Just one serving a day of pulses and grains such as chickpeas, beans, lentils and peas could be the secret to weight loss and aid your efforts, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes.

Recently, we looked at chickpeas as a superfood, and turn out that consuming just 130g of chickpeas or beans or pulses each can lead to a weight loss of 0.34 kg, researchers have found. However, the researchers warned that despite these clear benefits, many people refrain from eating pulses of any kind and even if they do, it’s restricted to small serving. When it comes to chickpeas or beans, the legend goes that it bloats up in your stomach, leading many people to eschew it altogether.

The reason behind this weight-loss power in pulses is their inherent low glycemic index, which means the body takes time breaking them down in your stomach. This means eating one full serving can actually make you feel just as full and could even displace animal protein as well trans-fat, which also leave you with excess fat.

“So there is room for most of us to incorporate dietary pulses in our diet and realise potential weight management benefits,” Russell de Souza from St Michael’s Hospital in Canada, told a PTI report. The study looked at 940 adults – men and women – who lost an average of 0.34 kg over six weeks with the addition of a single serving of pulses, beans to the diet. They didn’t even need to reduce intake of other foods in this exercise, so curbing your cravings further could have a bigger impact.

“This new study fits well with our previous work, which found that pulses increased the feeling of fullness by 31 per cent, which may indeed result in less food intake,” de Souza added.

The iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium manganese, zinc and vitamin K content present in chickpeas all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength. The high fiber, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B-6 content, coupled with the lack of cholesterol support heart health.

Pulses and grains contain higher dietary fibers and they are commonly recognized as important factors in weight management and loss by functioning as “bulking agents” in the digestive system. These compounds increase satiety and reduce appetite, making you feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering your overall calorie intake. With their high-fiber content, chickpeas help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

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