2016 was declared International Year of Pulses by the United Nations in order to promote the consumption of them and increase the worldwide awareness about their nutritional benefits.
What are pulses and why are they important?
Pulses are part of the legume family (plants whose fruit is enclosed in a pod) but the term “pulse” refers only to the dried seed. Dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses. Pulses provide protein, dietary fiber, many vitamins and minerals and are low in fat. They also contain “phytochemicals” (plant chemicals), which may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and other diseases. Besides, they also help to fight obesity. Like their cousins in the legume family, pulses are nitrogen-fixing crops that improve the environmental sustainability of annual cropping systems.
In several countries, the legumes have already replaced meat since they are cheaper and healthier. Also, you can conserve them for longer than any other food, they contribute to local producers’ incomes and its production is not damaging for the environment.
Put it all together and these sensational seeds are a powerful food ingredient that can be used to deliver the results of healthy people and a healthy planet.
Pulses form an important part of the macrobiotic diet.
Macrobiotics is an approach that draws on thousands of years of experience in Asia, viewing the body as a self-healing organism that will stay healthy when treated well.
A macrobiotic diet has an emphasis on wholegrains, beans, pulses and vegetables and avoids meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods.
Alcohol and caffeine are also out. Eating sustainable, local and organic produce is also encouraged.
Foods are classed within a yin and yang philosophy and for their alkaline or acid properties, with meals being balanced accordingly. The eating of sea vegetables and fermented foods is also favoured.
It closely matches World Health Organisation guidelines about what we should be eating to guard against conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. It is claimed that a macrobiotic diet might help to prevent these diseases and alleviate a range of common complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome and eczema.
Macrobiotics has helped thousands of people to discover a simple and natural way to establish and re-establish good health.
In Spain there is one excellent Wellness Clinic specialised in Macrobiotic Cuisine; SHA Wellness Clinic. Here you can learn all about the macrobiotic diet and it´s components. They give cooking courses and talks about healthy nutrition and of course they will teach you the best recipes. You will discover there are a lot more healthy and delicious dishes you can make with pulses than you would have ever imagined!
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