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Legumes such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans, are a good source of protein, folate, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients promote good heart health, regulate blood sugar levels and boost energy. In addition, legumes also contain antioxidants that are known to reduce inflammation, and in turn, help maintain physical fitness.
“Most importantly, the consumption of beans and legumes is safe, even when someone has diabetes, heart issues, or gut problems,” Priya Palan, Dietitian, Zen Multispeciality Hospital, tells HealthShots.
Legumes are among the most nutritious vegetarian foods. Not only are they healthy, but truly versatile and delicious.
Don’t wait and stock up on these five legumes that are considered to be the healthiest:
Chickpea is a great source of protein, fiber, and folate. It is a low glycemic index food that is slowly absorbed, which is why it helps to control blood sugar. The high dietary soluble fibre helps in easier and regular bowel movements. It also lowers cholesterol and thus reduces the risk of heart disease. It consists of choline, an important nutrient that is said to boost mental health, shares Palan.
Lentils are extremely nutritious and help improve overall health, since they are packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are also a good source of iron. At the same time, fibre supports regular bowel movements and the growth of healthy gut bacteria. It also helps to balance your blood sugar levels, and provides more satiety.
Palan says, “It slows the absorption of sugar into the blood, helping to reduce blood sugar levels. They are rich in fibre, which in turn, promotes colon health and helps to maintain weight.”
It’s a great source of fibre and protein, and helps to reduce insulin resistance. In fact, the fibre in pea feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut, and improves its health. Moreover, it can be used as a supplement to gain various health benefits, especially for those who are following a vegan diet.
“It is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, and that means it has various potential health benefits. The high fibre content improves gut health, while various bioactive plant compounds reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol,” says Palan.
In a nutshell, you can easily consume legumes in any form by adding them to soups, salads, stews, or more.