It is likely that on many occasions you have eaten legumes, and be one of your favorite foods. There are those who often confuse them, but the truth is that they are full of a large amount of vitamins and minerals, so they are very nutritious. Beans, chickpeas, and lentils are just some of the legumes More popular. Do you want to know what exactly are the legumes and what are its benefits? Check it out! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about this rich source of fiber and protein. Read to the end!

What are legumes?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), legumes They are a type of legumes that are harvested only to obtain the dry seed. Dried beans, lentils and peas are the most commonly known and consumed types of legumes.

He also points out that «the legumes they do not include crops that are harvested green (eg green peas, green beans), as these are classified as vegetables. Crops used mainly for the extraction of oils (such as soybeans and peanuts) and legumes that are used exclusively for planting purposes (clover and alfalfa seeds) are also excluded.

The legumes they have long been a staple food in many cultures, with some evidence showing that they began to rapidly diversify to form different species between 2 and 4 million years ago in the Andes Mountains.

What are some examples of legumes?

Although there are thousands of different types, some of the most common varieties you can find are: all varieties of dry beans, such as beans bean), Lima beans, kidney beans and broad beans. Chickpeas, cowpeas (black bean, wild peas), careta beans, and pigeon peas (gandules, pigeon peas, pigeon peas) are also legumes, as are all varieties of lentils.

Benefits of legumes

In addition to being rich in protein and fiber, legumes are also packed with vitamins and minerals. Most varieties of legumes are high in micronutrients such as folic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium.

For this reason, legumes are a great way to supplement a diet that may be lacking in certain nutrients. Let’s look at some of their benefits:

high in protein

Legumes contain a decent amount of amino acids and are considered some of the best plant-based sources of protein.

Protein is considered a fundamental part of the diet and essential for cell function and muscle growth. For this reason, legumes become especially important in vegan and vegetarian diets and are often used as basic sources of protein.

When it comes to weight loss, eating enough protein can also promote satiety and keep you full while supporting a healthy metabolism and even increasing the number of calories you burn after a meal.

They stimulate intestinal function

In addition to their impressive protein content, legumes are high-fiber foods that can help promote healthy cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health.

When you eat fiber, it moves slowly through your digestive tract and adds bulk to your stool to aid in its passage. This is especially beneficial when it comes to constipation.

It’s important to note that you should increase your fiber intake slowly and be sure to drink plenty of water as well. Sudden increases in fiber intake can cause unpleasant symptoms like gas, cramps, or bloating.

They can help you lose weight

If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, you may want to consider adding a few servings of legumes to your diet each week.

Not only are they high in fiber and protein, both of which can help promote satiety and stave off hunger, but legume consumption has also been associated with better weight control and obesity prevention.

Legumes are also very nutrient dense foods, meaning they are low in calories but pack tons of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in every serving. This makes it easier to optimize the nutrients you are taking in even as you reduce your calorie intake.

Help normalize cholesterol levels and support heart health

Along with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, adding a serving or two of legumes to your daily meal can have a good effect on heart health. For example, many studies have shown that a diet rich in beans and legumes can lower bad cholesterol.

Several popular diets, including DASH and Mediterranean-style plans, promote a higher intake of plant-based foods such as beans and lentils due to their ability to improve glycemic control, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index .

Help stabilize blood sugar

Legumes are excellent for regulating blood sugar. It has been found in studies to significantly reduce the risks of heart disease. As well as high blood pressure, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The high amount of fiber found in legumes reduces the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. In addition, it maintains normal blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

Risks of consuming legumes

Although legumes are loaded with health benefits, there are also some drawbacks to including them in your diet that need to be considered.

Legumes contain «antinutrients» or compounds that can interfere with the absorption of important micronutrients like iron and calcium.

The most prevalent antinutrient found in legumes is phytic acid. This is the main storage form of phosphorus, which is found in foods such as cereals, legumes and nuts. The problem with this acid is that it can bind and prevent the absorption of certain minerals, such as iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and manganese.

Over time, this can cause nutrient deficiencies in people who frequently eat legumes. However, keep in mind that this is much more likely to affect vegetarians than meat eaters.

Lectins are another type of antinutrient found in legumes. Lectins resist digestion and can even damage the lining of the gastrointestinal tract when consumed in large amounts.

Fortunately, by practicing proper preparation techniques, the harmful effects of antinutrients found in legumes can be minimized.

Allergies and other concerns

Legumes contain a good amount of carbohydrates. Therefore, people with diabetes should be thinking carefully about including legumes in their diets. Combine legumes with non-starchy vegetables, low-glycemic fruits. As well as lean sources of protein for a balanced meal that stabilizes blood sugar.

If you experience any negative symptoms after eating legumes, make sure you stop eating them and see your doctor right away.

This article is informative and is not intended to serve as a diagnosis, prescription or treatment of any type of ailment. This information does not replace the consultation of a doctor, specialist or health professional.

Explicit or implicit recommendations on drugs, techniques, products, etc., are cited for informational purposes only. The use of this information is carried out under the exclusive responsibility of the users.