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There are over 1000 legumes species. Pulses and legumes are in the class of vegetables that includes beans, peas, lentils and garbanzo beans, or chickpeas. Beans and Lentils have been found in 5,000 year old settlements in the Eastern Mediterranean and Mesopotamia, in Egyptian pyramids, Hungarian caves, Britain and Switzerland, in even earlier
civilizations like Peruvian Indians, Middle Eastern and East Indian civilizations. Beans and Lentils are thought to have originated from the wild lentils that still grow in India, Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries.

Even now peas, chickpeas and lentils are produced and consumed mainly in Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and the Middle East but because of the interest in international cuisine, healthier diets and the desire to use herbs, spices and seasonings and low amounts of fat there is a new interest in beans and lentils.

Legumes are wonder foods as they are low in fat and absorb the flavor of spices and herbs, making them fun and tasty to eat. People have been eating legumes for thousands of years and these foods are the main source of protein for people in many cultures all over the world.

Beans and other legumes have all the nutrients now recognized as important in preventing heart disease, cancer and obesity. They are high in complex carbohydrates, protein and fiber and they are extremely low in fat.

Legumes or Pulses are the edible seed of certain leguminous plants like chickpeas, beans, lentils, peas and split peas. Leguminous plants provide a valuable source of protein for people and they fix the atmospheric nitrogen in the soil, which makes them important for the environment. Beans and Lentils are very low in fat, high in fiber and are frequently referred to as a wonder food. Dried legumes and pulses are classified into three groups: beans, peas and lentils. They are eaten either whole or unhulled (with the skin still intact) or split in half with or without their skins.
In the West, especially in USA, long-cooking beans are popular. But if you want to make pulses part of your regular diet (as it is tasty and healthy) try India's two moong dal favorites – yellow moong and black moong (urad dal). These dals cook quickly and are easy to digest because they are low in the complex sugars that are not easily broken down by the human digestive enzymes.


Pulses are one of the sources of protein for the diet, other than meat. For vegetarians pulses are a vital part of the diet. For non vegetarians, pulses offer an alternative source of protein without the fat but with a lot of fiber. Also beans and lentils are rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

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