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Eat more pulses, they are good for you

I know a number of people, especially those living alone, who eat meat nearly every single day. “It is easy to cook” they say, “plus you can get it pretty easily”. Fish and chicken is also available by quantities, and quite conveniently too. You can, for instance get the dry roasted or fried fish from the neighbourhood outlets and only stew it. Food mostly prepared in these households is mostly, rice, pasta, and ugali with kales or cabbage, while beans, lentils; basically pulses, are generally extremely rare.

The younger population’s think diseases and death resulting later in life from lifestyle diseases is too distant to worry about. If it doesn’t hurt me now, the future will take care of itself. Or you only live once; you know YOLO. However, as far as health is concerned, we can influence disease, the quality of our lives and survival. Which is why we need to eat more pulses.

According to a study by the University of Guelph, Canada, replacing half a serving of rice with lentils dropped blood glucose by up to 20 per cent while replacing potatoes with lentils resulted in a 35 per cent blood glucose drop. Eating lentils improved the body’s response to carbohydrates.  When we eat starchy food, it is broken down into the smallest molecule; glucose, for absorption. Eating pulses slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates.

Pulses also have a high fibre content, which inhibit enzymes involved in absorption of glucose, and at the same time encourage the production of short-chain fatty acids, which can also help to reduce blood glucose levels. This results in reduced blood glucose levels and prevents glucose spikes, and consequently type 2 diabetes.

Pulses are also good sources of protein and essential minerals, and they keep you full for longer. So other than quick fixes, and unsustainable diets, replace those carbs and daily animal proteins with the pulses.

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