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MyDoc Tuesday Tips: Little seeds with enormous benefits

A pulse is an edible seed that grows in a pod, including beans of all kinds, lentils, and peas. Pulses are nutritional powerhouses, packed with proteins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. Its nutrients profile keeps us fuller for longer, and help reduce our risk of chronic disease. 


Pulse power

Research indicates that soybean consumption may help to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Black soybeans have traditionally been used in Asia to combat type 2 diabetes. Some of the health benefits of pulses include:
  • Keeping blood sugar levels stable
  • Reducing blood cholesterol
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Improving gut bacteria profile
  • Assisting in weight loss and weight maintenance 
  • Lowering the risk of cancer
They are beneficial for the environment, which indirectly affects our health. They have a low carbon footprint and only require very few fertilizers for growth. Growing pulses use 1/2 to 1/10 of the water in relation to other sources of protein and they enrich the soil where they are grown, helping to maintain and increase soil fertility.

Pulses on the menu

Pulses are a great choice for vegetarians, but meat-eaters should try it too! Pulses add good texture and flavors to meals and are normally cheaper than meat and fish.

One cup (approximately 150 grams) of cooked beans, peas or lentils can provide enough protein that replaces one serving of meat. It is recommended to consume various pulses 4 or more times a week.
You may enjoy pulses on their own as a side dish or as a base for vegetables. For entrees, try white bean soup, lentil chili, pea soup, or chickpea and bulgur wheat salad for a more satisfying bite.

Tips to reduce flatulence after eating beans

Baked beans contain indigestible carbohydrates that may cause flatulence. Soaking and rinsing dry beans before cooking, as well as rinsing canned beans in water before cooking, can help to reduce these hard to digest carbohydrates. If pulses are not part of your diet, increase them gradually and ensure you drink plenty of water.

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