Increased Legume Consumption

Increased Legume Consumption: Overview

The legume family is large and contains species that can grow in most soils and climates.  Legumes include: dried beans, dried peas, lentils, peanuts, soya beans (and the many products made from soy), and bean sprouts.

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A legume is defined as "the fruit or seed of any of various bean or pea plants consisting of a two-valved case that splits along both sides when ripe and having the seeds attached to one edge of the valves".  They are the seeds of plants of the family Fabaceae (previously known as Leguminosae).

History; Source

Beans have been a source of good nutrition for more than 10,000 years.

Common types of bean include chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils, green or yellow split peas, soybeans, butter beans, red kidney beans, mung beans, pinto beans, lima beans, black beans, black-eyed beans, red beans and navy beans.

Function

Legumes are an excellent source of fiber, protein, iron, folic acid, and other B vitamins.

Instructions

Beans can be used in soups, stews, casseroles or even as dips.

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Increased Legume Consumption:

Increased Legume Consumption can help with the following:

Circulation

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

A study of 9,600 Americans found that those who ate plenty of legumes had lower blood pressure and were less likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure.  [Archives of Internal Medicine 2001;161: pp.2573-8].

Lab Values

High Total Cholesterol

A study of 9,600 Americans found that those who ate plenty of legumes had lower total cholesterol.  Legumes are rich in soluble fiber, which has been shown to help lower total cholesterol and LDL (''bad'') cholesterol levels, the study authors note.  [Archives of Internal Medicine 2001;161: pp.2573-8].

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Increased Legume Consumption can help prevent the following:

Organ Health

Diabetes Type II

A study of 9,600 Americans found that those who ate plenty of legumes were less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.  Legumes are rich in soluble fiber, which has been shown to help improve insulin resistance, the study authors note.  [Archives of Internal Medicine 2001;161: pp.2573-8].

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KEY

Moderately useful: often helps with; often prevents
Moderately useful:
often helps with; often prevents