Health Gem

Tue, Sep 4, 2012, 01:00

IF YOU DO ONE THING THIS WEEK . . . PACK IN SOME PULSES

PULSES AREN’T always the most glamorous of foods: the likes of dried beans, lentils and chickpeas are generally cupboard staples rather than flashy ingredients. But research suggests that these edible seeds of the legume family are well worth including in the diet.

“Pulses and pulse ingredients, including whole pulses, split pulses, pulse flours and pulse fractions (protein, starch, fibre, bioactive components) offer an abundance of nutritional advantages relevant to chronic disease and health issues of global concern,” states a recent paper in the British Journal of Nutrition through Pulse Canada, a not-for-profit industry association.

The paper outlines how pulses are low in fat and relatively high in protein, plus they are a source of fibre and other plant compounds.

“Pulses contain high amounts of insoluble fibre which has been established to improve colon health. In addition, there are various phytonutrients including antioxidants, found in pulses that may have anti-cancer properties.”