All about Legumes!
Being a highly nutritious food, Legumes are an integral part of many healthy eating patterns such as the Mediterranean style of eating, vegetarian or vegan diet, low GI diet and our common Indian diet. Not only are they packed with multi-nutrient but also play an important role in various health conditions. Kidney beans, cranberry beans, black beans, pinto beans, soybeans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas and lentils are some commonly consumed legumes. Legumes belong to Fabaceae, also called the Leguminosae plant family.
Legumes contain a good amount of iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, fiber, protein, carbohydrate, B vitamins and phosphorous. Along with such high nutritional value, they are also low in fat i.e free of both saturated fats and cholesterol. Legumes have the same amount of calcium as a glass of milk. Lysine, essential amino acid and polyphenols, powerful antioxidants are found in it. With high fiber content, it also includes resistant starch that helps in regulating your blood sugar levels.
• Protects against type 2 diabetes
• Mends glycaemic and lipid control in diabetic people
• Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
• Helps in weight-loss management
• Reduces the risk of heart disease
Some healthiest legumes that you can add to your diet are:
Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, they are a good source of protein and fiber. They can help in reducing weight, diminish the risk of cancer and fight against heart diseases.
Lentils: lentils can help in reducing blood sugar to some extent. It improves our gut health by regulating bowel functioning. Thus, it helps in digestion and further prevents spike in blood sugar.
Peas: The most versatile legume, peas are an incredible source of protein and fiber. It helps in decreasing blood sugar and blood triglycerides. It feeds the healthy bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in the gut, thus improving gut health.
Kidney beans: They help in the absorption of sugar and reduce sugar levels. Kidney beans also reduce body weight and fat mass. It also contains high amount of fiber that helps in bowel movement.
Soybeans: It is consumed in different forms including soya chunks and tofu. It contains good amount of antioxidants like isoflavones. Soy isoflavones are phytoestrogens that also help in reducing a number of ailments including heart disease, blood pressure and cholesterol.