We all know the rhyme – beans beans the magical fruit, the more you eat…the more likely you are to keep at bay colds and flus and reduce your risk of heart disease? Well not quite, but we should!
Not only are they a delicious winter alternative to pastas and a perfect inclusion in soups and stews, the humble legume is packed full of protein, dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins such as iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium.
Core legumes are an important part of any balanced diet but, according to the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council – Australian’s, on average, need to increase their intake to 5 times what they are currently eating – to even make it to the recommended levels.
- Only 1.5% of Australians eat pulses regularly
- Australian research shows eating pulses at least two times a week reduces your risk of heart disease. This is at least in part due to the effect on cholesterol as pulses, particularly beans, have been shown to help reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
- Eating at least 12 cup of pulses per day is linked to better diet quality, with higher intakes of fibre, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium.
- Pulses contain a range of phytonutrients including isoflavones which may help to protect health and prevent disease.
- In 2007, higher pulse intake was reported to be the most protective dietary predictor of longevity compared to other foods, with a 7-8% reduction in risk of death for every 20 gram increase in daily legume intake.
- Whole pulses have a low glycemic index which explains why they’ve been shown to help with blood glucose control and also help keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Lentils are particularly good when it comes to helping with blood glucose control.