Pulses (from Latin: puls from Ancient Greek πόλτος: poltos "porridge"), sometimes called a "grain legumes”, are annual leguminous crops yielding from one to twelve seeds of variable size, shape, and color within a pod. 


Different types lentils are classic examples of pulses. image: wikipedia/Justinc

Pulses are used as food for humans and other animals. Included in the pulses are: dry beans like pinto beans, kidney beans and navy beans; dry peas; lentils; and others.

Like many leguminous crops, pulses play a key role in crop rotation due to their ability to fix nitrogen. To support the awareness on this matter, the United Nations declared 2016 the UN International Year of Pulses.

The words "bean", "lentil", and "pulse" may refer to just the seed or to the entire plant.

The term "pulse", as used by the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), is reserved for crops harvested solely for the dry seed.

Pulses are nutritious

Pulses provide protein, complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins and dietary minerals; for example, a 100 gram serving of cooked chickpeas contains 18% of the Daily Value (DV) for protein, 30% DV for dietary fiber, 43% DV for folate and 52% DV for manganese. Like other plant-based foods, pulses contain no cholesterol and little fat or sodium.

Different kinds of pulses

  1. Dry beans (Phaseolus spp. including several species now in Vigna)
  • Kidney bean, navy bean, pinto bean, haricot bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)
  • Lima bean, butter bean (Phaseolus lunatus)
  • Azuki bean, adzuki bean (Vigna angularis)
  • Mung bean, golden gram, green gram (Vigna radiata)
  • Black gram, urad (Vigna mungo)
  • Scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus)
  • Ricebean (Vigna umbellata)
  • Moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia)
  • Tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius)
  1. Dry broad beans (Vicia faba)
  • Horse bean (Vicia faba equina)
  • Broad bean (Vicia faba)
  • Field bean (Vicia faba)
  1. Dry peas (Pisum spp.)
  • Garden pea (Pisum sativum var. sativum)
  • Protein pea (Pisum sativum var. arvense)
  1. Chickpea, garbanzo, Bengal gram (Cicer arietinum)
  2. Dry cowpea, black-eyed pea, blackeye bean (Vigna unguiculata )
  3. Pigeon pea, Arhar /Toor, cajan pea, Congo bean, gandules (Cajanus cajan)
  4. Lentil (Lens culinaris)
  5. Bambara groundnut, earth pea (Vigna subterranea)
  6. Vetch, common vetch (Vicia sativa)
  7. Lupins (Lupinus spp.)
  8. Minor pulses, including:
  • Lablab, hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus)
  • Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis), sword bean (Canavalia gladiata)
  • Winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus)
  • Velvet bean, cowitch (Mucuna pruriens var. utilis)
  • Yam bean (Pachyrhizus erosus)

source adapted from Pulse (legume). (2015, December 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:33, December 30, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pulse_(legume)&oldid=696708851