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Life StyleEasy Techniques to Maximize Protein and Nutrition from Pulses

Easy Techniques to Maximize Protein and Nutrition from Pulses


As a staple ingredient in many Indian kitchens, pulses are packed with important proteins and vitamins. However, improper cooking methods can significantly reduce the nutritional value of these legumes. In a recent report, scientists from the Indian Council of Medical (ICMR) shared practical tips to help home cooks get the full nutritional benefits from pulses.

The ICMR recommends boiling or pressure cooking pulses, as these techniques destroy anti-nutritional factors that hinder nutrient absorption. By using heat to denature proteins through boiling or pressure cooking, more of the essential proteins in pulses remain accessible to the body.

Long, drawn-out cooking is one of the worst things for nutritional value, according to the ICMR, as it leads to greater lysine loss over time. Their advice is to use only the necessary amount of water and watch cooking times closely. Dietitians confirm that both boiling and pressure cooking retain a high percentage of pulse proteins if the cooking process is not prolonged.

For ideal results, the ICMR suggests learning cooking times for different pulses, as lentils are quicker than chickpeas. Using the “tender but still firm” test of biting into pulses ensures they are fully cooked without being overdone. Starting with minimal water that just covers the pulses promotes even cooking without nutrients leaching excessively into the cooking liquid. A gentle simmer also helps maintain texture compared to vigorous boiling.

Turning off the heat before pulses are totally soft allows them to finish cooking gently without further destruction of heat-sensitive nutrients. Overall, these simple strategies shared by medical experts help preserve the impressive nutritional gains from incorporating pulses into local diets on a regular basis.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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