If you are a bean, nut, and seed lover, nutritionists say that you are on a good diet as these are some of the healthiest foods. Locally, nutritionists say these are very much affordable sources of protein, fibre, iron, and vitamins that offer many health benefits. Gerald Ruzindana, a nutrition and wellness expert, says protein is a vital nutrient that plays a key role in maintaining and repairing the body, and legumes are high in amino acids, the building blocks of protein. He says that people should consider consuming legumes on a daily basis as they contain several vital nutrients, including folate. “Folate is essential for overall health, to make healthy red blood cells, and help prevent neural tube defects in a foetus during pregnancy. With their presence of proteins, consuming legumes helps heal and make new tissues in the body,” he says. Legumes are also linked to significantly lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, according to studies. “It’s surprising how many people still don’t understand the benefits that come with consuming legumes,” says Erick Musengimana, a nutritionist at Rwanda Diabetes Association. He adds that legumes provide fibre, protein, carbohydrate, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorous, noting that they are naturally low in fat, are practically free of saturated fat, and because they are plant foods, they are cholesterol free as well, which makes them a perfect option. From studies, one serving of legumes, which is one-half cup, provides about 115 calories, 20g of carbohydrate, 7–9g of fibre, 8g of protein, and 1g of fat. Legumes also have a low glycaemic index, generally ranging between 10 and 40. It has also been established that legumes are an integral part of many healthy eating patterns, including the Mediterranean style of eating, vegetarian and vegan diets, and lower-glycaemic-index (GI) diets. Along with being a highly nutritious food, evidence shows that legumes can play an important role in the prevention and management of a number of health conditions. Ruzindana says that diets rich in plant-based foods, including legumes, and lower in refined grains, sugar-sweetened beverages, and processed meats have been shown to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and, for those who have diabetes, to improve both glycaemic and lipid control. Also, nutritionists say that a diet that regularly includes legumes may help with weight control, because of its fibre content and protein, as this means that it will slowly get digested after consumption, therefore, aiding in satiety.