What are the seven irreplaceable healthy legumes?

7 irreplaceable healthy legumes
(Image: © Stephen VanHove/Unsplash)

Legumes are plants of the Leguminosae or Fabaceae family. They are generally cultivated for their seeds. The most common and healthy legumes are beans (white beans, navy beans, red beans (adzuki), pinto beans), chickpeas, lentils (brown, green, coral, Puy, blonde) ), yellow soybeans and green soybeans.

Legumes considered to be the source of popular plant-food in all over the world; they are rich in several essential nutrients. Legumes are an important source of non-animal protein in addition to fibers and other vitamins and minerals. Regarded as healthy legumes, because they are rich in many benefits such as reducing blood sugar, increasing the healthy bacteria of the digestive system, and reducing the cholesterol in the body.

Here we are going to cover the seven healthy legumes that are good to consume:

1. Chickpeas or Hummus

Chickpeas, one of the essential healthy legumes with several health benefits, even if many people don’t like chickpea legumes. Yet, they miss many benefits, chickpeas reduce the risk of heart diseases, and they are considered as one of the good foods for the bacteria that help the intestine. Many studies indicate that consuming chickpeas reduce harmful cholesterol in the blood, which is one of the dangerous factors that lead to heart diseases. Besides, chickpeas improve the digestive system because they are high in fiber.

One cup of chickpeas (about 164 grams) contains:

  • 269 calories.
  • -14.5 grams of protein.
  • 12.5 grams of fiber.
  • 84% of the daily requirement for manganese.
  • 71% of the daily requirement of vitamin B9.
  • 29% of the daily requirement for copper.
  • 26% of the daily requirement for iron

2. Lentils

Another type among the healthy legumes are the lentils that can reduce blood sugar, comparing to other foods. Studies of 3000 people indicate that people who consume significant amounts of lentils and other legume species are less risky to diabetes. Moreover, lentils improve the digestive system function as they slow the discharge of the stomach, which allows more time for digestion and prevent high blood sugar.

In addition to their rich content of protein, lentils are rich in vitamins, since one cup of lentils (about 198 grams) contains:

  • 230 calories.
  • 17.9 grams of protein.
  • 15.6 grams of fiber.
  • 90% of the daily requirement for vitamin B9.
  • 49% of the daily requirement for manganese.
  • 29% of the daily requirement for copper.
  • 22% of the daily requirement for vitamin B1

3. Peas (green peas, eyed peas)

The content of fibers in peas helps in many health benefits. Studies indicate that peas’ fibers help to reduce the levels of insulin and blood sugar after eating meals; moreover, peas improve the digestive system function by increasing the good bacteria of the digestive system such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.

A cup of peas (about 160 grams) contains:

  • 125 calories.
  • 8.2 grams of protein.
  • 8.8 grams of fiber.
  • 48% of the daily requirement for vitamin K.
  • 30% of the daily requirement of Vitamin B1.
  • 24% of the daily requirement of vitamin B9.
  • 22% of the daily requirement for manganese.

4. Beans

Like many other healthy legumes, the fibers existing in seeds help in reducing the blood sugar levels by slowing the sugar absorption. According to one study, the extract of seeds can help losing weight and reducing the risk of diabetes. There are varieties of beans; green beans, lima beans, pinto beans, white beans, broad beans, and black eyes beans.

One cup of beans (about 256 grams) contains:

  • 215 calories.
  • 13.4 grams of protein.
  • 13.6 grams of fiber.
  • 23% of the daily requirement for vitamin B9.
  • 22% of the daily requirement for manganese.
  • 20% of the daily requirement for vitamin B1.
  • 17% of the daily requirement for copper.
  • 17% of the daily requirement for iron

5. Soybean

Besides being a rich source of proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals, the soybean contains compounds of isoflavones that are considered to be one of the antioxidants. Many studies show that soybean help to reduce the risk of cancer since the consumption of a big amount of soybean will reduce gastrointestinal cancer by 15%. Furthermore, the soybean contains plant compounds similar to estrogen hormone, which reduce the risk of breast cancer, heart diseases, and blood vessels.

A cup of cooked soybeans (about 172 grams) contains:

  • 298 calories.
  • 28.6 grams of protein.
  • 10.3 grams of fiber.
  • 71% of the daily requirement for manganese.
  • 49% of the daily requirement for iron.
  • 42% of the daily requirement for phosphorus.
  • 41% of the daily requirement for vitamin K.
  • 29% of the daily requirement of vitamin B2.
  • 23% of the daily requirement for vitamin B9.

6. Peanuts

Peanuts and not nuts are considered one of the healthy legumes belonging to the legume family. They are distinguished for their content of monounsaturated fats and many unsaturated fats. Some studies show that consuming peanuts is related to reducing the risk of heart disease death, heart attack, cancer, and diabetes.

The amount of half cup of peanuts (about 73 grams) contains:

  • 427 calories.
  • 17.3 grams of protein.
  • 5.9 grams of fiber.
  • 5 grams of saturated fat.
  • 76% of the daily requirement for manganese.
  • 50% of the daily requirement for Vitamin B3.
  • 32% of the daily requirement of magnesium.
  • 27% of the daily requirement for vitamin B9.
  • 25% of the daily requirement for vitamin E.
  • 22% of the daily requirement for vitamin B1.

7. Black beans

Black bean considered to be of the foods with a low glycemic index, which means that they don’t cause a high blood sugar after eating meals, comparing to other carbohydrates. Thus black beans help reducing the risk of diabetes and overweight.

A cup (about 172 grams) of black beans contains:

  • 227 calories.
  • 15.2 grams of protein.
  • 15 grams of fiber.
  • 64% of the daily requirement for vitamin B9.
  • 38% of the daily requirement for manganese.
  • 30% of the daily requirement of magnesium.
  • 28% of the daily requirement for thiamine.
  • 20% of the daily requirement for iron.

 

Originally published on Live Positively.