The Benefit of Pulses
Pulses are the delicious protein-packed sustainable foods that you know as dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas. These little superfoods are big on flavor and have major health benefits. They are a fantastic source of protein and fiber, and are full of iron and antioxidants. They also happen to be gluten, sodium, and cholesterol-free. They are an accessible and an affordable source of nutrition worldwide. They are also impressively sustainable by being drought and frost hardy, enriching the soil where they grow, having one of the lowest carbon footprints of any food group, and being water efficient, since they require little to no irrigation to grow.
Now, new data indicates that eating one serving of pulses a day could contribute to modest weight loss. An analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed the results from 21 clinical trials which included 940 adult patients, noted that those who ate 130g of pulses each day for 6 weeks lost an average of 0.34 kg, or 0.75lb, without making any particular effort to reduce intake of other foods. Because beans, chickpeas, and lentils have a low glycemic index, meaning they take longer to digest than many other foods, they can curb hunger by keeping us feeling full for longer. This translates into eating less, thereby losing weight and keeping it off.
The United Nations has declared that 2016 is the International Year of Pulses (IYP), which aims to increase awareness of the many benefits of pulses: their wonderful nutritional profile, their environmental and sustainability benefits, and their affordability and potential to address the issue of global food security. So celebrate this year by celebrating the gorgeous flavors of pulses.
‘Effects of dietary pulse consumption on body weight: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials’, de Souza et al, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Smokey BBQ Baked Lentils With Pomegranate-Chipotle
• 1 cup lentils
• 2 cloves garlic sliced
• 1 cup pomegranate juice
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 tablespoon molasses
• 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• 2 chipotles in adobo (found canned), chopped
• 1 tablespoon adobo
• 3 slices bacon preferably applewood smoked
1. In a large pot, combine the lentils and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils soften.
2. Meanwhile, prepare sauce: Heat olive oil and garlic in a medium skillet and cook until garlic softens. Add next 7 ingredients (through adobo) and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer and let reduce for 10-15 minutes, or until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. Combine the lentils and sauce in a small baking dish. Arrange the bacon in a single layer over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until bacon has crisped and sauce has become very thick.
160 calories, 3g fat, 5g fiber, 7g protein