Did you know that legumes (including beans and lentils) are the perfect source of plant-based protein? They’re high in fiber, nutrients, and complex carbs and low in fat, making them an all-around healthy food.
What Are Legumes?
The legume is a seed or fruit plant from the Fabaceae family. Popular legumes include beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, soy, and peanuts.
The various types differ significantly in nutrition, appearance, flavor, and use.
What Are The Uses Of Legumes?
Legumes (including beans and lentils) are typically canned, frozen, dried, cooked, split, and ground into flour. Most dried beans and lentils are typically soaked before cooking or eating.
Moreover, they can be an excellent meat substitute in stews, chili, soups, burgers, tacos, and burritos, toss them into salads, make bean dips, and other dishes. They can also be eaten on their own (boiled or roasted).
What Are The Health Benefits Of Legumes?
Legumes are a great source of fiber, which may offer various health benefits, including improving insulin sensitivity, regulating blood sugar levels, improving cholesterol levels, and lowering blood pressure. In addition, legume consumption may also be helpful in preventing cell damage, aging, and heart diseases.
Furthermore, legumes, rich in fiber and protein, make you feel full for a more extended period, which could ultimately lead to less food consumed and weight loss.
What Makes Legumes An Anti-Cancer Food?
Various studies suggest that legumes’ fiber, mineral, and phytochemical composition may have anti-cancer properties.
Similarly, according to one meta-analysis of 14 studies, higher legume consumption may help decrease the risk of colorectal cancer.
The World Cancer Research Fund says, “foods containing dietary fiber reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer,” implying that additional components in high-fiber meals may affect cancer development, such as increasing butyrate production (a short-chain fatty acid).
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) states that legumes contain a variety of compounds, including lignans, resistant starch, saponins, and polyphenolic phytochemicals, that may help prevent cancer.
Another study highlights the importance of legume lectins and their potential application in cancer diagnosis and treatment.