PULSES and GRAINS: a HEALTHY and irresistible COMBINATION
For many of us, the new year starts at the beginning of autumn instead of in January. This is when we come back from our holidays and begin to make plans, mentally drafting our resolutions and good intentions for the months to come. Among these, one of the common resolutions is to take care of our health by changing our eating habits: it is a great intention, but it needs to be sustainable and in line with our busy and chaotic lives in which we have little time for cooking meals, whether they are elaborate or not.
Maybe we have had a complicated week full of errands that we could not put off, leaving us without even enough time to shop for groceries. Perhaps our fridge is lonely and desolate. This is where our pantries come to the rescue, always stocked with pulses and grains.
A “survival kit” that we should always keep in our kitchens for those moments in which we are busy and time is scarce, the combination of grains and pulses comes to our rescue and helps us save not only time but also our health: they are ready in no time, rich in nutritional properties and the perfect ally for a good, nutritious and balanced meal.
Why we should combine pulses with grains
If we are what we eat, the good news is that there is a complete mix of ingredients like no other which protects us and is highly beneficial for our bodies: grains and pulses.1
This hypothesis was confirmed in a review of studies published recently in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry conducted by researchers at the US University of Baton Rouge in which scientists arrived at a conclusion that reinforces the already known preventive role of these two foods: “the nutritional components of pulses, combined with those of whole grains, ensure a beneficial synergistic effect for health”.
In addition to the presence of vitamins and various bioactive compounds, these two foods actually have a considerable amount of fibre which, although it does not have any nutritional value, increases the sense of satiety and regulates intestinal functions while keeping blood glucose and cholesterol levels under control.
Pulses and grains: a complete meal for health
Besides being two foods that are delicious when combined, pulses and grains are a perfect combo from a nutritional point of view too. The proteins present in pulses, which represent one of the main sources of protein in the diet as well as a real treasure trove of vitamins and minerals, are in fact deficient in some essential amino acids when compared to animal proteins (such as lysine and cysteine), amino acids that are actually abundant in grains. In addition to being low in calories and with a good fibre content, pulses also contain complex sugars that take longer to digest and therefore keep you full for longer, making them a perfect complement to grains.
Together, pulses and grains perfect each other, providing proteins of high biological value, as well as minerals and vitamins, thus completing the nutritional needs of each meal.
How to combine pulses and grains
Tasty, nutritious and cheap, pulses and grains can be cooked in many imaginative ways. In the winter season, pulses and grains are perfect as a first course or a tasty side dish to fish or meat. They can also be used in fresh salads when we do not want to stand over a warm stove in the summer.
Spelt, wheat, barley, on the one hand and lentils, chickpeas, beans, and broad beans on the other… when mixed and seasoned with a drizzle of olive oil, they give life to complete dishes with grains and pulses that are easy to prepare and impossible to get wrong. When put together they are the perfect duo, especially if you follow a flexitarian diet, because they are extremely satisfying and ensure a synergistic effect that is extremely beneficial for our health.
We at Pedon want to change the way in which grains and pulses are consumed in a way that is in line with our modern lifestyles. We offer various product categories that make for smart choices that are readily available, versatile and tasty. Requiring just 10 minutes to cook when time is scarce, with I Salvaminuti you can enjoy a fast, varied and nutritious meal that also takes into account the recognised health benefits guaranteed by the combination of grains and pulses in a single meal. Our delicious hot or cold Mixes for salads (Bulgur and Quinoa, and Spelt mix with pumpkin seeds and Quinoa, Lentils and sesame seeds) are a nutritional goldmine. Try our Alternative Risottos, that can be prepared like risotto but without the rice (Grain Mix with pumpkin seeds, Grains and Peas with sesame seeds, Millet and Lentils with flaxseeds), a soul food that is perfect for cold winter dinners. Moreover, our Mixes for soups are the ideal comfort food in this autumnal period (Grains and Pulses, Grains and Lentils and Legumes and Millet).
- “Cereali integrali e legumi: ecco il piatto completo per la salute”, Fondazione Umberto Veronesi Magazine – Dott. Fabio Di Todaro biologo della nutrizione e membro dell’Unione Giornalisti Italiani Scientifici, Source fondazioneveronesi.it