Many diets such as vegetarian, vegan, and Mediterranean, suggest eating legumes. I always tend to look past that word and get to other points of interest about the recipe or article. Today I stopped and decided to pursue further knowledge of the word legume.
Now that I know legumes are defined as, "plants with seed pods that split into two halves", I am a bit embarrassed that I did not figure this out earlier. I have been eating legumes my entire life. Go figure! So that would include kidney beans, split peas, black beans, navy beans, and the list goes on.
With the particular diet I try to follow in order to keep inflammation away, legumes are very important. They are high in fiber, protein, calcium and packed with vitamins. They are low in cholesterol, which makes them a perfect addition to a low fat diet. They are also lower on the glycemic index. This means that your body processes them slower, leaving you feeling fuller longer. Since I do not eat much red meat anymore, nutritionally speaking, these are perfect replacements.
A few ideas for adding legumes into your diet:
- Split Pea Soup
- Navy Beans and Ham
- Chili (See my Turkey Chili Mac Recipe)
- Rice and Beans