KNOW YOUR LEGUMES
Getting enough protein when on a vegan diet can be challenging. Legumes are a BIG help in that regard. Get to know some of the legumes you can choose from and incorporate them in your dishes for some added calcium that is also very tasty!! In addition to the protein, they provide you with essential B12 , help reduce cholesterol, decrease blood sugar, add healthy bacteria to your gut and are a great source of fiber and you will see how great they can be to add to your diet.
What are legumes? They come from plants in the Fabaceae family that produce seeds inside of a pod. Here is some great info so you can Know Your Legumes. These are 8 of some nutrient-packed legumes to include in your diet.
Lentils can help reduce blood sugar, benefit gut health and sprouted lentils can help reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, helping your heart. They also provide fiber, Vitamins B9 and B1, Manganese and Copper. Lentils are a nutritional superfood that can be added to SO many dishes. I find they are the most versatile of all the legumes.
Garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)
Garbanzo beans are also very versatile. They can be used many more ways than you probably are aware of and are the prime ingredient in things like hummus and falafel. They can help lower your heart disease risk, possibly lower your risk of cancer, can help you lose weight, reduce your blood sugar and improve your blood cholesterol levels. In addition to protein, garbanzo beans supply you with fiber, Vitamin B9, Manganese, Iron and Copper. Chickpeas can also help improve the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Kidney beans are the beans you commonly see in traditional chili. They are also very good for your health! Kidney beans can help reduce your blood sugar levels, help reduce body weight, and are wonderful with rice. In addition to the protein, they provide a good source of fiber, Vitamins B1 and B9, Manganese, Iron and Copper. Great to add to your diet!
Black beans are often served in rice or made into refried beans. They are a very common part of meals in Latin countries. Black beans can help reduce blood sugar spikes due to their low glycemic index. They are also packed with nutrients. In addition to the protein, they provide you with fiber, Manganese, Magnesium, Vitamins B1 and B9 as well as Iron.
Pinto beans are the beans commonly used in refried beans. They can also be eaten as whole beans or incorporated in a chili. Eating pinto beans can help your cholesterol levels. Pinto Beans will help to reduce the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol. They can also help prevent blood sugar spikes. Pinto beans provide fiber, Manganese, Vitamins B1 & B9, Copper and Protein, making them a very healthy legume choice.
Soy beans are the beans used in tofu and in some shirataki style noodles, among other things. They have been shown to help reduce the risk of stomach and gastrointestinal cancer. Soybeans have particularly high levels of antioxidants also. Soy is helpful to women in menopause, due to the phytoestrogens in it. These can help take the place of the estrogen which so rapidly declines in those years. This helps reduce the incidence of osteoporosis. Add to that the protein in them, plus Fiber, Iron, Phosphorus, Iron, Manganese, Vitamins B2, B9 and Vitamin K, making soybeans a powerhouse of health benefits.
Peas are also legumes, and they provide many health benefits. They can help grow beneficial gut bacteria, aiding in digestion and reducing belly fat. Peas help reduce blood sugar levels, help make you feel full and are downright tasty! Some of the nutrients found in peas include Protein, Vitamin K, Fiber, Manganese, Vitamins B1 and B9 and Manganese.
You might not have realized it, but peanuts are actually a legume and have many health benefits. Peanuts can even lower your risk of stroke, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Peanuts are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are healthy fats that can help with weight loss and can help decrease inflammation in your body. Whole, unsalted, unroasted varieties provided the most benefits. Peanuts also provide you with Protein, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Fiber, Vitamins B1 and B9 and Niacin.