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  • Writer's pictureKeliza Healthy Living

LISTEN TO THE PLANTS: LEGUMES

By Dr. med. Claudia Schmiemann

Legumes (Fabaceae family-one of the largest families on earth) are a powerhouse of nutrition and a diverse group of plants that includes beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas, have been a dietary staple in various cultures for centuries. Legumes are a rich source of plant-based protein, making them an important part of vegetarian and vegan diets. They provide a substantial protein content, ranging from 20% to 30% of their dry weight. They are loaded with dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Fiber promotes digestive health, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and can aid in weight management. Legumes contain various vitamins, including folate, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), and vitamin B6. These vitamins are crucial for energy metabolism and overall health. Moreover legumes are a good source of minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Iron from legumes is non-heme iron, which is more readily absorbed when consumed with vitamin C-rich foods. Antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which help protect cells from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases (heart and chronic inflammatory conditions like Lyme etc.). The complex carbohydrates, which are digested slowly, providing a steady source of energy and helping to control blood sugar levels are a nutritious food for diabetics.

Legumes are able to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere through a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in the soil. That can reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers. The world´s production is grown in India, China, Brazil and the US AND you can easily grow it in your garden, in beds, pots, on balconies.

So, why not make legumes a regular part of your meals and enjoy the many advantages they offer?

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