By Annabelle Randles. This post originally apppeared on

Small but mighty pulses are considered to be an invaluable food for a healthy and sustainable future. So much so that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) declared 2016 Year of The Pulses. As we step into 2017, we prepare to celebrate Global Pulse Day on January 18th.

Pulses are low in fat, high in protein, high fibre and loaded with nutrients. They are a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets. New research also shows that beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils can play a big role in weight-loss and weight management. When I embraced a flexitarian diet I reacquainted myself with pulses and they now feature in many of my meat free recipes.

Pulses are the dried seeds of the legume plants and are grown in hundreds of different varieties around the globe. You will certainly be familiar with some of them already, such as:

10 common types of pulses: Dry Beans, Lentils, Faba Beans, Dry Peas, Chickpeas, Bambara Beans, Pigeon Peas, Lupins and Vetches

Cuisines from around the world have used peas, beans and lentils for centuries. In poorer countries pulses still constitute the bulk of people’s diets as they are a cheap source of protein. In contrast, richer countries have little by little replaced them with meat and fish, often associated to wealthier lifestyles.

Diets that rely heavily on meat are now seen to be not only detrimental to health but also to the environment. In stark contrast, pulses are seen as a sustainable food choice with a low carbon footprint. And while modern agriculture has depleted our soil, pulse crops are known to benefit soil health by increasing its microbial activity.

This Global Pulse Day, I invite you to celebrate this extraordinary food.

There are many ways you can take part. You will find plenty of events taking place around the world. If you are a pulse lover, you can even organise your own Global Pulse Day event which can be anything from a meal with pulses for your family, friends, community group to a corporate party. Don’t forget to register your event here and make some noise on social media using #GlobalPulseDay #LovePulses @LovePulses as well as Thunderclap.

Guidelines to help you plan your event are detailed on this page Global Pulse Day.

If you are looking for inspiration for something to cook has over 400 pulse recipes to choose from. You can also browse the special recipes section designed by 27 Gourmet Gurus from around the world. In case you are wondering, yes I am in there ?

Following last year’s success, Global Pulse Day 2017 is bound to be a blast. So join in the fun and let’s get even more people excited about the wonders of pulses.

Celebrate Global Pulse Day, hold an event to celebrate pulses, January 18, 2017

For more information about Global Pulse Day please visit or head over to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube.