Health Benefits of Legumes

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Health benefits of legumes
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There are many health benefits of legumes which can lead to a longer lifespan

According to PLOS Medicine, the health benefits of legumes dieting can provide a longer lifespan when replacing red meat and processed foods with legumes such as  beans, lentils, green peas, split peas, and peanuts. Considered as one of the first cultivated crops, legumes have been consumed for over 10,000 years by people all over the world.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans list a recommended amount of one to three cups of legumes per week for adults, yet the average consumption is only about one cup per week. With around 16,000 different types grown worldwide, it should be quite easy for us to find ways to eat and factor in the health benefits of legumes.

Studies show that the health benefits of legumes include a resistance to type 2 diabetes by improving glycemic and lipid control for diabetics. They also lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and the risk of heart disease. Nutrients vary depending on the type of legume but cover a wide array of vitamins and minerals and are a rich source of proteins and dietary fiber, while having no cholesterol, low fat, high calcium, and plenty of potassium, magnesium, antioxidants, and amino acids.

A study published by the journal PLOS Medicine conducted a model of replacing a typical Western diet with one that included fruits and whole grains. The health benefits of legumes and fruits would add 10 years to a 20-year-old woman if she replaced all red meats and processed foods. The study also concluded that a 20-year-old man could have a longer lifespan of 13 years.

In addition, the study found that a legumes diet with an intake of almonds, beans, peas, pecans, pistachios, lentils, walnuts, and whole grains had the greatest impact on longevity. The study’s analysis was based on data from the Global Burden of Disease, a database that tracks 286 causes of death, 369 diseases and injuries, and 87 risk factors in 204 nations and territories worldwide.

For some, completely cutting out red meats and processed foods is a tough task, but doing so several times a week can have a significant impact on our lives. The improvements in lifespan, blood sugar control, and heart disease risk are enough reason for us to add legumes to our diet.

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