Do you love legumes? Your heart does, so try these delicious fibre-infused recipes.
While legumes may not be the most glamorous protein source, they’re heralded as a superfood by nutritional experts worldwide. It seems prevailing science concurs with the majority view—an overwhelming body of evidence suggests the regular consumption of legumes can benefit human health in several ways.
Beans certainly pack a nutritional wallop. They’re an excellent source of
- vitamins B2, B6, and B9 (folic acid)
- minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc
In addition, legumes contain certain bioactive plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activity. Not surprisingly, this potent blend of nutrients can help stave off many chronic diseases.
Legumes are cardio-protective in several ways. Studies show they can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, high blood pressure, and inflammation markers in the body. What’s more, the consumption of legumes favourably affects the risk factors for metabolic syndrome, a key player in the development of cardiovascular disease.
Beans aren’t just heart friendly. Research suggests they can also play a powerful role in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. Their ample soluble fibre content helps stabilize blood sugar levels and increases cells’ sensitivity to insulin. In addition, research shows that diets high in legumes can help fight obesity, a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
The bioactive compounds found in legumes—namely phytochemicals, saponins, and tannins—have been shown to inhibit some types of cancer cell growth, such as stomach, colorectal, and kidney cancers. Emerging research confirms their potency and indicates that regular consumption of legumes can help avoid several forms of the deadly disease.
If all this weren’t impressive enough, consider this: legumes aren’t just nutritional powerhouses, they’re also versatile and delicious. Used in entrees, soups, salads—even desserts—they can enhance your culinary repertoire and your health!
- Light and Lovely Minestrone
- Black Bean and Jicama Salad
- Salmon-Bean Stuffed Pita Pockets
- Spicy Thai Yam and Lentil Soup