A legume is defined as a plant specie that has pods that split when it becomes ripe. Common examples of legumes include beans, peanuts, soybeans, lentils and peas. Legumes are one of the kinds of foods that provide a number of benefits to the body.

Legumes Prevent Cravings of Food

Corn syrup, which is high in fructose, is an example of a food that has a high glycemic index which makes the pancreas produce a large amount of insulin. Within a few hours, this production of insulin will be followed by a sharp drop in a person’s blood sugar, causing him to have food cravings. Legumes help prevent a person’s craving for food by supplying the body with nutrients and energy, without making the pancreas create more insulin that can flood the body.

Legumes Prevent Diabetes

Insulin is very important because it helps the body digest carbohydrates. When a person consumes too much refined starch, it leads to the pancreas producing too much insulin, as well. Eventually, there will come a point that the pancreas becomes depleted of insulin. This condition is then known as Type 2 Diabetes. Legumes help prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes. Eating lentils or beans as a replacement for refined carbohydrates allows the body to maintain a normal level of blood sugar.

Legumes Are a Good Source of Energy and Protein

A research conducted by Dr. Nijhoff found that the quality of energy and protein that are supplied by legumes can rival other grain proteins. Studies have showed that all types of legumes are a very good source of protein.

Legumes Are a Good Source of Micronutrients

Legumes are also a good source of vitamins. Black beans contain micronutrients like folate, thiamin (vitamin B1), iron and antioxidants. Garbanzo beans are a good source of manganese, phosphorus, folate and iron. Kidney beans contain folate, phosphorus, potassium, thiamin and a number of other micronutrients. Lentils also contain folate, iron, phosphorus and thiamin. Lima beans contain manganese, iron, phosphorus and thiamin.

Navy beans contain folate, protein, copper and thiamin. Peas contain manganese, folate and phosphorus. Pinto beans contain folate, iron, potassium and thiamin. Soybeans contain manganese, iron, vitamin K, magnesium and riboflavin. Aside from the micronutrients mentioned, there are still a number of micronutrients contained in these different types of legumes which are all beneficial to the body.

Legumes Help Prevent Heart Disease

It has been said that legumes may contribute to lowering cholesterol levels in the body. Thus, when cholesterol levels are normal, there is a lesser possibility for a person to develop heart disease.