Dry peas, lentils and chickpeas are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are the heavyweight in the boxing ring loaded with all the tools you need to punch health and diet problems completely out of sight! When you eat dry peas, lentils and chickpeas, you’re loading up with fiber, protein, folate, antioxidants and key minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc. As if that wasn’t enough, dry peas, lentils and chickpeas are low in fat, cholesterol-free, gluten-free and have a low glycemic index.
One-half cup of cooked peas or lentils provides more than 10 grams of dietary fiber. Vegetables average 5 grams, and grains average 3 grams. Dry peas, lentils and chickpeas contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which aids in digestion, reducing cholesterol and preventing large swings in blood sugar levels.
Dry peas, lentils and chickpeas are packed with protein, containing seven of the eight essential amino acids needed in the human body. The one that got away, methionine, is abundant in grains, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat and dairy product. Combine pulses with any of those products, and you have complete protein dish!
Pea Protein Quick Facts:
- Currently being tested as an egg replacement with positive results – nearly 4% of the U.S. population suffer a food allergy, and egg allergies rank fourth as the most common.
- Increases nutrients and protein levels.
- Used in pasta, cerelas, smoothies, energy bars, drink mixes and much more.Used in pasta, cerelas, smoothies, energy bars, drink mixes and much more.
Ante Up with Antioxidants:
Dry peas, lentils and chickpeas provide antioxidants (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, etc.) which bind with and destroy free radicals, reducing damage to cells. Pulses are also excellent sources of important minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc. Iron deficiency causes anemia while zinc is one of several nutrients necessary to defend against infections.
Fight with Folate:
Folate is an important nutrient in dry peas, lentils and chickpeas, especially for pregnant women. The U.S. Health Service recommends that all women of childbearing age consume 400 mcg of folate per day. Most women do not meet this guideline.
Get Low Glycemic:
Dry peas, lentils and chickpeas are full of complex carbohydrates (foods with a low glycemic index) that release energy slowly to the body. This helps maintain a consistent energy level. In contrast, carbohydrate foods that break down quickly (foods with a high glycemic index) cause the body to “crash” or feel tired after the sugars have been used. The benefits of consuming foods with a low glycemic index: control of blood glucose and cholesterol levels, appetite control, and lower the risk of having heart disease and type 2 diabetes.