2016 is the International Year of Pulses

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The United Nations has declared that 2016 is the International Year of Pulses – for a healthy, hunger-free and sustainable world.

Pulse crops such as lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas are a critical part of the general food basket. Pulses are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe and should be eaten as part of a healthy diet to address obesity, as well as to prevent and help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary conditions and cancer; they are also an important source of plant-based protein for animals.

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175ml cooked serving of pulses provides approximately 10 grams of protein, 5 – 11 grams of fibre, 2 grams of iron and complex carbohydrates, Pulses also provide iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and other minerals, which play a variety of roles in maintaining good health. Like other plant-based foods, they contain no cholesterol and little fat or sodium. It is also considered as a serve of vegetables as well. Pulses are an important ingredient in vegetarian and vegan diets as a source of protein and iron and for the elderly can provide another way of having extra protein. Pulses can also be used to increase the fibre content of meals.

Pulses have been used widely in cuisine throughout the world, particularly in India, Pakistan, the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. Add some variety and nutrition to your diet with these tips:

• Make curries and stews with lentils or chickpeas and serve over rice or white fish.
• Add lentils to chili, taco meat, meatloaf, soup or spaghetti sauces.
• Prepare minestrone and other soups with lentils or chickpeas.
• Make a pot of split pea soup with or without added meat.
• Add chickpeas or lentils to a mixed green salad.

Lentils
Source: FAO.org

For more information and recipe ideas visit: http://www.fao.org/pulses-2016/en/

Contact Leading Nutrition Dietitians to discuss how you can use lentils in your meals and menu for your residents are your facility on 1300 722 712 or use our contact page.