Pulses are a cheap, low-fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and they count towards your recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables, and need we say wind!!
Beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils are all considered as pulses. When I was kid pulses always put me off because of the windy factor. They can cause wind because they contain sugar which are tricky for us to digest. But don’t let that put you off from eating pulses. People react differently to certain foods and you may find that windy symptoms subside, especially if you increase your intake gradually.
But then hang on, because eating lots of beans, chickpeas and lentils have always been considered as foods that are low in fat. And that’s just not what people have been saying because now research finds that diets rich in beans can actually make you slimmer if you add them to your diet.
Eating just a 130 gram serving – three quarters of a cup – of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils each day can help you stay trim without making any other dietary changes, according to a study led by Dr Russell de Souza, from St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Scientists analysed the results of 21 clinical trials involving 940 men and women. They found that a single serving of pulses to participants everyday diet led them to lose an average 0.34 kg (0.75 pounds) over six weeks.
Other studies also revealed that pulses
- increased the feeling of fullness by 31%.
- are good for the heart, as they tend to reduce levels of bad cholesterol.
- have a low glycaemic index, and hence do not cause potentially harmful spikes of insulin – so good for diabetics too!
The United Nations and the FAO have designated 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. So long live the “windy ones”.