In a white paper released by Pulse Canada, “Give Peas a Chance” claiming the benefits of using pulses – beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas – as a food ingredient that provides nutritional health benefits and contributes to environmental sustainability.

The health benefits of pulses are plentiful. Higher in protein than many other crops, pulses are low in fat and they have a low glycemic index, which means their carbohydrates are mostly fibre and starch that prevent blood sugars from rising quickly after eating. Clinical trials have shown that eating pulses are not only nutritionally beneficial, they provide excellent health benefits and can even help combat chronic health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

“Food manufacturers and retailers are not only looking for healthy and nutritious products, they also want to know the environmental story of the food they are producing and marketing” says Gordon Bacon, CEO of Pulse Canada. “Pulses have a great story to tell as they offer both sustainability in the field and positive nutritional results on the plate” he added.

Pulses are also an environment-friendly crop. As a member of the ‘legume’ family, they have a symbiotic relationship with soil organisms, which allows them to make they own nitrogen fertilizer from the atmosphere. By producing their own fertilizer, this reduces the need for manufactured nitrogen made from fossil fuels.

“The message is very simple” says Bacon. “If more pulses are eaten, more will be grown and that’s great news for health and for the environment”.

With consumer demand for healthy and environmentally sustainable products increasing, the global food industry is looking for solutions. Pulses can be part of that solution with their combined health and environmental benefits. To read the complete paper go to www.pulsecanada.com/givepeasachance.

A writer and photographer, Spowart has publication credits in Canada, United States, Europe and Norway with such publications as The Globe & Mail, The National Post, Sun Media, Canwest News, and Canada News Wire.

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