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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sugarbeet and Potato Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #397734

Research Project: Pulse Crop Health Initiative

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Title: The role of pulses in improving human health: A review

item DIDINGER, CHELSEA - Colorado State University
item THOMPSON, HENRY - Colorado State University

Submitted to: Legume Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/29/2022
Publication Date: 5/14/2022
Citation: Didinger, C., Thompson, H.J. 2022. The role of pulses in improving human health: A review. Legume Science. Article e147.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Public health concerns are discussed so frequently that it is beginning to cause desensitization. And yet, rates of chronic disease remain alarmingly high worldwide - or are even increasing. Primary prevention is essential to reverse these trends. Indeed, the sustainable implementation of good health practices can promote human physical and psychological well-being while simultaneously being more cost-effective than the treatment of chronic disease. A healthy dietary pattern is a cornerstone of primary prevention. Pulses, or the dry seeds of non-oilseed legumes (e.g., chickpeas, cowpeas, dry beans, dry peas, and lentils) - also called grain legumes - are widely recognized as a nutrient-dense food and one of the richest sources of dietary fiber and plant protein. Combined with their affordable price point and contributions to sustainable food systems, they can be considered a prime example of a superfood. Historically, they also have a rich culinary history around the world, making them culturally relevant to many cuisines and cultures. The scientific literature supports the role of pulses in many health benefits, yet the quality of the evidence is often low. In this review, we explore the findings - and limitations - of research to date and conclude with suggestions for moving the field forward to investigate and establish robust support for a recommended serving size that is most beneficial for human health.