Now, as much as I have tried to become a vegetarian for all the many ethical and environmental reasons, I'm sorry to say I just can't give up meat, but I have been looking at some of the best pulses for protein to add to my diet. One thing I am trying to do, is to cut down the amount of meat I eat and this is where the pulses come in. Packed full of protein and fibre, they are a vegetarians' dream meat substitute, or so I've heard and here are some of the best pulses for protein I have been adding to my plate. Who knows, maybe one day I will go fully meat-free...Maybe.
Table of contents:
- marvelous mung beans
- kickin kidney beans
- beautiful butter beans
- amazing adzuki beans
- lovely lentils
- cherished chickpeas
- brilliant black beans
1 Marvelous Mung Beans
The Mung bean really is marvelous and it's one of the best pulses for protein and more. It has detoxifying properties and contains plant hormones which can help lower cholesterol. Mung beans have been used in Chinese and Indian medicine for many years as it is believed that they can help keep the body running smoothly. I love adding mung beans to stir-fries, salad and stews. All hail the marvelous mung bean!
2 Kickin Kidney Beans
I love adding kidney beans to salads and chilis because they're great for promoting digestive health and keeping your bowels 'regular'. Kidney beans can also help lower cholesterol, maintain healthy bones and teeth and protect the body against free-radical damage. Add them to a dish with rice and you have yourself a fabulous protein packed meal!
3 Beautiful Butter Beans
Butter beans are a great source of manganese, copper, iron and potassium, which are all essential for the body to run smoothly. In particular, they help promote digestive health and keep the cardiovascular system ticking along nicely. They can also promote liver health and contain the essential amino acids which are vital in repairing tissue and muscle in the body. I love making a butter bean hummus by blitzing butter beans, garlic, onion, lemon juice and some seasoning in a blender. It makes a tasty alternative to chickpea hummus, which is also delicious of course.
4 Amazing Adzuki Beans
I just love the name of these beautiful little gems. Don't let their size fool you. They may be small but they're a mighty pulse if ever I saw one! Again, these beans can help lower cholesterol and can regulate blood flow around the body. They are also rich in B vitamins which is great for energy and for your metabolism. They can also help detoxify the liver. Amazing.
5 Lovely Lentils
Lentils are so versatile and there are so many dishes you can make with them, for example, curries, salads and soups. They're a wonderful source of iron and they're rich in Vitamin B1, which helps regulate the nervous system. They're also great for cardiovascular health.
6 Cherished Chickpeas
I love chickpeas and they're one of nature's super-satisfying pulses. They are also great for bone health and can help reduce levels of unhealthy cholesterol in the body. They are obviously the main ingredient of one of my favorite snacks - hummus.
7 Brilliant Black Beans
Black beans are rich in iron which is essential for your blood cells. They are also essential for healthy liver function. To get the most from your black beans, combine with Vitamin C rich foods like broccoli or orange segments as this increases iron absorption. The type of iron which is present in plants is actually harder to absorb than the iron found in meat so Vitamin C rich foods can assist in the absorption.
So there you go, pulses are so much more than a protein package and meat substitute. They are so versatile and can be added to salads for a powerful protein punch and make marvelous additions to your main meals. Which pulses do you love adding to dishes for a delicious meat-free alternative?
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