I was seething with anger when my legumes were confiscated at an airport after travelling with them for over 4 hours a few weeks ago. I love eating legumes, they are not only sweet when well prepared, but are also healthy.
Legumes are one of the most nutritious vegetable, rich in health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Beans, peas, lentils, soybeans and black eyed peas are from a family of vegetables called legumes. They are an extremely important part of a healthy diet. Legumes are a major source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and such minerals as potassium, magnesium, and zinc, all necessary for life.
There are some people who think eating legumes should be left to other people and not them. Woe unto you if you don’t eat legumes.
If you have never given much thought about eating legumes, you might consider adding them to your diet now. These inexpensive vegetable proteins offer a variety of health benefits, whether you are looking to lose weight or maintain a proper diet.
Vitamins and Minerals
Legumes are a source of important vitamins and minerals. They provide B vitamins, which keep your nervous system healthy; folic acid, which prevents birth defects in unborn babies; iron, which keeps your circulatory system healthy; and calcium which builds strong bones.
Legumes are full of protein and fiber, which makes them an efficient choice for dieters. Fiber provides bulk but not calories and takes time for the body to break down. The body processes protein at a slower rate than other nutrients such as carbohydrates. This makes legumes a good diet for people who are out to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Heart Disease Prevention
If you replace some of the meat in your diet with legumes, they can help you avoid heart problems. Vegetable-based proteins such as beans, lentils and soybeans are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than animal-based protein, which is why they are recommended as part of a heart-healthy diet. Nowadays there are even soybean meats to replace red meat, they almost taste like meat.
Possible Cancer Protection
A diet rich in legumes may help you avoid certain types of cancer, especially colon cancer, according to a Johns Hopkins health alert. Johns Hopkins says increasing your consumption of beans may help prevent polyps from developing in your intestinal tract, which helps prevent benign polyps from turning into colon or rectal cancer.
Legumes can be prepared differently, you only need to look for recipes and prepare them whichever way you think is best for you and family. The bottom line is, legumes should replace the bigger part of the meat on your diet.