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Benefits of beans and legumes

Understanding health benefits of beans and legumes

Benefits of beans and legumes

Beans and legumes are nutritional powerhouses. This is because they are rich in a variety of nutrients, including complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. Eating beans and legumes regularly can make a real difference to your health because of all the benefits they offer. 

Beans and legumes are a very significant part of the daily diet in many parts of the world. Even certain pulses (dried beans, lentils, or peas) when soaked and cooked are considered as beans.

Legumes such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas are a rich source of protein, fiber, and calories. Black beans can give 227 calories, 15 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber in one cup of cooked legumes.

Legumes are also rich in vitamins and minerals including folate, iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. 

Just add some black beans to your salads or soups to get a range of nutrients in one go.

Lentils 

Lentils are legumes belonging to the species of a pea. They are often cultivated in India, Nepal, Afghanistan, etc, but now they have been grown throughout the world as well. The lentils belong to the genus Lens and species culinaris. There are many varieties of lentils available in the market including red lentils, green lentils, brown lentils, etc. Lentils are very popular because they are cheap and easy to cook ingredients. They also have a lot of health benefits for the human body.

Lentils and soybeans are like the power couple in the vegetable kingdom. They are two of the most nutrient-dense ingredients available, and eating them together will give you the ideal dose of healthy protein to keep hunger at bay.

Soybeans

Soybeans are great sources of protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, iron, calcium, and magnesium. These legumes are low in saturated fats and cholesterol and thus lower the risk of heart disease and other ailments. They also play a role in lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of colon cancer and other cancers, fighting inflammation, and improving bone health.

Health Benefits of Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are great sources of protein and nutrients. They are widely consumed across the world with their excellent taste and health benefits. Beans and legumes are also used in the preparation of various cuisines across the world. Some health benefits of beans and legumes are given below.

1) Beans and Legumes are rich sources of Protein

Protein is a vital nutrient that helps in maintaining and repairing the body after illness. Beans are high in amino acids that are the building blocks of protein. Animal products and quinoa are complete proteins because they contain all the nine essential amino acids. Nuts, seeds, grains, etc are incomplete proteins.

People often mix these foods to get a combination of both complete and incomplete proteins like eating beans with rice or eating black beans with almonds.

Beans are not calorie-dense but rich in proteins which makes them a suitable choice for vegetarians and vegans.

2) Beans and Legumes are rich sources of Folate

Folate is an essential nutrient that helps the body in making healthy red blood cells and can improve heart health as well.

3) Beans and Legumes are rich sources of Antioxidants

Beans and legumes are rich in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant that can fight free radicals.

Free radicals can cause cell damage. Therefore, beans and legumes are suitable foods that help to remove free radicals and protect the body from various diseases.

4) Beans and Legumes can Prevent Heart Diseases

Beans and legumes help in lowering cholesterol levels, which is a major risk factor for heart diseases and heart attack. A study has found a correlation between eating beans and a lower risk of coronary heart disease.

5) Beans and Legumes reduce Risk of Cancer

Beans and legumes act as antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the risk of cancer. A study suggested that black beans have a certain antioxidant that can fight intestinal cancer.

6) Beans and legumes for Diabetes

Beans and legumes can stabilize blood glucose levels and prevent diabetes. A high fiber diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and evidence also suggest that it may help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

7) Beans and Legumes Prevent Fatty Liver

When fats get accumulated in the liver, it can lead to inflammation. It can develop alongside obesity and high cholesterol. Replacing higher fat animal proteins with beans and legumes can enhance the health of the liver.

8) Beans and Legumes help Control Appetite

Beans and legumes contain fiber and healthy starch that can keep you full for a long time. This helps in preventing binge-eating and ultimately induces healthy weight loss.

9) Beans and Legumes Improve Gut Health

Beans and legumes help in improving the functioning of the intestine and increase the number of good bacteria in the body. This may help prevent gut-associated diseases. 

Take Away

India is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of the production and consumption of beans and legumes. Beans and legumes are called dal in different regions of India.

Lentils and soybeans are two of the most widely cultivated ingredients in the world. They are rich in nutrients. Lentils and soybeans are also considered healthy ingredients which provide lots of benefits to human health.