Pulses are the healthy solution you didn't know you needed

Even if you’re a seasoned home cook, there’s one food group you might still be sleeping on—pulses. Although many people aren’t familiar with the term, most have heard of the major members of the pulse family, which include lentils, chickpeas, dried beans, and dried peas. They’re foods that often aren’t given too much thought.

That could be about to change. More and more, pulses are being recognized as the superfood they are. They have tons of fantastic benefits for your body, your budget and are a savvy addition to your family’s grocery list. And with so many delicious ways to use pulses in your everyday meals, beans, chickpeas and lentils could quickly become staples in your pantry. 

Take some time to get acquainted with your new favourite food group.

Great for your health

Pulses are packed with all kinds of essential nutrients for your body. An excellent source of protein, beans and lentils are the perfect substitute for red meat on your next Meatless Monday. They’re also high in vital minerals such as iron and zinc, and they’re a great source of B-vitamins, which are key to maintaining your brain health, energy levels and metabolism. Plus, pulses are rich in fibre, which means they make you feel full longer and keep your blood sugar stable. Research shows that regularly eating pulses can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels over time. 

Good for the planet

On top of the health benefits, pulses are an environmentally friendly option for your table. Thanks to their drought-resistant structure, beans, lentils, and chickpeas use much less water in their growth cycle than other protein sources. They also have a lower carbon footprint because they require so little fertilizer to grow—they actually pull their nitrogen straight from the air. Feel good eating pulses, knowing that you’ve made an environmentally sustainable choice. 

Tasty and versatile

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy pulses. Add them to your favourite soups and stews for a hearty shot of flavour. Toss chickpeas in a curry for a crowd-pleasing weekday dinner, pop white beans into your next salad for a flavourful twist, or use black beans as the base for a stellar veggie burger. You can even try subbing in lentils for ground beef in your family Bolognese recipe—you would be surprised by the richness they add to a sauce. 

Pulses even work as a snack food. The next time you have a mid afternoon craving, try roasting chickpeas and tossing them in your favourite seasonings for the perfect pick-me-up.

An affordable option

Pulses aren’t just tasty—they’re also great for the pocketbook. Especially as a substitute for meat, beans, chickpeas and lentils can help you keep your grocery haul under budget. In a time of so much uncertainty, an economical menu option is something we can all appreciate.

With so many benefits, there’s no better time to add pulses to your grocery list. You’ll be glad you made the shift.

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