that contain all types of nutrients like pulses and legumes have fewer chances to suffer from cardiovascular problems. They are very nutritious, with less amount of fat and cholesterol. Pulses prevent cholesterol-based heart diseases and reduce the risk of a heart attack. Also, high potassium and a low amount of sodium present in the pulse help regulate blood pressure.

5: May help to reduce blood sugar: 

Despite having complex carbohydrates, the pulses are low on the glycemic index (GI), which means that they do not let the glucose levels increase in your body. Pulses such as beans, chickpeas, green gram are useful to control increased blood sugar levels with eight medications.

For maintaining eye health, you must consume foods that are rich sources of vitamin A, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, etc. Pulses are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and proteins and might be beneficial for keeping your vision sharp.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Are Beans Vegetables? Exploring the Nutritional Value of Beans

6: May lower the risk of chronic diseases: 

Pulses have a rich nutrient profile which means that they have numerous health benefits. They are also high in antioxidants that fight off free radicals and keep the immune system healthy to prevent several diseases. High in fibre, they also help in keeping the digestive tract clear. Pulses are low in glycemic-index that means consumption of pulses regularly may control your blood sugar levels.

Also Read: Are Lima Beans Good for You: A Research-Based Health Perspective

7: Reduce the risk of cancer

Pulses are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that help to reduce the risk of cancer. Studies suggest that selenium from pulse helps to decrease the rate of tumour growth. It also helps to stimulate the immunity of our body and keep our body healthy.

8: Great food to eat during pregnancy 

Pulses are rich in folate and iron that help pregnant women to keep their requirements up to the mark. Including pulses in your daily diet helps to stimulate the production of healthy red blood cells. Some studies suggest it may help to prevent neural tube defects in women during their pregnancy.

There are hundreds of varieties of pulses grown. Some popular ones are- lentils, dry beans, cowpeas, chickpea, tur dal, black beans, kidney beans, etc. They are an essential part of our diet because they are healthy, versatile and nutritious. Pulses are also known as poor man’s food because of their low cost and availability. However, the benefits of pulses are on the higher side than the expensive supplements of proteins.

Also Read: Cranberry Beans: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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