A LEGUME refers to any plant from the large fabaceae family that includes soya beans, broad beans, green peas, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, butter beans, chickpeas, peanuts and black-eyed peas.  

A pulse, meanwhile, is the edible seed of a legume plant. The simplest way to view this is that a pea pod is a legume, but the pea inside the pod is the pulse.

So what’s the benefit from eating legumes and pulses? They are a rich source of protein when combined with pasta, noodles, bread, rice etc. Protein helps with structure and hormones in our bodies.  They are also a good source of fibre which helps with gut health and/or toilet transitions.  

They are very rich in minerals like magnesium, iron and phosphorus, helping with tooth enamel, reducing fatigue and energy metabolism. Legumes and pulses are also a very good source of vitamin B9 that helps with red blood cells, DNA, brain function and reducing inflammation in our bodies.  

Let’s go legumes and pulses this summer.  

Lee McCusker (BA; MSc; MSc; MSc; ANutr; SENr) is a registered nutritionist from Belfast and can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Email: attentivenutrition@gmail.com