10 Pulse Pastas You Need In Your Life
Eating your beans at every meal just got a whole lot easier.
Forget the 2016 Presidential election and the Summer Olympics. It’s “the year of the pulses,” according to the UN General Assembly. And you can bet that it’s a hot topic at Eat This, Not That!—especially since we’ve already seen a massive rebranding of these underappreciated seeds.
You might not have heard the term “pulse” before, but you’re probably familiar with the foods that make up this group: split peas, lentils, chickpeas, and all sorts of dried beans. To be classified as a pulse, crops have to be harvested solely for their dry grain, unlike green beans or soybeans, which are considered vegetables. (You’re learning so much already, right?) While the sudden uptick in pulse media attention might be the work of a carefully crafted campaign, there’s no denying the health and nutritional benefits of these powerful superfoods.
These beans, lentils, and peas are high in many flat-belly nutrients, including potassium, iron, vitamin B, zinc, and magnesium, a mineral that can boost serotonin levels—the hormone that keeps your mood stable and your appetite in check. While a high-micronutrient density is one thing, another one of the greatest assets of pulses is their high fiber content. Packed with both soluble and insoluble satiating fibers, pulses break down slowly in your gut to keep you fuller longer. The heart-healthy soluble fiber can help lower LDL-cholesterol levels (lowering your risk of heart disease), and the insoluble kind feeds the helpful bacteria in our colon, keeping these cells filled with energy and you at a lower risk of colon cancer (the third most commonly diagnosed cancer).
Pulse crops are also a superb source of plant-based proteins, boasting an average of 9 grams of protein per cooked half-cup serving. But raw, dry pulses have an even higher protein payoff! One way to tap into this benefit is by using pulse flour—which that is exactly what these pastas do. While the gluten-free trend might be a large factor, Americans are also convening around these nutrient-rich pulse pastas because they offer a healthy, protein-dense, and fiber-rich alternative to blood-sugar-spiking, refined white flour, which has been implicated in the rise of diabetes and obesity. Keep reading to find out more about pulses, pulse pastas, and how they can be swapped out for your everyday wheat pasta.
Made entirely out of organic black beans, subbing this spaghetti for your wheat pasta is a no-brainer. (Note: Explore Asian has been recently renamed Explore Cuisine.) On top of providing nearly half your day’s necessary fiber, a single serving will also give you 26 percent of your recommended iron intake. Iron is an essential mineral that helps transport oxygen throughout the body. When you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells, which can cause you to feel constantly fatigued. To get the most out of this iron-rich bean pasta, eat it in a spicy red coconut sauce with veggies like spinach and red peppers—these vegetables are high in vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron more easily.
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