Whenever I encounter someone who just finds out I am a vegetetarian, the first thing I get asked is, where do you get your protein from if you don’t eat meat? I was born a vegetarian and continue to be one. One of the most integral parts of my vegetarian diet is legumes and lentils. I recently came across a great article by Dr. Lisa young in the Huffington Post where she list some of the more important legumes that one should include in their diet.
She says – “A terrific substitute for meat, legumes offer a nutrient-dense plant protein that is much lower in saturated fat and a good source of fiber and phytochemicals. No wonder they have been linked to lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and lower body weights.”
From the article–
Here are six winners that I love and recommend. They can be incorporated into a salad dish or in a soup.
- Lentils offer the added benefit of being a significant source of iron, in addition to the benefits from the soluble fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates that all legumes offer. Lentils are also high in the B-vitamin biotin, which aids in the body’s metabolism and growth.
- Kidney Beans are a chock full of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, including potassium and the B-vitamins folate and thiamin.
- Green Peas offer a significant source of fiber and protein. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, compounds that are essential for good eye health and have been suggested to lower rates of cataracts. Peas also pack vitamin K, which helps with bone health and blood clotting.
- Chickpeas are a great option for plant protein and their fiber, they also contain magnesium, manganese, iron, and folate. Hummus, which is made from chickpeas, is delicious with crackers or veggies as an afternoon snack.
- Black beans, like other legumes, are high in fiber and protein and offer a great alternative to the saturated fat found in meat. What set black beans apart, however, are their at least eight different flavonoids, called anthocyanins, which serve as cancer-combating antioxidants in the body.
- Peanuts are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fat and contain protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. It is no surprise that regular consumption of peanuts has been associated with lower risk for coronary heart disease in people who eat them in place of other high-fat foods.
Read the full article here.