Legumes and Health

Legumes such as beans, lentils, peas and soy foods are an important part of a healthy diet for all Australians. Legumes have been shown to help manage both cholesterol and blood glucose. Increased intakes are linked to reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. In addition, emerging evidence indicates legumes may help in weight management.

Legumes are highly nutritious foods that offer a wide range of health benefits. Here are some of the key nutritional benefits of eating legumes:

  1. Protein: Legumes are an excellent source of plant-based protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues in the body. One cup of cooked lentils contains about 18 grams of protein.
  2. Fibre: Legumes are high in dietary fibre, which helps to promote regular bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels, and regulate blood sugar levels.
  3. Complex Carbohydrates: Legumes are a great source of complex carbohydrates, which provide energy to the body and help maintain stable blood sugar levels.
  4. Vitamins: Legumes are rich in a variety of vitamins, including folate, thiamin, and vitamin B6, which are important for energy production, brain function, and overall health.
  5. Minerals: Legumes are rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, which are important for building strong bones and teeth, regulating blood pressure, and supporting immune function.
  6. High resistant starch content: Legumes contain a high level of resistant starch, which has great benefits on gut health.
  7. Phytochemical content: Legumes are rich in non-nutritive bioactive compounds, including antioxidants, which may play a role in the disease protection benefits of legumes.

Overall, legumes are a highly nutritious food that can provide a range of health benefits when incorporated into a balanced diet.

GLNC recommends Australian’s enjoy legumes at least 2 – 3 times a week.

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