Updated June 1st, 2024 at 23:09 IST

How To Preserve Protein Profile In Cooked Pulses? ICMR Issues Guidelines

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recently unveiled new guidelines aimed at optimising the nutritional benefits of cooking pulses.

Pulses | Image:Pexels
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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recently unveiled new guidelines aimed at optimizing the nutritional benefits of cooking pulses. According to these guidelines, boiling or pressure cooking pulses is the most effective method to enhance their nutritional quality. These cooking techniques help to reduce phytic acid levels in legumes, thereby improving the availability of essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

The guidelines highlight the importance of not overcooking pulses, as this can negatively impact the quality of their protein. Phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that can inhibit mineral absorption, is significantly diminished through boiling and pressure cooking, which makes the minerals more bioavailable. Therefore, adopting these methods can substantially increase the nutritional value of pulses.

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Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash

ICMR recommendations

In addition to cooking methods, the ICMR provides specific recommendations on the amount of water to use when cooking pulses. The guidelines advise using just enough water to cook the pulses without the need to drain the excess. This practice is crucial for retaining essential nutrients, including folate, which is often lost when excess water is drained.

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The ICMR cautions against prolonged cooking times, as overcooking can lead to a reduction in protein quality due to the loss of lysine, an essential amino acid. Ensuring the correct cooking time and water usage is vital to preserving the nutritional integrity of the pulses. Following these guidelines can help maintain the protein quality and overall nutritional value of pulses.

Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash

These new cooking guidelines are part of a broader set of dietary recommendations released by the ICMR and the National Institute of Nutrition. These comprehensive guidelines are designed to assist Indians in making healthier food choices across different age groups.

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The ICMR’s recommendations underscore the importance of proper cooking techniques in maximizing the health benefits of pulses, a staple in the Indian diet. By adhering to these guidelines, individuals can enhance their nutrient intake and contribute to better public health outcomes.

Overall, the ICMR’s new guidelines provide clear, actionable advice on cooking pulses effectively, aiming to improve the overall dietary habits and nutritional well-being of the population.

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Published June 1st, 2024 at 23:09 IST