Why eat legumes.!!!!

Legumes or legumes (Fabaceae) are a large family of plants known mainly for their edible fruits, the so-called pods in which the seeds are stored. It is the third largest plant family with as many as 19,000 known species, many of which are culturally and economically important, as they are the second most important food source in the world, in addition to cereals. The most nutritionally important species include various types of beans, lentils, soybeans, peas and chickpeas.

The consumption of legumes is closely linked to the beginnings of human civilization, as evidence of the consumption of legumes can be found in Asia and America, as well as in Europe more than 8000 years ago. Legumes were already one of the staple foods at the time, as they were an important source of protein.

To date, a number of studies have been conducted proving the positive impact of a wholesome plant-based diet (vegetables, fruits, legumes and seeds and nuts) on our health, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes. and stroke. Interestingly, an extensive study, which in 2004 investigated the link between the diet of people around the world and their life expectancy, found that the only link between longevity and diet can be drawn by eating legumes. Despite the many known positive effects of legumes, only about 8% of people in the Western world consume it several times a week.

An excellent source of plant proteins, fiber and minerals

Legumes are extremely rich in nutrients, as in addition to complex carbohydrates they also contain a good proportion of protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins and iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus (for a more detailed composition of individual legumes see table). They do not contain saturated fats and – like all plant-based foods – contain healthy phytosterols instead of cholesterol.

Legumes accumulate larger amounts of protein in the seeds during fruit development, which ranks them among the best plant sources of protein. Legumes contain higher amounts of the essential amino acids lysine and threonine, which are otherwise deficient in cereals, while cereals consume enough methionine, which is deficient in legumes. The combination of legumes and cereals thus satisfies all the needs for essential amino acids even in a vegan diet. This combination is a very common basic traditional meal in many countries, such as rice and red beans in South America, chickpea hummus and “pita” bread in the Arabian Peninsula, rice and lentils in India, and so on.

Studies have shown that regular consumption of legumes lowers LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and regulates blood pressure. It also helps regulate body weight and reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Legumes, as a food with a low glycemic index, also benefit diabetics, as it helps regulate sugar and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The high fiber content in legumes also has a beneficial effect on the digestion and formation of our intestinal microbiota, and thus have a significant impact on the health of our intestines. Many health organizations and dietary guidelines therefore recommend eating legumes at least three times a week.

What about tension and winds?

Many people avoid eating legumes more often because of their bad reputation for inflating and causing winds. Studies show that gastrointestinal symptoms disappear completely in most people after a few weeks of regular consumption of legumes. During this time, our microbiota gets used to it and transforms a bit, so that less gas is produced in the intestine during the digestion of legumes. Tensioning is also reduced by pre-soaking dry legumes, and after cooking, the water in which the legumes were cooked is discarded.

Leave a Reply