Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Pulse power

A group I deliberately didn't include in my blog on veggies yesterday was pulses. If you believe the labels then one portion of pulses counts as one of your five a day, but I don't include them when I'm counting my fruit and veg.

This isn't because they're not worthy of being grouped with vegetables, but infact because they are so healthy they warrant their own category.

So on top of 1.5litres water, 5 veggies and 2 fruit, I'm adding in a daily portion of pulses.

Why? Pulses are a good source of the main vitamins and minerals associated with energy production and fat burning. On top of this they are a very very low GI carbohydrate giving a good sustaining source of energy. The reason they are low GI is due to both their high fibre and protein content. On top of this they contain phyto-oestrogens, which have protective effects against hormone cancers and balancing effects on hormones in general, and they can even lower LDL cholesterol. Pretty fab all round.

I find it easy to have a portion every day as I just add some to my lunchtime salad and vary them so they don't get boring - pinto beans, chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils are my favourites.

If you're really not keen try adding them to casseroles and chillies where you won't notice them and they'll boost the fibre content and reduce the amount of meat you eat, and most people enjoy hummous as a dip with some crudites or oat cakes.

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