Why you should eat more legumes: tips from a nutritionist

Iryna MelnichenkoFood
Dishes with chickpeas
Dishes with chickpeas

Legumes, such as beans and lentils, are a great alternative to meat, they are a source of vegetarian protein, and they are also high in fiber. Importantly, they can be used not only for salads and hummus but also for cutlets, soups, and even pies and pastries.

What to cook with legumes

Nutritionist Svitlana Fus shared the benefits of legumes, as well as how much you can eat per day, on Facebook.

The benefits of legumes

The expert noted that lentils, chickpeas, and beans are the leaders in protein content among plant products.

When cooked, these legumes contain 5-8 g of protein per 100 g of product. ⠀

Fus also added that they also have complex carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, and essential vitamins, especially B vitamins.

Chickpea and vegetable salad

100 g of the finished product contains 7-10 g of fiber.

"This is important because many people's diets usually contain 2 times less fiber than the daily requirement of 20-30 g for adults. It is fiber that helps digestion, improves the elimination of toxic substances from the body and, in combination with protein, makes you feel full. This makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight, as well as to influence the functioning of the intestinal microflora," the expert explained.

The benefits of chickpeas

The nutritionist added that all legumes are foods with a low glycemic index of 20-35, while they are low in fat, with 0.5 to 3 g per 100 g of finished product.

Do not forget that beans have a high content of folic acid and iron.

Cons of eating legumes

Bean dishes

1. They contain phytates, substances that interfere with the normal absorption of mineral elements such as iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus.


2. They contain protease inhibitors, substances that are useful for the plants themselves and are designed to better preserve seeds in nature, which prevent proteins from being fully digested.

Bean cutlets
The protein of legumes is absorbed by 65-70% compared to animal protein (meat, eggs), which is absorbed by 90-95%.

3. They contain galacto-oligosaccharides and fructans, which are dietary fibers that the human body cannot digest on its own and can cause discomfort.


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