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Legumes are an excellent (and versatile) source of nutrients. What are the things you should have in your cupboard and consume regularly?

They are tasty, they are nutritious, they are economical, they are environmentally friendly and you can enjoy them in many ways. They are extremely low in fat and rich in fiber and protein, as well as polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Legumes are, therefore, a first-class food for the heart and gut , which should not be missing from any balanced diet.

If you don’t know where to start, nutritionist Barbie Cervoni in collaboration with nutritionist Jessica Ball, list on the website EatingWell , seven legumes that are good to have in your kitchen cupboard.

1. Lentils

They are rich in polyphenols, compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In fact, according to a review published in the journal Nutrients, a higher intake of polyphenols has been associated with a lower risk of diseases , including diabetes and heart disease. In addition, research in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences talks about the prebiotic carbohydrates that these small legumes offer. You can put lentils in soups, stews and dishes with rice and cereals, but also add them to salads or dishes with grilled or sautéed vegetables.



2. White beans

There are many varieties of white beans, with differences in size and subtle differences in taste, from petites and classic giants, to Feneo vanillas and cannellini. Beans are particularly rich in potassium, calcium, folate and iron. White beans are a great addition to chili , sauces (as a thickener), stews, and can be crushed and added to sandwiches and wraps. You can also add them to hummus and dips.

3. Black beans

If you follow a diet based on plant foods, then get a few packets of this legume. They contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants , and are rich in protein and fiber . As for how you can use them, combine them with rice or some other cereal, and of course don’t forget that you can add them to Latin American dishes.


4. Chickpeas

What else do you have to gain if you include legumes such as chickpeas in your diet? As a review in Current Diabetes Reports reports, higher consumption of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts was associated with a lower risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes and led to improved glycemic control in all participants. You can bake them, fry them, crush them, puree them, even turn them into flour that you can use in doughs, pastas and pastries.




5. Red mullet beans (Pinto)

These small fruits with reddish splashes are highly nutritious. Half a cup provides 8 g. of fiber , covering more than 28% of our daily needs. Add them to dishes of Latin American origin, soups, but also to sandwiches and dishes with vegetables and grains.

6. Red beans

They may be more familiar to you as red kidney beans and are the ones you usually find swimming in chili sauce. They contain non-heme iron, which means it is not as easily absorbed by the body, so combine them with foods rich in vitamin C , such as citrus dressings on salads and peppers in sauces.




7. Lupins

It is one of the richest vegetable sources of protein, as half a cup of lupins offers you 13 grams. It is also rich in fiber and a good source of zinc and magnesium. They are a very convenient snack , while you can use them to make hummus. You can also saute them with spices and thus prepare a nutritious and tasty side dish. Of course, you can add them to salads.

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