World Pulses Day — 10th February, 2022

When is World Pulses Day 2022?

World pulses day is observed every year on February 10 to emphasize the importance of dry edible seeds of plants known as pulses. The day also aims to raise awareness of the numerous health advantages of pulses.

The theme of World Pulses Day 2022

Following the designation of 2016 as the international year of pulses, the theme “Nutritious Seeds for a Sustainable Future” was chosen. The nutritional benefits of pulses were highlighted this year, and the same theme was named for the years 2019 to 2022.

World Pulses Day

World pulses day is a global celebration designated by the United Nations honouring the importance of pulses. Since 2019, February 10 of each year has been declared as world pulses day by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

This commemoration recognizes the critical role that pulses can play in attaining the United Nations’ 2030 agenda for sustainable development, which aims to build universal peace by eradicating hunger.

History of World Pulses Day

Pulses have a long and illustrious history of being a significant source of human and animal nourishment for over 10,000 years. However, their significance has grown as malnutrition, hunger, poverty, and food scarcity have increased. The rate of worldwide pulse output was doubled to 70 million tons in 2010, and this was made feasible by the pulse’s ability to flourish in any environment.

In 2016, most of the world’s crops were lost to plant pests, making it necessary to develop new pest-resistant, effective, and climate-friendly plants. The annual cost of crop loss due to plant diseases and pests is estimated to be over 290 billion dollars. According to FAO research, pulses were found to have a tendency to thrive in any atmosphere, were climate-friendly, and their mineral richness made them unmatched to any other food source. As a result, the year 2016 was designated as an international year of pulses to raise awareness about the importance of pulses worldwide.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held its 73rd session on world pulses in December 2018 in collaboration with the Governments of Kenya and Ghana, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With increased economic, social, and environmental instability, as well as hunger-related economic degradation in mind, it was determined that February 10 should be designated as world pulses day to double world pulse output by 2050.

What are Pulses?

Pulses are delicious seeds that belong to the superfood category. Pulses include chickpeas, lentils, dried peas, and beans. Pulses are classified as legumes. Any plant that produces pods is referred to be a legume.

Pulses are the edible dry seeds located within the pod. Pulses are slightly distinguished from legumes by their respective health benefits. Pulses are rich in dietary fibre and a good source of protein that is low in fat. Iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins are all found in pulses.

Why are Pulses Important?

Pulse crops have a lower carbon footprint than most foods. They have a minimal water footprint because they require little fertilizer to grow,  and can withstand drought stress since they are accustomed to semi-arid settings. Pulses are affordable, easy to store, and very nutritious.

Their capacity to improve the soil microbiome has been essential in improving farming techniques in low-income rural areas. In summary, pulses could help feed the world’s rising population more sustainably.

Health Benefit of Pulses

Here are some health benefits of pulses:

  • Pulses are naturally low in fat and are cholesterol-free, which may help to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Pulses are also sodium-free. Sodium chloride, also known as salt, contributes to hypertension, and it can be prevented by eating low-sodium foods like pulses.
  • They’re a superb plant-based protein source. Surprisingly, 100 grams of dried lentils have a whopping 25 grams of protein in them. Pulses absorb a significant quantity of water when cooking, lowering their protein level to roughly 8%. Cooked pulses can still be made more protein-dense by simply adding cereals.
  • Pulses are rich in potassium which is good for heart health and help digestion and muscle function.
  • Pulses are frequently mentioned as one of the best high fibre foods for maintaining digestive health and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Pulses are high in folate, a B-vitamin found in many pulses necessary for nervous system function, and are crucial during pregnancy to prevent fetal abnormalities.
  • Pulses are foods that have a low glycemic index. They aid in stabilizing blood sugar and insulin levels, making them suitable for diabetics and perfect for weight loss.

How to Celebrate World Pulses Day?

Raise awareness

World pulses day is an occasion for us to raise awareness about the nutritional benefits of pulses and their sheer contribution to sustainable food systems and a world free of hunger.

