Legumes — a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils — are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fiber. A good source of protein, legumes can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more fat and cholesterol. [1]

Peas beans lentils are Pulses, they're legumes. Humans have been farming peas beans lentils since soon after the start of agriculture.


Pulses are high in protein but most are best eaten with other proteins to complement them.

Per serving, they have twice as much protein as cereals (legume and cereal combinations, like beans and rice, complement one another to provide many essential amino acids). [2]

Peas beans lentils are economical to buy, they give you protein without saturated fat and are a good idea if you like them. [3] Pulses can be good for meat eaters and vegetarians.

Cooking pulses

Dried pulses are best soaked for at least 9 hours or overnight though you can leave this out with split lentils. It's also good to rinse pulses thoroughly or change the water several times while they are soaking. With kidney beans changing the water is especially important. [4]

  • Legumes are good in casseroles, soups, stews, you can search for recipes that you like or develop your own.
  • Pureed beans, chickpeas, lentils can form the foundation for dips or spreads.
  • Cooked pulses can be added to salads. [5] Also some lentils can be sprouted and the sprouts added to salads.
  1. A range of soy based products are available including soy flour, soy milk soy yoghurt.

See also


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