Legumes food, also called pulses, are plants whose fruit is a pod. They belong to the Fabaceae family, in which we find beans, lupins, peas, lentils, peanuts, clover, soybeans, peanuts, mimosa, or acacia. It is a very diverse family, which includes about 765 kind and 19,500 species.Legumes food provide a share of protein and can, therefore, compensate for meat consumption. In addition, these legumes food offer many benefits: reduced bloating, low cost, and they are easy to prepare, besides they do not make you fat.

1. Nutritional value

Legumes food are rich in vegetal proteins (between 20% and 40% on dry seeds), slow carbohydrates and fibers, as well as vitamins (B and C) and minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium). The lens, for example, is an excellent source of iron (about 3 mg per 100g). They can thus replace meat as part of a vegetarian diet. They are also suitable for celiac and gluten sensitive people. The legumes food also lend themselves to multiple preparations: as an accompaniment, canned, mashed, soup, flour, flakes, oil, tofu ...

2. Legumes food types

The legumes family contains different types, including the following:

2.1 Lentils

They are fairly digestible compared to other legumes, and they are rich in iron. In India, they are part of the essential food, along with rice.

2.2 Beans

You can find them in many shapes, sizes, and colors, including red, white, and black. It is a rich source of fiber and protein, and it has many health benefits. They work to reduce blood sugar levels and reduce the chances of developing diabetes; beans are a common food in many countries of the world, and they are often accompanied with rice.

2.3 Chickpeas

They are native to the Mediterranean basin, where it is widely consumed in numerous forms: mash, hummus, salads, couscous. They are rich in easily assimilated carbohydrates, proteins, manganese, copper, and folate.

2.4 Peas

They are rich in proteins and fibers necessary for the digestion process. They are a round seed in green color. Australia is the producer and the largest source for it, peas are used in making a lot of dishes, whether used fresh green or dried. Peas provide great benefits to the body: regulate sugar and help to maintain bowel health.

2.5 Soy

Soybeans are perhaps the most widely consumed type of legume worldwide. They are available in various forms, including tofu, and is characterized by the presence of isoflavones, which are antioxidants, which give it the ability to fight many dangerous diseases, such as stomach cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Soybeans are rich in proteins, vitamin A and B, as well as in various types of minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron ...).To consume the soybeans, you can cook them by soaking them beforehand. It is also possible to germinate them. Consuming them raw allows you to get all the benefits.Soybeans have satiety power; they contain lecithin, which regulates cholesterol and chlorophyll, which helps to suppress diseased tissue and re-generate it.

2.6 Peanuts

They are part of the legumes food family.Even if you consider its proteins less complete than animal proteins, peanuts are an excellent source of vegetable proteins. They contain "good fats," namely monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. In this sense, they are a very good source of lipids.The presence of phytosterols plays an essential role in the cardiovascular system as well as for combating the onset of several diseases, including colon cancer and breast cancer. Besides, it contains several vitamins and minerals excellent for the body, namely magnesium, which participates in bone development and vitamin E, which is a major antioxidant.This is why we recommend peanuts as part of the vegan diet.100 grams of peanuts contain 567 calories and 26 grams of protein.Related: What are the seven irreplaceable healthy legumes?

3. Benefits of legumes food

The fibers contained in legumes improve intestinal transit and bring a feeling of satiety. They have a low glycemic index, which allows people with diabetes to consume them. Legumes are a source of energy. They provide B vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, and selenium. The latter is an antioxidant that fights against aging of the skin.

Originally published on Live Positively.