Global push to get more people eating 'pulses'

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This is the international year of pulses, the global push to get more people to eat beans and legumes known as pulses. (KABC)

Pulse is a term widely used in Europe for beans and legumes -- chick peas, lentils, peas, all kinds of beans. They're not new but they are newly noted as a power food.

"The United Nations, they declared it the international year of pulses, and pulses are such a wonderful food. They're very versatile ... very nutritious and also very sustainable," said dietitian Megan Roosevelt, who is a spokesperson for pulses.

Pulses are a powerhouse nutrition, and they been shown to stave off hunger and cravings along with torching calories and body fat.

"I think some people might not be sure how to make them exciting and make them fun. Sometimes we see beans just as beans. We don't know how to incorporate them into recipes," said Roosevelt.

So here you go:

"I've just added about a fourth a cup of black beans into a brownie recipe. It just adds more protein and fiber," said Roosevelt.

And more protein and fiber can help stabilize blood sugar levels, keeping you fuller longer, which may help you eat less.

If beans in brownies sounds bizarre, try beans in veggie chili, topping for pasta or thrown in a salad. You can also blend them for a smooth creamy consistency. Think hummus, which is made from chick peas.

Rinsing beans, dried or canned, helps to remove the natural sugars they contain that aren't always easily digested. The more you incorporate them in your diet, the easier they will be to digest.

If you want to learn more about pulses and get a few recipes, take a look at the pulse pledge.
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