Whether it’s chickpeas, lentils, beans, or dry peas, pulses are well known as plant-based protein superheros—with high fiber (which we’re increasingly understanding as a key component of gut health) to boot. And this is their year, literally: the United Nations named 2016 the International Year of Pulses. But did you know that pulses have major sustainability cred as well? They require little to no nitrogen fertilizer to grow, and very little water, so their carbon footprint is crazy low. And they leave the ground healthier than it was before they were planted. A good example for us all.