Benefits of Legumes
Just like other vegetables, legumes are one of those underrated vegetables that have plenty of health benefits. It has thousands of variations with different shapes, colors, sizes, and textures around the world. Maybe, you already have a taste of it without knowing that it is a type of legume.
In terms of nutrients, legumes are similar to meat but with less iron and no saturated fats. Legumes’ high protein content makes them an excellent substitute for meat and dairy products. Legumes are sometimes substituted for meat by vegetarians. The following are the health benefits of adding legumes to your meal.
Lower the risk of type 2 diabetes
We all know that Type 2 diabetes is a severe condition that could lead to death if not appropriately addressed. Eating foods like legumes will definitely help you to lower the risk of acquiring diabetes. Legumes are a good source of fiber and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Furthermore, people who frequently consume legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As part of a regular, balanced diet, legumes can also help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood glucose levels.
Since legumes are nutrient-dense and have a low glycemic index, they are ideal foods for managing or reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
If you love to binge eat, then you might want to consider adding legumes to your diet. Legumes are high in protein. Getting enough protein in each meal will help you manage your appetite and reduce your cravings for potentially unhealthy snacks in between meals. You are maintaining muscle mass while on a calorie-restricted diet.
Furthermore, it is a suitable food replacement if you wish to lose weight because it is low in fat and rich in folic acid, iron, magnesium, and copper that are good nutrients for people who are losing weight.
Helps with Weight Loss
If you are planning to lose weight, you might want to add legumes to your diet. As mentioned above, legumes can help ease hunger, which means you rarely feel the need to eat. As a result, you will not get any weight from binge-eating.
Not only are legumes rich in filling fiber and protein, which can help promote satiety and prevent hunger, but they’ve also been linked to better weight control and obesity prevention.
Furthermore, legumes are also nutrient-dense foods, which means they’re low in calories but packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. It makes it easier to maximize your nutrient intake even when you’re cutting calories.
Lower the risk of Heart-Related Diseases
Heart diseases have been one of the scariest diseases up to date. The heart is, without a doubt, one of the essential organs in the body. It circulates blood to all of your body’s tissues, providing them with the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive and grow.
Adding a serving or two of legumes to your meal per day, when combined with an otherwise balanced diet and active lifestyle, may have a significant effect on heart health. A diet rich in beans and pulses, for example, has been shown in numerous studies to lower total and bad LDL cholesterol.
Furthermore, if you are aware of diet plans such as DASH, you might want to try it. It encourages people to eat more plant-based foods like beans and lentils because they can help with glycemic control, blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI.
Lower Blood Sugar Level
Legumes are great for controlling blood sugar levels. It contains a lot of fiber, which helps slow sugar absorption in the bloodstream and maintains normal blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. In reality, people who already have these diseases will benefit from consuming legumes daily.
Furthermore, legumes can be a healthier addition to the diet when combined with low-glycemic fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and a good protein source and can help keep blood sugar levels steady.
Legumes, such as beans, peas, and lentils, are rich in fiber, reducing a person’s cancer risk. Beans are high in fiber, which may help prevent colorectal cancer, and some of them also contain antioxidants that help combat free radical damage.
Furthermore, fiber, resistant starch, and phenolic compounds in pulses can all help support the growth of health-promoting gut bacteria (the microbiome), boost immune function, and battle cancer and other chronic diseases, according to the American Cancer Institute.
Provides Vitamins and Minerals
Most legumes are high in micronutrients that help fight diseases that are not mentioned in the list. Vitamins, such as Vitamin B, are present in legumes. It is essential for maintaining good health and happiness. It significantly affects your energy levels, brain activity, and cell metabolism because they are the building blocks of a healthy body.
How to Prepare Legumes
After knowing the health benefits of legumes, it is just right to give insights on how to prepare them. Keep in mind that eating raw legumes can be too risky for your health, so as much as possible, avoid doing it.
Furthermore, proper planning is necessary to benefit from the health-promoting effects of legumes fully. Specific cooking methods can minimize antinutrient effects while also improving the nutrient profile.
If you’re trying to eat more legumes, it’s usually best to sprout them first to help with absorption and digestion. The two most known way to prepare legumes is by sprouting and fermenting. We will discuss each one briefly to give you a picture of how it’s done.
- Sprouting is the process of soaking legumes for eight to twenty-four hours, straining them, and allowing them to sprout outside. It can help reduce phytic acid while also increasing the amount of other beneficial nutrients.
- Another method that can increase the nutritional quality of legumes is fermentation. It usually entails mixing seeds with yeast and an acid to produce beneficial bacteria that can aid in the digestion of difficult-to-digest foods in the gastrointestinal tract.
Indeed, since there are thousands of different species cultivated worldwide, defining what legumes are is difficult. However, it won’t change the fact the legumes carry so many health benefits. Try adding legumes into your diet, and experience the goodness it provides in your body.