Add pulses to your daily diet

Having your daily share of pulses will keep you healthy

For nothing, 'dal chawal' is the staple diet for most Indians. And rightly so. Do you remember all the dietary advice you got while growing up? 'Eat your pulses' or to put in simple way 'Have a bowl of dal every day.' Pulses include chickpeas, peas, lentils and beans. Pulses are members of the legume plant family which are grown for us to eat.

Traditionally, different communities of India prepare delicious recipes using pulses. If the Punjabis love their share of rajma chawal or chana-puri, the Bengali love their cholar dal. The Gujarati khatti mithi dal is something to relish with plain rice. Not to talk about the South-Indians' love for a meal of rice and sambar. Odisha's signature dish dalma is basically dal cooked with vegetables like brinjal, potato and pumpkin. Of course, you can also have your share of dal gosht and there are many who just drool over the much talked about Parsi dish dhanshak (lentil cooked with mutton).

Pulses are low fat, high fibre, no cholesterol, low glycemic index, high protein, high nutrient foods. They are excellent foods for people managing their diabetes, heart disease or coeliac disease.

Just sample this. One cup serving of cooked lentils contains more than 15 g of fibre, meeting 60 per cent of our daily requirement. The fibre in the pulses may improve heart health by lowering cholesterol levels. Pulses are high in potassium. Including more potassium-rich foods in your diet can lower blood pressure. Pulses are a great source of protein. This means they can be particularly important for people who do not get their share of protein by eating meat, fish or dairy products.

Even if you are a non-vegetarian, have your daily share of pulses. You can add pulses to soups, casseroles and meat sauces to add extra texture and flavour. Pulses are a good source of iron and fibre too. The fibre found in pulses may help lower blood cholesterol, so they are good for your heart.

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