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.
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.
Cashew is native to Brazil and filled with antioxidants. It is a good choice for weight loss, especially when eaten raw, since not all fat from is absorbed when consumed in this form. Rich in protein and fiber like other nuts, it is good for heart health and lowering cholesterol. Cashew is loaded with copper, good for formation of red blood cells and anemia prevention. It also contains lots of magnesium, zinc and iron. Cashew also promotes eye health and due to high levels of selenium and copper, cashew oil is great for skin and hair.
Mushrooms are high in antioxidants and are the highest source of selenium of all vegetables and fruits. They are rich in fiber, especially beta glucan that lowers cholesterol and protects heart, high in water content, low in calories and fat free. When compared to other vegetables, they have relatively high amounts of protein which makes them very suitable for plant-based diet. They are rich in vitamin B (folate) and minerals, especially copper, as well as phosphorus, iron and potassium. Mushrooms are good for red blood cells production and bone health and for treating anemia. They are one of the richest sources of ergothioneine or ERGO, an antioxidant amino acid.
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.
Corn is rich in starch, which is its main carb. Containing relatively small amount of water compared to other vegetables, it is very high in fiber and promotes digestion. Due to presence of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, it is good for eye health. High in calories, but on the other hand, it contains high amounts of vitamin B and minerals like phosphorus, manganese, zink and magnesium. Due to high content of sugar, it is not the best choice for people with diabetes. Unfortunately, corn used in nutrition is often genetically modified.
Although unpopular with kids because of its slightly bitter taste, broccoli is favorite among athletes due to its many health benefits. Packed with vitamin C and K, it is necessary part of every healthy diet. Just 100g of broccoli provides sufficient daily dose of vitamin K and it is an excellent choice for bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Since boiling destroys vitamin C due to high temperatures, it is best consumed steamed. It is very rich in fiber and protein, low in fat and contains only 35 calories per 100g. It reduces cholesterol levels and is great for keeping the heart healthy and contains good amounts of folate.