In traditional Chinese medicine there are (according to some) 29 pulses that indicate different states of health or unhealthiness. The normal, healthy pulse is calm, steady, smooth and soft, but not too soft, and helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
The same can be said for a type of legume called pulses -- that is, beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils. They’re smooth and soft, but not too soft, and are good for your heart and circulatory system. And as a bonus, they’re so loaded with fiber and protein that they even can help you eat less (they increase your feeling of fullness by 31 percent) and lose weight. No wonder the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has declared 2016 The International Year of Pulses.
According to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, if you eat a 3/4 cup of pulses a day, even if you don’t intentionally restrict your calorie intake, you’ll shed a half a pound in six weeks. And while that may seem minor, over a year or two you’ll see great benefits without much effort! Plus, according to another study, you can lower your lousy LDL cholesterol 5 percent with a daily serving.
So for a younger you, make some chickpea hummus; concoct a three-bean chili; stew some black beans with grilled chicken chunks and a dash of cumin and cinnamon; and add beans to soups, whole-wheat pastas and chicken casseroles. Your pulse will beat strong, smooth and steady.
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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.