They have been an essential part of human nutrition for centuries. But, its nutritional value is often not recognized. Although there are thousands of varieties, today we list the legumes with the most incredible properties. Find out what superfood we are talking about.
The legumes are very old, they have existed for millions of years and are spread all over the world. They belong to the ‘Fabaceae family, the third-largest group of plants.
They are a rich source of protein and essential amino acids that complement cereals. They provide a number of carbohydrates and micronutrients, as well as quality dietary fiber. In addition, they are an excellent alternative to meat in vegetarian diets.
Likewise, its low-fat content and the interaction of its sterols have been shown to be effective in maintaining low levels of LDL cholesterol and reducing blood pressure, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Legumes to raise the defenses
Here we collect the most beneficial legumes that can be eaten, and why they are so recommended for health.
- Chickpeas. They are a great source of fiber and protein, which help reduce weight, lower blood sugar and improve cholesterol levels.
The Crop Research Institute of India found that chickpeas may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, digestive diseases, and even some types of cancer.
- They are pills with a lot of vegetarian protein, ideal for soups. They benefit intestinal health, prevent blood sugar spikes and reduce bad cholesterol.
The University of Petra (Jordan) described the anticancer, blood pressure-lowering, cholesterol-lowering, and glycemic load-lowering effects of lentils.
- Green peas. Its fiber can help reduce triglycerides in the blood, increase satiety and promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines.
In addition, the University of Manitoba (Canada) found that eating 50 grams of pea flour per day for 28 days significantly reduced insulin resistance and abdominal fat, compared to wheat flour.
- beans. High-fiber foods like this one can help slow the absorption of sugar into the blood and lower glucose levels.
In the same way, the Catholic University of Rome showed that an extract of white beans can help reduce body weight and fat mass.
- soy. It is the legume with the highest protein content (a cup has 28.6 g) and the star of the vegetarian diet. It has high levels of antioxidants (isoflavones), which can help reduce bone density loss and lower the risk of heart disease.
Zhejiang University (China) found that eating large amounts of soy is associated with a 15% lower risk of stomach cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers.
- Interestingly, they are legumes, unlike other nuts. They are a good source of monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, protein, and B vitamins.
The University of Norway found that peanut consumption is associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.
- lupins. Like lentils, it was also considered the “meat of the poor” due to its high protein value and low price. They contain three times more vegetable protein than quinoa, three times more fiber than oatmeal, and three times more potassium than bananas.
As you can see, legumes are excellent sources of fiber, protein, and vitamins. Its effects have been shown to lower blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and help maintain a healthy gut.
But, in addition, eating more legumes as a source of protein instead of meat is also more ecological and sustainable for the planet.
Legumes are the ideal food for those who want to eat in a healthy, balanced, and economical way. In fact, they are so good that it is recommended that they be part of the 25% of the protein that should be consumed daily. So if you want to add more nutrients to your diet, these are the 5 legumes that you cannot miss.
Chickpeas are an extremely important legume as they contain all the essential amino acids, as well as being an important source of natural protein. The best thing about chickpeas is that they can be eaten in a thousand ways, such as tacos, ceviche, and even hummus.
Lentils are very healthy, cheap, and easy to get food. These high-fiber legumes can be cooked in a variety of ways, including soups, salads, and pancakes.
Like chickpeas, soy is an important source of good quality protein with essential amino acids and the best thing is that it also contains fatty acids, omega 3,6,9, and vitamin E, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber.
Beans are an excellent source of fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. They contain slowly absorbed carbohydrates with, high content of folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. In addition, they also provide magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus to the body. They are a complete and delicious delicacy!
To the surprise of many, peanuts are legumes and also have important nutrients for health. Peanuts are carriers of healthy fats, B vitamins, vitamin E, and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, and zinc.