Legumes are an essential part of a balanced diet due to their high protein and fiber content. They are low in fat, and provide vitamins A, C, B6 and B12, folic acid, zinc, iron and potassium, essential for the proper functioning of your body. In addition, they have the great ability to prevent pathologies such as anemia, and keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Five outstanding benefits that you should take advantage of:
- They keep your digestion in optimal condition and reduce cholesterol, due to their high fiber content.
- If you are vegetarian or vegan, they provide you with a good source of plant-based protein.
- They benefit red blood cell synthesis due to their high iron content, helping to reduce or prevent anemia.
- They support the health of the central nervous system, as well as your skin, hair and nails, due to their high vitamin B content.
- Their frequent consumption contributes to reducing hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
Types of legumes
Despite belonging to a relatively homogeneous group, there are a wide variety of legumes from which to choose and include in your daily diet.
These legumes provide considerable amounts of fat. In this group are soybeans, which are high in unsaturated fats, vegetable origin omega 3 and proteins. The peanut provides vegetable proteins and healthy fats, due to its nutritional composition; because it can be consumed without soaking and cooking, it is often confused with a nut. Both legumes contain vitamin E, potassium, phosphorus and fiber in appreciable quantities, as well as group B vitamins.
In this category are beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils and broad beans, among others. They are an excellent source of energy because they fill you up easily. Among the nutrients they provide are carbohydrates, vegetable proteins and fiber, which help you lose weight. Their fat content does not exceed 3%. They also contain a lot of folic acid, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins.
How many times a week is it recommended to consume legumes?
We recommend at least three servings a week, and we suggest combining their consumption with fruits or citrus juices, which activate their properties in the body.
Do we need to combine iron from legumes with vitamin C?
Yes, and the reason is that, chemically, non-heme iron from plant sources, such as legumes, needs a little more help to effectively enter our body, in this case from vitamin C. But remember, we’re not talking about putting them together in the same preparation, just including them on the same menu.
Now that you know about the great nutritional benefits that legumes offer to a healthy diet, remember to include them and enjoy them more often with creative preparations according to your requirements.
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