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2016: UN International Year of Pulses

The International Year of Pulses aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production.

Farmer holding kidney beans in her hand.

Dry kidney beans are pulses.


What are Pulses?

Pulses are legumes that are harvested solely for dry grain. Lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas are considered pulses.

Pulses exclude legume crops harvested green for food. These are classified as vegetables. The term also excludes crops mainly used for oil extraction like soybeans.

Nutritious and Sustainable

Pulses are a good dietary source for proteins, fibers, and amino acids and can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Plant-based sources of protein are important for food security and climate. In addition, leguminous plants have nitrogen-fixing properties, which increase soil fertility and have a positive impact on the environment.

Topics: UN Year