Beans and lentils, or legumes, are considered some of the healthiest foods you can eat. Discover tasty ways to add these superfoods to your meal plan with some of our best bean and lentil recipes, and learn more about the health benefits of these healthful legumes below.
THE TOP 3 HEALTH BENEFITS OF BEANS AND LENTILS:
1. Beans and Lentils are a Good Alternative Source of Protein
Due to the high fat content and use of antibiotics in meat, it is wise to cut back on its consumption and look for alternative sources of protein. This is where beans and lentils can come in. They are considered an “incomplete protein” because they don’t contain all 9 of the amino acids our body needs, but they are still an excellent way to increase protein consumption without the unhealthy side effects of red meat.
To get the most out of your beans or lentils, you should combine them with a grains such as brown rice, corn or wheat. Combining them with one of those items helps form complete proteins which are a high quality substitute for meat. However, you do not need to combine them in the same meal to get the combination of amino acids. Consuming these foods in the same 24 hour period is more than sufficient.
2. Beans Can Lower Cholesterol Levels and May Prevent Cancer
Studies have shown that consuming as little as one cup of beans per day can help lower cholesterol. Beans are high in soluble fiber, which can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Beans are also rich in phytochemicals that help to prevent cell damage.
3. Beans and Lentils are Versatile and Can Easily Be Added to Your Diet
While beans and lentils contain a load of health benefits, they also taste delicious. And due to the huge option of varieties available, you can take your pick as to which ones you would like to add to your diet. While most beans hold the same benefits, different types of beans may contain more or less of a certain benefit. Eat a variety of legumes to reap the maximum health rewards.