According to a 2002 study, only 8% of American adults include legumes in their daily diet. Considering all of the benefits we can acquire from consuption of legumes, we should be eating more. And considering the wide variety of beans out there, we have plenty of legumes to choose from.
Legumes are loaded with nutrients that can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and help you lose weight. It is recommended that one should eat 3-4 cups of legumes each week, alternating them as a protein for lunch and using it in a couple of evening meals. You can easily use legumes in stews, soups, and salads. However, what are the most healthy legumes to eat?
We list the top 5 Legumes to add to your daily diet.
- Black Beans – contain fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content. Coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all components of the Black Blean help to support heart health. The fiber in black beans helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease
- Black-Eyed Peas – benefits include improving digestion, preventing anemia, lowering blood pressure, increasing folate intake, and promoting skin and eye health. Make sure when you purchase canned Black-Eyed Peas that you get them salt-free.
- Kidney Beans – are an excellent source of molybdenum. They are a very good source of folate, dietary fiber and copper. Kidney beans are a good source of manganese, phosphorus, protein, vitamin B1, iron, potassium and magnesium. Make sure when purchasing dried beans, that there is no moisture in bag. Beans are prone to molding.
- Lentils – are an excellent source of molybdenum and folate. They are a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, phosphorus and manganese. Additionally they are a good source of iron, protein, vitamin B1, pantothenic acid, zinc, potassium and vitamin B6. They do not need to be presoaked before cooking.
- Chickpeas (aka Garbonzo Beans) – an excellent, low-fat source of protein and fiber. They’re also packed with vitamin B6, folate, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Commonly used in hummus and falafel, but can be used in stews and salads.