1. Lose weight: Recent research from the University of Toronto has shown that eating pulses can increase feelings of fullness or satiety and reduce waist circumference.
2. Increase your fibre intake: One cup of cooked pulses contains approximately 15 grams of fibre or around half the recommended daily intake for adults.
3. Decrease your fat and saturated fat intake: Canada’s Food Guide recommends choosing meat alternatives like beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils more often since they provide protein but don’t add fat and saturated fat to your diet.
4. Be heart healthy: Regular intake of beans or other pulses have been shown to significantly reduce serum cholesterol and other blood lipids, major risk factors for heart disease.
5. Add variety to your diet: Spice up your daily diet by trying new ethnic foods like chickpea curry, lentil dal, bean burritos or do a healthy new twist on an old favourite by adding chickpeas to a salad, putting black beans on your pizza or adding a can of lentils to spaghetti sauce.
6. Choose environmentally wise foods: Pulse crops naturally produce their own nitrogen, reducing reliance on fertilizers and lowering energy inputs.
7. Improve your endurance: Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan have found that eating lentils as a pre-exercise meal was beneficial for endurance exercise.
8. Save money: Pulses are an affordable, healthy food. A can of chickpeas is packed full of nutrients but costs as little as $1.
9. Eat your veggies: Enjoy healthy snacks like carrots, celery and other vegetables served with hummus or bean dips.
10. Live better: Eating pulses can help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.