Atkins diet, Vegan diet, raw diet, or low carb diet? To lose a few extra pounds, you might have tried all kinds of diets. You might have succeeded, or you miserably failed. The right amount of nutritious food in appropriate quantity is the magic trick to maintain a healthy body and weight. And yet, it seems near impossible for most of us.
Many nutritionists suggest eating healthy food like pulses, fresh vegetables, fruits, and everything “healthy”.
Organic foods are even better. But we tend to mix this healthy food in very unhealthy stuff, like burgers, pizza and all kinds of fast food. We keep destroying our health and contributing to various diseases in the long term. Giving up entirely on fast food is quite hard.
Also, sticking to only healthy and high-quality food is quite dreary. Maintaining a balance or maybe “more healthy” organic food and less junk food would be a good choice for good health and less unwanted flab around your waist.
What are Pulses?
Pulses are edible dry beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas, etc. these are a part of legumes. Some examples are –
- baked beans
- red, green, yellow, and brown lentils
- black-eyed peas
- garden peas
- runner beans
- broad beans
- kidney beans
Pulses have a long and illustrious history. Pulses were originally discovered 11,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, a Middle Eastern region. The home to some of the earliest human civilizations.
Pulses are healthy and nutritious. They are even easier to grow. Growing pulses promotes sustainable agriculture, as these crops help decrease greenhouse gases, increase soil health, and use less water than other crops. About 173 countries grow more than a hundred varieties of pulses and export them.
Benefits of Pulses
Pulses are beneficial to health. Pulses are incorporated into side dishes to take along with carbohydrate-rich staple food. Staple food like rice, bread, pasta gives your body energy to carry out daily chores. The excess of this carbohydrate gets stored as fats. Taking pulses along with it fill your tummy and also provides you with a lot of healthy benefits.
- Rich source of vitamins and minerals
- Rich source of proteins
- Contains antioxidant effects
- Good for the heart
- Reduce the risk of diabetes
- Good source of folate
- May reduce the risk of cancer
Pulses are a rich source of vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. They also contain B vitamins; including folate, thiamin, and niacin.
These vitamins provide antioxidant properties and reduce cholesterol content. Because of this, pulses are good for the heart. Also, with the abundance of vitamins and minerals, they reduce the risk of diabetes. Although it is not proven, many believe that they may reduce the risk of cancer.
Pulses have more nutrients. But with today’s way of farming (excess fertilizers, chemicals, pesticides, and even growth boosters), these nutritious pulses are not that healthy as they appear.
Organic Pulses, on the other hand, are much better than common pulses. What are organic pulses? Organic pulses are pulses produced with the method of organic farming. These are grown without the use of any kind of synthetic chemicals. These are more healthy and contain more amount of nutrients and minerals.
Benefits of Organic Pulses
Pulses are good to incorporate into your diet. You can eat them after cooking or after sprouting them. They are healthy both ways. You can eat sprouts as salads or eat them as side dishes in your lunch. Whatever way you eat, you can be assured that they are better than regular pulses. They give you more benefits of pulses.
- No chemicals
- More nutritious
- No GE
Because of the way organic farming is done, there is a very low chance of chemicals in organic pulses. Organic pulses are not genetically engineered (GE). Many vegetables or farm products are Genetically modified or engineered to improve the nutrient content and improve survival chances. You might have heard about many varieties of modified cows or wheat. They are resilient and have better survival chances in the competition.
Using GE or GM seeds reduces the financial risks for farmers. Agriculturists claim these seeds are good. But many conservative people feel reluctant to consume things with altered DNAs.
Organic pulses are not modified in any way. These pulses are natural with no chemicals and are more beneficial to your health.
Sprouts Vs Pulses
How to consume organic pulses? Pulses are dried beans, lentils, etc. You can either sprout them or boil them in water and spices. There are plenty of ways to consume these pulses. Which food is more nutritious, sprouts or pulses?
Sprouts are germinated seeds, while pulses are dried seeds. Raw food is more nutritious as they retain most of the nutrients. So, sprouts are considered more nutritious than pulses. They also have various benefits better than pulses.
- Improved nutrient content and digestibility – Sprouts are more nutrient and also contain fiber which improves digestion. With better digestibility, your body can better consume most of the nutrients.
- Improves absorption of vitamins and minerals – Antinutrients present in plants reduce the ability to absorb nutrients. By soaking organic pulses overnight reduces the antinutrient content, and you can absorb most of the beneficial nutrients in the pulses.
- Aids in weight loss – Sprouts make you feel full. You will not crave to eat as often as you do. It will help in reducing your weight.
- Blood sugar control – Fiber content in sprouts slows the absorption of sugar in your body. Consuming legumes and sprouts regularly can improve your blood sugar levels significantly.
- Protect heart health – Consuming sprouts and legumes lowers cholesterol protecting your heart along the way. Several types of research have indicated this.
- Versatile and easy to add to the diet – Sprouts are versatile and can be cooked in plenty of ways. You can easily include these in your diet as breakfast, lunch, or snacks to munch on in between meals. Eating sprouts as a snack is a healthier substitute for deep-fried snacks.
So, okay, pulses are marvelous. But how do you get the most benefit? There’s no such thing as “fresh pulses” as pulses are dried. How to store pulses for a long time? And most importantly how to cook it better to get the most benefit plus the taste.
- You can store raw or dry pulses in air-tight jars on kitchen shelves or in the pantry. It can be stored for up to a year.
Pulses don’t get worse after a year. They will get extra hard and take a lot of time to cook.
I had bought Rajma some years back and eventually forgot that I ever bought. When I tried to cook, it took me hours to make it consumable. It was still hard to eat. All of that expensive pulses went straight to the trash can. I doubt even animals could consume that.
- You can store pulses for several years in sealed cans. If you are preparing for doomsday, you can try this.
Jokes apart, keeping pulses in air-tight condition can keep the pulses in good condition. And also retain the nutrients in them.
Cooked Pulses or Sprouts
- You can store salads in sealed air-tight containers in the refrigerator for 3 days. Do not leave these for more than 3 days as they will lose nutrients by then.
- You can store cooked or fried pulses in cans in the refrigerator for 5 days. You can store these in a deep freezer for up to 6 months.
- You can store soups, chili, and curries for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. In a deep freezer, you can store these for 3-6 months.
There are plenty of pulses and plenty of ways to cook. You can try making soups or traditional Indian Ma ki Dal.
- Soaking the pulses overnight removes antinutrients.
- Letting them sprout preserve most of the nutrients.
- Frying them might make it tasty but lose some of the essential vitamins.
- You can add other vegetables to balance the nutrient content to make a very healthy and delicious dish.
You can check various recipes online to make healthy but gratifying food with organic pulses.
So, what are you waiting for? Organic products give the required nutrients you need in your diet. You can lose that flab around your waist, maintain a healthy heart and get many health benefits for yourself and your family.
Organic farming was introduced as a response to the intensive use of fertilizers and pesticides leading to environmental degradation. Owing to this constant exposure of the farm produce to pesticides, the quality and taste were compromised. Encouraged by an instinct to ensure the wellbeing of every single being on the planet, we begin GFO.