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Health Benefits of Pulses

As the world observes International Pulses Day on 10th February, let's discuss some nutritional and health benefits of eating pulses, beans and lentils.

  • 10 Feb 2021
  • 2 min read

The food you eat plays a significant role in your overall health and fitness. Unhealthy fast foods can have a detrimental effect on your body, making it weak and prone to diseases. On the other hand, a balanced diet supplies the required nutrients to your body and mind to keep you strong and healthy. It also helps in maintaining good body weight and improves metabolic functions.

Various pulses, including lentils, dried peas, kidney beans and chickpeas, constitute an essential part of a balanced diet. They are a rich source of vitamins and nutrients such as protein, fibre, calcium etc. Pulses also supply minerals such as iron, zinc, folate and magnesium into the body and hence, their addition to your diet may help you live a healthy lifestyle.

The United Nations (UN) has dedicated 10th February as International Pulses Day to make people aware of the importance and benefits of pulses and legumes as a global food. In this article, we have listed down a few nutritional and health benefits of beans and pulses. Read on.

#1 Pulses are a great source of vitamins and minerals

By consuming pulses and dals daily, you can get your required quota of essential vitamins and minerals. Pulses are a great source of fibre, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium and folate. They are also abundant in Vitamin B, thiamine and niacin. Our body needs these vitamins and minerals to function efficiently.

#2 Pulses are a rich source of proteins

Pulses are high on amino acids, which make them a rich source of proteins. Proteins play a vital role in enhancing our body's overall strength and improving its repairing and maintenance power. Hence, if you engage in a lot of physical activity daily, adding pulses to your diet can be very beneficial. You can also combine dairy products, grains and nuts in your meal to ensure the optimum dose of proteins in your body.

#3 Pulses possess antioxidant effects

Pulses, beans, and lentils are abundant in polyphenols, making them good antioxidants. Antioxidants are necessary to protect your body cells against free radicals produced as a by-product during metabolism. In the absence of antioxidants, your body may become prone to ill health. This makes the consumption of lentils and pulses all the more critical.

#4 Pulses are good for the heart

One of the most primary health benefits of beans and pulses is keeping your heart in good shape. Consumption of pulses reduces your body's cholesterol level and thus helps improve your heart's health. Also, pulses usually contain high potassium and low sodium, which aids in regulating blood pressure.

#5 Pulses reduce the risk of diabetes

Pulses and legumes are ranked lower in the glycemic index, meaning they cause a minimal rise in your blood sugar level. Therefore, people who consume pulses regularly may have a lower chance of getting diabetes. And in case you already have diabetes, you can add pulses to your daily diet to regulate blood sugar level.

#6 Pulses are a good source of folate

Pulses, beans, and lentils are a rich folate source as they contain Vitamin B, which helps produce new cells. Hence, eating pulses can be very good during rapid growth stages, such as infancy and pregnancy. Growing children and pregnant women should thus include a fair amount of pulses in their daily diet.

#7 Pulses may reduce the risk of cancer

As mentioned above, pulses, beans, and lentils act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, reducing cancer risk. Lentils also contain an element known as selenium, which decreases the rate at which a tumour grows. They also boost immunity and stimulate T cells' production, which helps in fighting diseases.

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#8 Pulses help in controlling appetite

Pulses contain fibres and proteins, which are essential for the body. They supply the required starch to the body and creates a feeling of satisfaction. This helps control the appetite of a person and prevents him/her from overeating, which in turn reduces the risk of obesity. Including pulses in your daily diet can be a great weight-loss strategy.

Summing it up

Including pulses, beans, and lentils in your daily diet is a crucial method to stay healthy as it provides essential vitamins and minerals to the body. It also helps the body to grow and recover, apart from boosting its immunity. Pulses are even more beneficial for growing children, pregnant women and senior citizens.

Another part of a healthy lifestyle is being prepared for unexpected health emergencies. Medical exigencies can arrive anytime and create huge financial turmoil if you haven't secured your health beforehand. Therefore, we recommended having health insurance in place so that you're always financially covered against the risk of unforeseen medical expenses.

You can have a look at ICICI Lombard's Complete Health Insurance policy. This policy provides comprehensive protection against various medical expenses, including hospital's room rent, doctor's consultation fees, charges for diagnostic tests, medicines and day-care procedures. More importantly, you can easily purchase this policy from the convenience and comforts of your home.

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