Cereals are highly rich in carbohydrate and are majorly produced in many countries, while pulses are rich in proteins and have been yielded in less quantity than cereals. Secondly, cereals are the grasses, belongs to the Poaceae family (monocot), while pulses are leguminous crops which produce pods.
Cereals and Pulses are the types of grains, which are the small, dry and hard seed, grown and consumed by the humans and animals as their food and other uses. There are five types of grains: cereal grains, whole grains, pseudo-cereals, oilseeds, and pulses. Among them, cereals and pulses are grown and consumed in large quantity widely — also, these staple foods of many countries due to their high nutrient value.
China is the top country in the production of cereals in the world. According to the census, the total production was 617 million metrics in 2017, that counts 20.75% of the entire world’s production. Apart from China, the United States of America, Brazil, India, and the Russian Federation are included in the top five countries for cereal production and contribute 54.42% of the total output.
In the case of pulses, India is the largest producer, importer, and consumer and contributes. After India, Canada, Maynamar, China, Nigeria, Brazil, Australia, USA. Cereals and pulses are considered as one of the major edibles for maintaining a healthy diet and hence are produced chiefly.
Despite many common features, these words are used interchangeably and so with this article, and we will unfold the points, that exhibit the variations between cereals and pulses.
Content: Cereals Vs Pulses
|Basis For Comparison||Cereals||Pulses|
|Meaning ||Cereals are the harvested grasses, which are cultivated for its starch component. The type of fruit and botanically known as a caryopsis.||Pulses are the leguminous crop, that is harvested as the dry seed in a pod.|
|It contains||Cereals have high levels of carbohydrates.||Pulses are rich in proteins and amino acids, though they have lower contents of carbohydrates.|
|Production ||Cereals are largely produced, as they are highly rich in carbohydrate, it is the major staple food in many countries.||Though pulses are rich in proteins, they are consumed in less quantity.|
|Grows in||Cereals can be grown in all kind of soil except desserts and in cold areas. ||Pulses are grown in the pod, that may yield one to twelve seeds.|
|Examples ||Barley, corn, wheat, rice, oats, and maize.||Lentils, dry beans, chickpeas, and cowpeas.|
Definition of Cereals
Cereals are the kind of grain, which are grass and falls under the family ‘Poaceae’. The most commonly cultivated cereals are rice, wheat, barley, oats, corn, rye, and sorghum. Cereals are rich in carbohydrate, minerals, fats, oils and that’s why they are yielded in large quantity. It is also the staple food of many countries though cereals do not contain a high amount of protein and are deficient in vitamin A and calcium.
Importance of Cereals
Mainly cereals are consumed by the humans, and marketed in the raw form (grain) or used as ingredients in many food products like bread. Cereals are also used for animal feed by poultry and livestock, which are at last consumed as dairy, poultry products or as meat by the humans. Cereals are also used industrially in the production of oils, alcohols, glucose, adhesives, biofuels, etc.
Apart from the high value of carbohydrate and energy value, the production cost is also less of cereals as compare to other foods and are can be stored dry for numerous years.
It depends on the nature of the soil, climate, and the degree of economic development of the particular area or country that cultivates the cereals. It also on the types cereal, that what kind of climate is suitable for it to grow, like wheat can be cultivated over various soils except for the desserts in colder areas though rye and barley can be grown over less fertile soil.
Definition of Pulses
Pulses are the dry seeds, called as grain legumes. This family consists of 12 crops like dry peas, dry beans, lentils, chickpeas. Although pulses are cultivated is less quantity than cereals but are highly rich in protein value, fibers, amino acids, iron, and vitamins. The leguminous can absorb atmospheric nitrogen with the help of parasitic microorganisms present on their roots.
Importance of Pulses
We consume pulses more than we realize as they include many varieties of seeds like lima beans, butter beans, kidney beans, and broad beans. As discussed, they are full of protein and nutrients, which makes them a good source of protein diet where there is a lack of other protein sources like meat and dairy products.
Pulses help in the control of blood sugar and lower cholesterol, and these are also rich in fiber and low in fat. So, they also support to combat obesity. Due to characteristics, pulses are recommended by dieticians and health organizations for maintaining the disease like diabetes and heart-related problems.
Economically they are important for the farmers and the countries where there have been grown, as they have an option to sell and consume the pulses. It supports the farmers and their country in economic stability and in managing food stability.
The nitrogen-fixing ability also helps in raising the soil’s fertility and thus increasing the productivity of the land and thus promoting the biodiversity. It (nitrogen-fixing ability) also reduces the dependency on synthetic fertilizers that effects the natural environment.
Key Differences Between Cereals and Pulses
Upcoming points will exhibit the difference between the cereals and pulses:
- Cereals are the harvested grasses, which are cultivated for its starch component. The type of fruit and botanically known as a caryopsis. Pulses are the leguminous crop, that is harvested as the dry seed in a pod.
- Cereals have high levels of carbohydrates, whereas pulses are rich in proteins, nutrients, vitamins, and amino acids, though have lower contents of carbohydrates.
- Cereals are largely produced and are the major staple food in many countries like China, United States of America, Brazil, India, and the Russian Federation. On the other hand, pulses that are rich in proteins, but are consumed in less quantity. India is the largest producer, other countries like Canada, Maynamar, China, Nigeria, Brazil, Australia, USA, also contribute to the production of pulses.
- Cereals can be grown in all kind of soil except desserts and cold areas, whereas pulses are grown in pods, that may yield one to twelve dry seeds.
- Classification of cereals is as Kingdom: Plantae; Order: Poales; Family: Poaceae and that of pulses are Kingdom: Plantae; Order: Fabales; Family: Leguminosae.
- Examples of cereals are Barley, corn, wheat, millet, rice, oats, sorghum, and maize, whereas Lentils, dry beans, golden gram, chickpeas, and cowpeas are few varieties of pulses.
We can conclude by saying that cereals and pulses both have their importance in our diet, and are the rich sources of nutrition. Thus one should consume these grains in sufficient quantity in their diet, that will help in maintaining their health.