Pulses; its types and nutritive value

What is a pulses ?

Pulses are dried seed of edibles plant which have related to legume family. Pulses are important part of our daily diet.pulses are known as dhals in common language. It is good source of protein.

Since most animal food which are rich in protein also expensive, pulses help in fulfilling our protein needs to very large extent. Most vegetarians population eat pulses for fulfill own protein requirements. As you already know we can improve the quality of protein by eating a combination of pulses and cereals, e.g. khichdi, dosa, idli. Since there are many different types of pulses available in the market, it is relatively easy to include these in our daily diet.

Pulses is good for health

What is nutritive value of pulses ?

Pulses are called the poor man’s meat, because they are rich in protein. The amount of protein present in pulses is nearly double of that persent in cereals. For example, whole bengal gram dhal contains 17% protein which is nearly double of that present in raw milled rice I.e. 6.8% . Soyabean, particularly have a high protein content (43%). Pulses also contain fair amounts of thiamine, niacin, calcium and iron.

Generally dry pulses contain very little vitamin C is produced. During fermentation the thiamine, riboflavin and niacin content increases. Another advantage is that certain pulses like soyabean which are not easily digested are well tolerated after sprouting or fermentation. When a whole dhal is sprouted the outer coat breaks open and the grain becomes soft so as to reduce cooking time.

Eat sprouted pulses, they are more nutritious. Pulses have good keeping quality and do not spoil easily. They are very popular because they are easy to cook, provide a variety of dishes and are easy to digest.

Certain pulses like soyabean have substance present in them which prevent digestion of protein if consumed raw. It is important to cook these pulses since these substance are generally destroyed on cooking.

Types of pulses :

Pulses may be whole or dehusked. Whole pulses like rajmah ,channa, lobia, moong, etc. Take longer to cook since they have a tough outer covering. Dehusked pulses like moong, masoor, etc. are easier to cook and digest since the outer covering has been removed.

However, whole pulses are more nutritious than dhals, since the outer covering is a good source of vitamin B-complex  group as well as fibre. Whole pulses can be sprouted while dehusked dhals cannot be.

Selection of Pulses :-

A wide variety of pulses are available in the market. Depending on your likes and dislikes, as well as the money available you may include different dhals or pulses in your diet. While purchases pulses make sure that are clean, does not have any gravel or twigs and is not infected with insects. The pulses should be dry otherwise fungus may grow on it. Generally pulses bought in packets from standard shops like Super Bazars are clean and of good quality. In such cases the shopkeeper cannot cheat you in terms of weight of food since the pulses are weight and packed earlier.

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