5 Major Benefits of Eating Pulses – Gaia Pulses
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If you care about the planet and your health, eat more pulses! We make it easy for you.

Eat more pulses for you and the planet! We make it easy for you.

5 Major Benefits of Eating Pulses

Pulses, including beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas, have been a staple of diets around the world for centuries. Not only are pulses versatile and delicious, but they also offer a wide range of health benefits. 

These nutritious legumes are a staple food in many cultures around the world and are valued for their high protein and fibre content, as well as their versatility in cooking.

Pulses can be prepared in a variety of ways, including boiling, steaming, roasting, and sprouting. They are used in a wide range of dishes, including soups, stews, salads, curries, and dips. Pulses are also commonly ground into flour and used to make bread, pasta, and other baked goods.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll discuss the five major benefits of eating pulses and explore why you should consider incorporating them into your diet.

Benefits of Eating Pulses

1. Nutrient-Rich Superfoods

The concentration of important nutrients in a food in relation to its calorie amount is referred to as nutritional density. Pulses have a rich nutritional profile, making them excellent examples of meals high in nutrients. 

Pulses are a significant source of protein, making them invaluable for vegetarians and vegans seeking whole food plant-based protein sources. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and maintaining a healthy immune system.

2. Heart Health

Heart health refers to the condition and function of the heart and blood vessels, which are vital components of the cardiovascular system. Maintaining heart health is essential for overall well-being and longevity. Including pulses in your diet can have significant benefits for heart health due to their nutritional composition and impact on key risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Firstly, pulses are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, making them heart-healthy food choices. Diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, as they can raise levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood. 

By choosing pulses as a source of protein and carbohydrates, individuals can help reduce their intake of these harmful fats and lower their risk of cardiovascular problems.

Additionally, pulses are high in soluble fibre, which plays a crucial role in lowering LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Soluble fibre acts like a sponge, soaking up cholesterol and preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. 

By reducing LDL cholesterol levels, pulses can help decrease the buildup of plaque in the arteries and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

3. Weight Management

Weight management refers to the process of maintaining a healthy body weight and preventing obesity or weight gain. Including pulses in your diet can be a valuable strategy in managing weight due to their unique nutritional properties and impact on appetite and calorie intake.

  • Pulses promote feelings of fullness and satiety, helping to control appetite and prevent overeating.
  • The fibre content in pulses adds bulk to the diet and slows down digestion, keeping you feeling satisfied for longer.
  • Pulses are rich in protein, which signals to the brain that you've had enough to eat, reducing cravings and helping to control hunger.
  • By incorporating pulses into meals and snacks, individuals can better manage their calorie intake and achieve their weight loss goals.

4. Blood Sugar Control

Blood sugar control is essential for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes. Pulses play a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels due to their unique nutritional properties.

The low glycemic index (GI) of pulses is one of their main advantages for blood sugar regulation. The glycemic index quantifies the pace at which food's carbs elevate blood sugar levels.

Foods with a low GI cause a gradual and slow increase in blood sugar levels, whole foods with a high GI cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels followed by a crash. 

Pulses provide a steady and sustained release of glucose into the bloodstream, which helps prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.

By including pulses in meals, individuals can help regulate their blood sugar levels and improve overall glycemic control. This is particularly important for individuals with diabetes, as unstable blood sugar levels can lead to complications such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. 

By choosing low-GI foods like pulses, individuals can support stable energy levels, reduce the risk of insulin resistance, and lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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If you're in East London, take advantage of GAIA PULSES' zero-waste delivery service. They deliver their meals via cargo bikes in reusable containers, which are refilled indefinitely. Committed to sustainability, they responsibly source ingredients, soak, sprout, and cook with care for both the environment and busy city dwellers. It’s a fantastic way to easily add high-quality fibre and plant protein to your diet!

See how you can meet your needs for fibre-rich organic food!

5. Gut Health

Gut health is vital for our overall well-being, and pulses can contribute positively to gut health in several ways.

  • Eating pulses regularly can promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation. The fibre in pulses adds volume to stools, making them easier to pass and supporting a healthy digestive system.

  • Pulses can also lower the risk of digestive disorders like diverticulosis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Diverticulosis involves the formation of small pouches in the colon that can become inflamed and lead to complications. The fibre in pulses helps prevent constipation and reduces the risk of diverticulosis.

  • Pulses can alleviate symptoms of IBS, including abdominal pain, bloating, and irregular bowel movements, due to their fibre content and other nutrients. 

Summary

Pulses, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas, offer significant health benefits:

  1. Nutrient-Rich Superfoods: High in protein, essential for tissue repair and immune function.
  2. Heart Health: Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, aiding in lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
  3. Weight Management: Promote fullness and satiety, aiding in appetite control and weight management.
  4. Blood Sugar Control: Low glycemic index helps stabilise blood sugar levels.
  5. Gut Health: High fibre content supports digestive health, preventing constipation and reducing the risk of digestive disorders.

Whether you enjoy them in soups, salads, stews, or as a meat alternative in plant-based  dishes, pulses are versatile, affordable, and delicious additions to any diet. 

So why wait? Start reaping the benefits of pulses today and take a step towards a healthier, happier you!

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