Legumes are an easy and healthy food to enjoy at any time of the day. Yet they are often overlooked in favour of other food choices such as meat or fish. Legumes consist of black beans, chickpeas, mung beans and red lentils amongst other kinds. However, many people struggle to get enough of these beneficial beans into their diet, often believing they are boring or take too long to prepare.
The good news is that getting your legumes which count as one of your five a day has never been easier. So to encourage you, here are 5 of the best reasons to eat legumes every day…
- They are a good source of dietary fiber. Lentils contain some soluble fiber, but are an excellent source of insoluble fiber. A diet that’s rich in insoluble fiber can regulate bowel movements and promote good digestive health. This may also significantly decrease the risk of cancers related to the breast, colon, throat and esophagus.
- Rich source of Protein. Lentils are a lean source of protein according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Legumes may lower the overall risk of death from most diseases including cancer and heart disease. They are a rich source of protein and also lower in saturated fats and cholesterol, when compared to beef, poultry and fish.
- Legumes may reduce Heart Disease. There is evidence to suggest that legumes can lower blood pressure and according to the Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, people who ate beans regularly have a 47% lowered risk of elevated blood pressure than those who didn’t include eating beans in their diet. Research also suggests that eating beans can help maintain blood pressure, with studies showing that eating legumes can lead to greater elasticity within the blood vessels, resulting in lowered blood pressure. 
- May prevent or delay Diabetes Type 2. The high fiber content in beans means that it slows down the release of sugar into the body, preventing blood sugar spikes. This is useful because when blood sugar spikes, the body makes more insulin to lower sugar levels. The body eventually becomes resistant to the high levels of insulin over time. Additionally, the anti-inflammatory effects of beans can help with preventing diabetes, especially since chronic inflammation is a risk factor in its development.
- Good source of Iron. A cup of lentils contains 87% of the iron needed for men and 38% of what a woman needs. Iron is used within the body to produce red blood cells and adenosine or ATP. This is used to create energy within the body. People who are iron deficient may also be more at risk of neurological problems such as ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Lentils are a good source of plant based iron but for best results, consider eating them with lean meat or oily fish.
Bored of eating beans on their own? Why not try a new way with legumes…Really Healthy Pasta™ is made from this simple ingredient and nothing else.
Available in a variety of flavours including Black Bean, Buckwheat and Golden Flaxseed, Chickpea, Mung Bean, Red Lentil…this pasta is presented in fusilli and penne. Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free and suitable for coeliacs and vegans, it is the healthy meal replacement for anyone looking to replace starchy carbs such as traditional wheat pasta. What’s more, it’s now possible to get a portion of your five a day through this pasta.
5 Reasons To Eat Legumes Every Day | www.naturallyhealthynews.com
- Zahradka, P., et al. Daily non-soy legume consumption reverses vascular impairment due to peripheral artery disease. Atherosclerosis. 2013 Oct;230(2):310-4. Epub 2013 Aug 6.