7 Reason to Include Legumes in Your Diet
There are several different health benefits associated with the regular consumption of legumes.
Some of them:
- Reduction of cholesterol levels in the blood
- Regulating the levels of blood glucose for diabetics
- Preventing cancer and reducing its risks
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving the function of the colon
- Curing constipation, piles and other digestive related problems
Benefits of Legumes For Women
- Studies show that women who eat legumes like soybean regularly are less likely to develop breast cancer in comparison to others. Moreover, most legume varieties are high in iron. They boost the iron stores in women who are menstruating & may be at a risk for iron deficiency.
- The flavonoid content in some beans like garbanzo, work as estrogen and help relieve the symptoms of menopause in women.
- Most legumes, like lentils and beans are high in selenium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and folate.
- Certain varieties of beans, like soybean, are packed with an anti-inflammatory compound known as saponins. This compound lowers the cholesterol levels, boosts the immune system and protects the body against cancer. However, cooking beans excessively destroys the saponins present in them.
Doctors usually recommend an increase in the consumption of legumes for diabetics. This is because of their low-fat content and high complex carbohydrate content as compared to many other foods.
Recent studies show that a higher legume intake leads to around 40% reduction in the risks of developing type-2 diabetes.
You can reduce the levels of cholesterol in your body, by consuming legumes on a regular basis. However, some varieties of legumes are better for cholesterol-reduction, as compared to the others. Given below are some of the most helpful legumes for cholesterol control:
Black beans, Black-eyed peas, Chickpeas, Lentils, Navy beans, Peas, Pinto Beans, Soybean, String bean
Rich Source of Protein
After meat, poultry and fish, legumes provide more protein per serving than other types of food. Beans, peas and lentils have about 15 grams of protein in a 1-cup serving.
Fiber for Heart and Digestive Health Legumes are good sources of fiber. The insoluble fiber they contain can reduce any blockage in the digestive tract, thereby decreasing problems like bloating, constipation and nausea. The fiber content in legumes also lowers risks of colon cancer and unhealthy cholesterol levels in the body.
They also have soluble fiber, which helps keep blood sugar balanced and lowers the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Fiber’s ability to prevent cardiovascular disease is so important and the recommended intake is– 25 grams daily for women and 38 grams daily for men — based on the amount needed to protect against coronary heart disease.
Helps You Manage Your Weight
When you’re trying to lose weight or working to maintain a healthy weight, foods that fill you up can make the difference between sticking with a diet or giving in to high-calorie snacks. The combination of protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates in legumes creates a very satisfying food that helps you feel full quickly and stay full longer.
Easy to Add to Your Diet
The easiest way to increase your intake is by tossing a handful in soups or salads. Make your own veggie burgers by mixing beans, vegetables, breadcrumbs and egg whites to bind them together. Prepare a one-dish meal by combining legumes, brown rice, mushrooms, sweet peppers, tomatoes and seasonings, such as cumin, paprika or hot sauce.
Consider making a breakfast smoothie with bananas, berries, yoghurt and white beans. Try a dessert smoothie using cocoa powder, bananas, black beans and fat-free chocolate milk. Gradually add them to your diet if you experience excess gas from eating beans and other legumes. This gives your digestive tract time to adjust to the extra fiber and helps prevent unwanted side effects.
I hope the above mention information is useful for you.
Do you have any query please get in touch with me.
Dietitian Vinita Jaiswal