What is legumes?
Legumes are healthy food that is located inside pods. Legume comes in two types; the immature and the mature.
Dried seeds that are taken from the inside of pods such as chickpeas or kidney beans are mature legumes. On the other hand, garden peas and green beans are immature legumes given that they were taken out before they have become mature.
There are many examples of legumes and that include alfalfa, peas, lentils, clover, peanut and lupins. Not all peanuts are legumes since only those that are unable to split without any help are considered as legumes.
Health benefits of legumes
Legumes, as mentioned is very healthy food. For one, they can provide big amounts of protein and fiber. One cup of legumes is approximately 15 grams of fiber. Most legumes can also provide an excellent source of folate and as such they are highly recommended for expecting mothers.
Persons who eat legumes can also get potassium, zinc, iron, selenium and calcium. Other vitamins provided by legumes niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin. They are also considered as antioxidants and have low levels of glycemic index.
The best way to utilize the benefits of legumes is to take legumes daily as part of the servings for the vegetables.
Sources of legumes
Red beans contain the most number of antioxidants. In fact, red beans have higher antioxidants than berries. Plus, this bean also provides high levels of iron.
Kidney beans are also a good antioxidant as well as source of fiber. Black-eyed beans are an excellent source of calcium, magnesium and folate. Many experts say that black beans are the best provider of magnesium among all other beans.
Pinto beans are also highly recommended because it provides selenium to those eating them. It also has higher levels of anti-oxidant compared to berries.
It is highly recommended that people eat legumes at least twice a week.