Lentils are one of the oldest foods, widely consumed in Middle East and Egypt. They are packed with protein and fiber, as well as antioxidants, especially polyphenols. These have mainly anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Eating lentils protects heart from disease, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. They are rich in vitamin B and folate, good for proper development during pregnancy, as well as iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Thanks to a combination of fiber, carbohydrates and iron, they are great for steady increase of energy levels.
Kidney bean is an excellent plant based source of protein and fiber. It is also high in starch, but since this type is a slow-release carb and bean has low glycemic index, it is beneficial for diabetics, not causing fast and high rises in blood sugar. Kidney bean is rich in phosphorus and manganese, reduces cholesterol and improves heart health, lowers risk of heart disease, boosts digestion and prevents colon cancer. Although rich in iron, it might not be very accessible due to phytate content in beans that reduces iron absorption. Bean is very rich in folate, benefiting red blood cells formation and development during pregnancy. It is favorite among athletes due to its combination of energy boosting carbohydrates, muscle building protein and low fat content. Finally, it promotes fullness and is a great choice for weight management.
Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, folate and fiber. They are rich in chlorophyll, stopping some carcinogenic effects and slowing down growth of cancer tumors. Thanks to folate and iron content, it is good to eat them during pregnancy to ensure healthy prenatal development, as well as for energy boost. Green beans are beneficial for bone and heart health and good for lowering cholesterol. Another compound they are rich in is silicon, supporting skin and nail growth. Due to high carotenoid content, they keep eye health in check and prevent macular degeneration. As a downside, raw green beans contain protein lectin, which might cause digestive issues.
Chickpea has high fiber and protein content that makes it excellent meat replacement. It is considered that the protein of chickpea is of higher quality than in other legumes, containing almost all essential amino acids. It promotes fullness and aids weight management and is high in vitamin B6, copper, phosphorus and iron. Chickpea reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels and protects heart. It is also one of the best sources of folate. Consuming chickpea promotes production of butyrate, decreasing the risk of colon cancer and other nutrients in chickpea also help reduce cancer risk, such as saponins. Presence of choline improves brain and nervous system function. Chickpea is good for people with diabetes and has low glycemic index as well as decent amounts of magnesium and zinc, that can lower the risk of this health issue.
This legume is high in starch and fiber and especially rich in protein. Peas contain antioxidants polyphenols and have low glycemic index, helping stabilize blood sugar levels and are diabetes friendly food. They are great for digestion due to high content of insoluble fiber, protect heart from heart disease and help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Rich in saponins, they have anti-cancer properties. The most present minerals in peas are manganese, phosphorus and iron. Another powerful substance in peas is lutein, good for eye health. On the other side, peas contain antinutrients common for legumes, that are making the mineral absorption and peas digestion more complicated. This might cause bloating and discomfort during consumption.