ecoCaledon

environmental citizens organization

Celebrate the International Year of the Pulse!

February 15/16

Those who follow the Standard American Diet (SAD) will get the standard American diseases and die the standard American death.

2016 has been designated as The International Year of the Pulse. Whenever I mention this fact, I get a blank look; or someone’s fingers will move to his wrist as if measuring the heartbeat. No, I smile, not that kind of pulse, rather, that broad genre of plant known as legumes that we eat as an edible seed from a pod: black beans, kidney beans, chick peas or lentils to name a few.

I was elated when I discovered that the United Nations had elevated the humble legume to food of the year, not only because the pulse is a staple of my vegan diet, but because it is one of the healthiest foods we can eat. It has twice as much protein as other whole grains and so becomes a perfect replacement for animal protein, limiting the saturated fat in our diet. Pulses/legumes are high in fibre, helping to decrease and control blood sugar levels and cholesterol. And they are high in B vitamins, as well as key minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium.

All this in the lowly bean.

But there’s more, and this fact is every bit as critical. The pulse is super-healthy for the planet. Its carbon footprint is significantly lower than that of animal protein. 1 kg of legumes = 0.5 kg in CO2 equivalent vs. 1 kg of beef which produces 9.5 kg in CO2 equivalent.

And planting pulses leaves nitrogen behind in the soil – valuable nutrients for future crops. Growing them in rotation with other crops can disrupt disease and insect infestation cycles.

Speaking personally, I intend to extend my own expiry date, but more than that, to ensure that those last years will brim with vigor and glowing health. If you feel the same, ditch the SAD diet and get on board with healthy, plant based nutrition. For some great recipes check out: http://happygut.ca/vegan-winter-salads/.

To watch an inspiring TEDX Talk and get in the know about plant based eating, visit: http://www.ecorazzi.com/2015/06/16/tedx-talk-on-ditching-meat-one-of-the-most-watched/

Here’s to your good health!

Kathryn

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