Beans, beans are good for your heart…
I’m sure you can all finish off this sentence, if not, I will leave it to your imagination. This quote, famous, and known amongst friends and households, claims that beans are good for your heart, amongst other things. Legumes, which you may know as pulses, are a group of plant foods which are made up of dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils to name a few types of plants (Pulses n.d.).
I love legumes so much, and I feel like everyone should try and consume them at least once a week. Legumes contain a wide variety of nutrients and are super healthy; they are high in fibre (which helps our digestive system running smooth, also having the ability to lower cholesterol levels), they are low GI (which keeps us satisfied for longer, distributing the energy we get from eating more evenly, rather than rapidly), and they are high in protein (Dietician’s Association of Australia n.d.). This low cost type of foods also has these benefits:
- They are high in Vitamin B, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron and magnesium
- They are a great source of folate, read about those benefits here.
- They are a great source of antioxidants, protecting cells and lowering risk of infections and diseases (Very Well 2016).
I love legumes because every time I eat them I feel like I am benefitting my body; I know I am getting an amazing amount of iron in my body (which us females need), as well as protein and fiber, all which are great for not only digestion (iron and fiber) but the human body. Here are the nutritional benefits of some types of legumes/beans.
Note – keep in mind that a recommended daily iron intake for men is 8milligrams, and 18 milligrams for females (Healthy Eating 2016). This may not seem like a lot, but when you compare the amount of iron in legumes to other foods, its super high, see here (note – it is also easier to consume 100g of legumes than 100g mushrooms or spinach).
There is though, debate about legumes, due to the harmful toxin that some contain (Lectins), which can be detrimental to our bodies, read more about that here. This though, is destroyed by cooking, so make sure that you are never eating raw legumes or beans, not that there would be a need to – can you imagine the taste, yuck! (Wellness Mama 2016).
Legumes are a great way for you to get in low GI carbs, protein, iron and fiber all at once, and this is why I love this superfood. Some people are hesitant to use legumes because they are unsure on how to cook them, so I am going to show you a few of my favourite recipes: Here they are:
- Mujadra – this Lebanese dish is so tasty, you have to try it! It tastes better after a day or two as well, yum. Here is the link.
- My Minestrone Soup – here you can see my previous blog post on it.
- Chicken and Bean Burrito bowls – these are great because if you have rice and beans, you can pretty much add any veggies or herbs. Here is a good recipe you can have a look at, otherwise improvise.
- Greek Bean Soup (Fasolada) – I LOVE this soup, as well as pretty much any other bean soups. The great thing is that the beans go super soft and add an amazing deep flavour and texture to the soup. Here is a recipe for this soup, otherwise surf the net and you will find a huge number of different recipes.
If you don’t like the taste of legumes, you can always blend them up and add them in pasta sauces or veggie patties too!
I hope you have learnt a little about the benefits of legumes, and some of the recipes I provided inspired you to try them out. I am so happy I am able to share the benefits of legumes with you – if you have a favourite meal that you make I would love to know, otherwise let me know what you think of my favourites if you try them. I would love to get to know you, so comment below.
Until next time!
Lots of Love,