The United Nations launched 2016 as International Year of Pulses, celebrating the benefits of legumes.
Pulses are seeds you can cook and eat, for example beans, lentils and peas. There are hundreds of varieties of pulses grown throughout the world. Popular ones include all varieties of dried beans, such as kidney beans, lima beans, butter beans and broad beans. But also chickpeas, cowpeas, black-eyed peas and pigeon peas.
According to FAO they are not merely cheap and delicious; they are also a highly nutritious source of proteins, fibers, and amino acids that can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. They provide an affordable alternative to more expensive animal-based protein, which makes them ideal for enhancing diets in poorer parts of the world
Despite strong evidence of the health and nutritional benefits of pulses, their consumption remains low in many developing and developed countries.
The idea of launching the international year of pulses this year is to make people rediscover pulses and make them a food trend just like quinoa, which saw an increase in sales ever since the UN designated 2013 the International Year of Quinoa.