Skip to main content

Anything is Pulse-able

‘Anything is Pulse-able’ shows how lentils, peas and beans, which are all types of pulses, are the unsung heroes of kitchens around the world. Used across many cultures, they are nutritional and culinary powerhouses. Not only are they a versatile kitchen staple, they are also nutrient rich and affordable.

Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. Pulses grow in pods and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.

Pulses are good for health

Eating pulses such as lentils, peas and beans all count towards your five-a-day and help protect against disease.

Pulses are nutrient rich, affordable and sustainable sources of plant protein. As well as being significant sources of protein and micronutrients, they also contain high quantities of fibre.

High-fibre intake from pulses has been associated with reduced blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease and according to the British Heart Foundation they can help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and bowel cancer.

Three heaped tablespoons count as one of your 5-a-day, and will provide the potassium, zinc, B-vitamins and antioxidants you need to keep healthy.

Pulses can save you money

Eating pulses can save you money. Adding pulses to your meals can bring the cost down and keep the flavour up.

Pulses are affordable and consumed across the globe. In a time of rising food prices, pulses remain affordable and accessible for everyone, and we want to ensure that the current cost of living pressures do not prevent people eating healthy and sustainable diets.

Pulses have a long shelf life and are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes. On average, pulses cost less than £2 for a family of four.

Pulses are good for the environment

They directly benefit soil quality by fixing nitrogen and protecting soil microbes, reducing the need for synthetic fertilisers. Compared to animal protein sources, pulses have lower carbon and water footprints.

Pulses because of their role in improving sustainability, through soil management, also positively impact food security. Soil degradation is a major threat to food security in many areas of the world. Africa is particularly impacted by soil degradation, yet pulses are part of traditional diets, and often grown by small farmers. By improving the crop patterns using pulses, farmers can improve their yields and limit the long-term threat to food security that soil degradation represents.

Compared to other sources of protein, plant proteins produce very low levels of GHG emissions. Producing 1kg of beans, one of the most commonly consumed pulses, emits around 2kg of CO2e. In comparison, 1kg of beef from a non-dairy herd produces 100kg of CO2e. Even chicken, which on average is the lowest emission meat, produces 10kg CO2e per kilogram. 

Pulses utilize soil bacteria to draw nitrogen from the air. This natural process replaces the need to add nitrogen fertilizers in pulse crops, which means pulses use half the energy inputs of other crops.


Supported by:

Compassion in World Farming
show more

Compassion In World Farming is a global movement for change in food and farming.

First Steps Nutrition Trust
show more

First Steps Nutrition Trust is an independent public health nutrition charity. They endeavour to fill practical and policy-relevant information gaps and provide resources for health workers supporting eating well from pre-conception to five years.

The Food Foundation
show more

The Food Foundation aims to present solutions to government and the private sector to address the growing challenges facing the UK’s food system.

Four Paws
show more

Four Paws is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them.

Kids Kitchen
show more

Kids Kitchen are a social enterprise, building health and community through family cooking. They run stay-and-play style cooking sessions and through these and other activities help young children and their adults explore, enjoy and engage with food and each other.

Meat Free Monday
show more

The Meat Free Monday campaign encourages people to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one plant-based day each week.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association
show more

To accelerate change towards an environmentally restorative and socially progressive hospitality sector, the SRA works with businesses from across foodservice, as well as like-minded industry bodies, campaign groups and businesses that supply the sector through our signature programme, Food Made Good.

The Vegetarian Society
show more

The Vegetarian Society inspires and supports people in making the shift to vegetarian and vegan diets and lifestyles.