The United Nations (UN) General Assembly recently announced the creation of new annual holiday World Pulses Day on February 10. The holiday is a global event to celebrate pulses worldwide and continue the important gains made in 2016 when the UN declared it the International Year of Pulses. Pulses—the edible seeds of legume crops, such as lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas—are strong sources of plant-based protein, amino acids, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, and zinc, and offer a higher-fiber, lower-calorie dietary option. They can play a powerful role in improving gender equality, according to the UN, which noted they are frequently cultivated by women, and their high iron content contributes to the health of women of reproductive age. Pulse crops are also invaluable to the ecosystem, thanks to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen in soils when grown as cover crops or for food.
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