Eat more plant foods…increase dietary fiber…choose natural foods over processed…get your nutrients from whole foods, not supplements. For an easy way to follow all of this sound dietary advice at the same time, simply up your intake of foods from the legume family. Legumes, which include beans, lentils, split peas, green peas, and peanuts, are thought to be one of the first cultivated crops and have been consumed by people around the world for over 10,000 year, according to Tufts Health & Nutrition Update.
Unfortunately, legumes are no longer a staple food in most American diets. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend adults consume one to three cups of legumes per week (depending on calorie requirements), but average intake is less than one cup weekly.
Try these tips for adding more satisfying, health-promoting legumes to your diet: Continue reading
If you are feeling uncomfortable with the amount of meat you are eating, but don’t want to short yourself on protein, here are some good alternative ideas from Tufts Medical Center.
A. Katie Fort, a dietetic intern at Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center, explains: “There is a growing body of data that demonstrates the health benefits of eating less meat and more plant-based foods. Though meat is an excellent source of protein, you get adequate amounts of protein from other foods. Here are some good ones: Continue reading
I just wrote about how nuts improve cholesterol levels three days ago.
Now comes a new study from overseas telling us how good legumes are for our bodies.
Recent results from the PREDIMED (Prevención con Dieta Mediterranea) study show a protective association between total legumes consumption, especially lentils, and the risk of developing subsequent type 2 diabetes after more than 4 years of follow-up of 3349 participants at high cardiovascular risk. Moreover, the present study shows that replacing a half a serving/day of eggs, bread, rice or baked potato with a half a serving/day of legumes was also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Legumes are a food group rich in B vitamins, contain different beneficial minerals (calcium, potassium and magnesium) and sizeable amounts of fibre and are regarded as a low-glycemic index food, which means that blood glucose levels increase only slowly after consumption. Due to these unique nutritional qualities, eating legumes regularly can help improve human health. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) declared 2016 as the international year of legumes to raise people’s awareness of their nutritional benefits. Continue reading