Host a dinner

You can celebrate world pulses day by hosting a dinner with dishes made of pulses and inviting your family and friends. You can share the importance and benefits of pulses with them if they do not consume pulses. You can guide them to a healthy lifestyle by encouraging them to consume pulses.

Prepare a dish

If you can’t host a dinner, you can prepare a dish of pulses, and you can share its recipe on social media along with its benefits.

Make donations

An easy way to honour world pulses day is to make donations to charitable organizations which provide pulses to the people who can’t afford them. If you don’t find such an organization, you can host a fundraiser to provide pulses to deprived people.

Promote pulses

You can promote pulses among the youth who are unaware of its benefits, and you can even plant pulses in a local garden or farm.

Why is World Pulses Day Important?

World pulses day is essential for raising awareness about the need and importance of pulses as an organic, affordable, and cost-effective food item. It can improve our health, provide us with essential nutrients, and provide substantial financial support through commercialization.

Another reason to commemorate this day is that, while agricultural technical advancements have resulted in a moderate increase in crop production rates, the need of the hour is to develop crops that are also environmental friendly. Pulses have a higher nitrogen value than other crops, making the soil more fertile and allowing for more robust growth in subsequent years.

Many crops lack of reproductive ability causes urea to be consumed and land aridity to rise. Pulses can create minerals and urea on their own, making them environmentally favourable. This day aims to raise awareness about how human friendly pulses are, how high in protein and fibre they are, and how vital nutrients they contain, all of which are essential for healthy living.

Obesity is a significant problem in all major countries, including the United States, and is the leading cause of cardiac disease. We can persuade individuals to consume pulses who wish to get rid of obesity by telling them that pulses are rich in proteins and low in fats.

Facts about Pulse

  • The word pulse comes from the Latin word puls means “thick gruel, porridge, or mush.”
  • For generations, humans have relied on pulses. According to archaeological remnants discovered today, Turkey farmers grew chickpeas and lentils as long as 7000-8000 B.C.
  • Common beans, pigeon pea, cowpea, groundnuts, chickpea, and soybean are among Africa’s most extensively grown pulses.
  • It requires only 43 gallons of water to produce one pound of pulses, compared to 216 gallons for soybeans and 368 gallons for peanuts.
  • Pulses, as nitrogen-fixing crops, replenish nitrogen rather than deplete soil nutrients during the growth process.
  • Pulses contribute to food security because, as dried seeds, they may be kept for a long time without losing nutritional value.
  • Pulses are drought-tolerant and frost-resistant, making them suited for various situations.
  • Pulses are high in protein, fibre, folate, calcium, iron, lysine, and vitamin C and calcium, iron, lysine, and vitamin C.
  • In low-income countries, pulses are the main food source.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When was the first world pulse day celebrated?

The United Nations declared a day to honour pulses’ value, worth, and benefits in 2018. As a result of the United Nations (U.N.) proposals, February 10 was proclaimed as world pulses day by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The first world pulses day was observed on February 10, 2019.

What is a vitamin found in pulses?

Pulses are very high in folate, a type of vitamin B.

Is it possible to consume pulses daily?

Pulses are well-known for their heart health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It is completely possible to consume pulses daily because it can help keep your heart healthy, thus lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease.

What are some pulses examples?

All beans, peas, and lentils are considered pulses. Lentils come in various colors: red, green, yellow, and brown. Chickpeas, broad beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, garden peas, runner beans are all examples of pulses. They all are of good nutritional value.

How to consume pulses?

If you haven’t tried pulses yet, you should. To utilize all of the health benefits of pulses, all you need is half a cup each day. You should soak the pulses for 4 to 8 hours before consuming them. This will aid in lowering their phytate concentration as well as their ability to create gas. Soaking them also makes them more digestible. Furthermore, soaking the pulses improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Conclusion

World pulses day is an occasion to promote awareness about pulses’ nutritional advantages and their contribution to sustainable food systems and a world free of hunger. Pulses play an essential role in addressing poverty, food security, soil health, and the environment, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and the FAO’s hand-in-hand initiative.

Want to read about other important days in the month of February? Then click here.
Or if you want to read about important days of other months of the year, then check out “important days of the year” category.

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