Legumes are the plants in which the seeds grow in pods. Legume seeds which are edible include peas, beans, lentils, lupins, peanuts, etc. They are inexpensive nutrient-rich sources of protein. They can be substituted in place of animal protein in vegan diet. The seeds of the grain legumes are known as pulses.
Legume plants are well-known for their ability to fix free nitrogen from the atmosphere. The oil derived from the legumes seeds is also used for industrial purposes. Some legumes are cultivated for their flowers and lupins is one of them. Indigofera and acacia are grown for dye and natural gum. Some legumes are farmed for timber, while some are cultivated for exploiting the high levels of captured atmospheric nitrogen found in the roots of these legumes.
- Beans and lentils contain carbohydrates and they are high in folate, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, calcium, and selenium. Soybeans are packed with saponins, which are anti-inflammatory compound. They help the immune system to fight against cancer. Saponins also lower cholesterol. The powdered soy-bean products are excellent and provide as good flour substitute for cookies and cakes. However, a point should be noted that overcooking of beans may destroy the saponins.
- Legumes have relatively low quantities of the essential amino acid, methionine and high quantities of an essential amino acid, lysine. On the contrary, grains are low in lysine and high in methionine. Hence, a combination of grains and legumes is the best combination for a balanced diet. Indian dal and rice is the best example of this type of a diet. Tofu with rice, beans with corn tortillas, and wheat bread with peanut butter are some other examples.
- They are low in sugar and fat, and high in proteins. They are healthy and can be cooked and eaten in the form of curry, stew, soup, salad, etc. They can also be used as substitutes for meat. They give you a satiated feeling.
- Soybeans, garbanzo beans, chickpeas, etc. contain flavonoids, work as the female hormone estrogen. They provide the women some relief from menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes.
- Beans contain a sugar called oligosaccharide, which cannot be digested by the humans. So, they cause intestinal gas or flatulence. Cooking the beans with a pinch of asafetida can prevent flatulence.
- As legumes contain a small amount of certain uric-acid-forming substances (chemically known as purins), they should be avoided by the individuals who are affected by gout.
- They do not contain cholesterol. Thus, they prevent heart diseases.
- They have a significant amount of fiber which helps prevent constipation, and improves the digestive health.
- Legumes are packed with iron, vitamins, lime, protein, fiber, and starch. They are lower on the glycemic index chart.
Calories in Beans and Legumes
|Name of the Beans/Legumes||Total Calories|
|Sugar Free Baked Beans (4 oz)||125|
|Boiled Blackeyed Peas (4 oz)||120|
|Canned Chickpeas (4 oz)||75|
|Canned Garbanzo Beans (4 oz)||75|
|Canned Borlotti Beans (4 oz)||170|
|Canned Sweetened Adzuki Beans (4 oz)||270|
|Canned Kidney Beans (4 oz)||94|
|Soy Milk(4 fl. oz)||60|
|Chickpea Flour (1 Cup/92 g)||356|
It can be safely concluded that legumes help boost your overall health. They are available as fresh, dried, or canned products all over the world, and are available in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.