The UN Wants Everyone to Eat More of This

While the weight-loss world is abuzz with talk of Oprah’s 26-pound drop using Weight Watchers, the The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has a plan to get you to eat healthier—and help the entire food chain in the process—by going back to basics by eating pulses.

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Coining 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, FAO is on a mission to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of things like lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas (otherwise known as pulses). While eating healthier might not seem like an automatic concern of the UN, there is an ulterior motive—one that is part of sustainable food production aimed toward food security and nutrition: Because pulses are leguminous plants that have nitrogen-fixing properties, they can actually contribute to increasing soil fertility and have a positive impact on the environment.

“We don’t hear the term ‘pulses’ too often, so this is definitely an interesting move, although more agricultural/global nutrition in nature,” celebrity nutritionist Paula Simpson says. “We know the nutritional health benefits of plant-based proteins and pulses are a well-rounded, nutrient-dense source of amino acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals to support those health benefits.”

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