Legumes - Legions of Antioxidants

They come in multitude of colors ... and a dead give away of the multitude of antioxidants they contain.

For the purpose of this site, legumes include the following:

  • beans
  • peas
  • lentils
  • lupins seeds

Legumes' Main Nutrients

  • Antioxidant:  Phytonutrients
  • Other:             Protein, Carbohydrates, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Folate, Magnesium, Fibre (both soluble and insoluble), Fat (good fats), Amino Acid (Lysine)

Also, contains zero cholesterol. In many instances, legumes provide the protein for people who are on a vegetarian or vegan diets.

A lot of legumes are considered low Glycemic Index (GI) food.

It has been said that legumes have twice the protein content of cereal grains.

And they are gluten-free !!!

Interesting stuff on Legumes

Native of:

  • Different types of legumes comes from different regions of the world.

Now Found/Grown in:

  • A lot of legumes have "migrated" geographically, with many natives of one region now found or grown in other countries/regions.
  • For example, lupins while originate, mainly, from the Americas, and to a smaller extent North Africa and the Mediterranean region, Australia, now, grows 85% of world's lupin crop.

Legumes' use as food can be traced back 6,000 years ago. Not surprisingly, as legumes are easy to cultivate and rich in nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, good fats, fibre).

They are also, rich in antioxidants; although more than likely, there was no such category of nutrient then. None-the-less, they provided the health benefits 6,000 years ago to many, and continue to do so, today.

Legumes can be divided into:

Mature - seeds in dried form:

  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Split peas

Immature - "fresh" or not dried and/or in their pods:

  • Wax beans
  • Snow peas
  • Edamame
  • Fresh lima beans
Black Beans and Sprouts from Black Beans

Examples of Health Benefits of Legumes

  • For growth and repair - from their amino acid content
  • Reduce risk of cancer - such as breast and prostate cancer
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Reduce risk of osteoporosis
  • Relief symptoms of menopause (from phytoestrogens)

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