Struggling to find tasty and nutritious snacks? If so, pulses might just be your answer! Not only are they nutrient dense and full of vitamins and minerals, but they also have amazing health benefits. In this article, we’ll dive into the many benefits of consuming pulses as part of a balanced diet. We will also see what the dietary behavior of the French reveals and what are the recommendations to consider in order to derive the maximum nutritional benefits from this type of food. Whether you’re vegan or vegetarian and looking for alternative sources of nutrition, or just want to improve your health, read on to get all the answers about delicious and healthy pulse options that might be right for you!
Pulses: The main benefits.
Their high fiber content.
Fiber promotes good digestion by keeping your bowels regular and promoting good gut health. They also help reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Eating pulses can also help you feel full longer, which can help you lose weight.
Their high protein content.
Protein is an essential building block of our body and is necessary for muscle growth and repair as well as energy production. Eating enough protein can help prevent the loss of muscle mass that occurs with age or disease. Pulses contain the nine essential amino acids that our bodies need but cannot produce on their own, making them an excellent source of vegetable protein.
Their intake of essential micronutrients.
The micronutrients present in pulses are also very beneficial for health. Micronutrients such as B vitamins, folate, zinc, magnesium, manganese and iron play an important role in maintaining overall health by helping to regulate hormones, produce energy, boost immune function and even fight depression and anxiety disorders through their effects on neurotransmitters in the brain!
Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power.
Eating legumes also provides us with an array of antioxidants with powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help protect against various forms of cancer, such as colon cancer, as well as oxidative damage caused by free radicals in the body. which can lead to premature aging or other health complications over time. The polyphenols found in pulses have been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body while providing protection against certain viruses such as influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (swine flu).
Their richness in complex carbohydrates.
Pulses are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, providing slow-release energy throughout the day. They are therefore ideal for athletes or anyone looking to maintain their energy levels over an extended period of time. Pulses are also low on the glycemic index, which helps maintain blood sugar levels. They are therefore beneficial for people with diabetes or prediabetes, as well as those trying to manage their weight.
In addition to the nutritional benefits mentioned above, pulses are incredibly versatile. They can be easily incorporated into virtually any recipe and provide a taste sensation like no other ingredient. From curries to soups, salads and stews, whatever dish you’re making, you’ll find a variety of pulses to match! They are also very economical as they often only cost a few cents per serving, which makes them popular with budget-conscious consumers.
Nevertheless, despite all these exceptional advantages, pulses occupy a minimal part of French meals.
According the annual dietary behavior study conducted by CRÉDOC, only 30% of French people say they consume pulses at least once a week, compared to 40% who believe they do not appreciate them for their taste, generally young people between 18 and 24 years old. While 34% do not know how to cook them, especially respondents between 25 and 34 years old. While 53% of large consumers of pulses are people aged 75 and over. This leads us to review the recommendations related to the consumption of pulses for optimal well-being and health.
According to INSERM nutritional recommendations, pulses such as beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas should be included in a healthy diet at least twice a week. This type of vegetable can have several advantages like those mentioned above. Consuming 50g of pulses per day or 350g per week is a general recommendation for optimal health benefits.
Consuming 56 g of cooked pulses per day corresponds approximately to the recommended daily intake (RDA) of protein for adults, which is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Additionally, pulses are especially helpful for vegetarians and vegans who may have difficulty reaching their RDAs through other food sources alone. Diets high in legumes like the Mediterranean diet have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes due to their ability to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing AMD (acid-related macular degeneration) by 41%. age).
As they are rich in iron and zinc, pulses can provide a significant amount to meet our recommended daily allowance and avoid deficiencies. For example, 100g of lentils can provide up to 59% RDA of iron and 29% RDA of zinc, which may play a role in maintaining healthy energy levels throughout the day, while stimulating cognitive functions. In addition to being packed with nutrients and providing long-term health benefits, pulses are affordable ingredients that can help with food insecurity or budget restrictions on food purchases.