Legumes are perfect foods. They contain literally no fat but they are rich in healthy vegetable protein and fiber, which is necessary for the right digestive function, as well as in B vitamins and other micronutrients. Some experts suggest that you should eat legumes three times a week.
If you think that this advice would be beneficial for you but you don’t want to eat the same boring beans all the time, remember that legumes are very diverse. Here are some of the best sorts for you to choose.
Black-eyed peas look nice and, what is more, contain 11g of healthy fiber and 13 g protein. They are combined perfectly with pork and other meats (though in this case the meals appear far from being healthy and low in calories) and they also work well in different soups and salads.
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are quite big round legumes, used in Turkish, Arabian, and many other cuisines. They are used in salads often and they are the main ingredient of falafel. But probably the best way to use them is to make snacks — all because of their nutty taste and texture. As for their nutritional value, they contain at least 14g protein and 12g fiber.
Peas are delicious both dried and fresh (the latter may be stored frozen) and easy to cook. These legumes are low in calories (at least, compared to others). Each cup of green peas contains around 83 calories, 5gr fiber, and 6gr protein.
Cannellini are quite big white beans. They are also called “white kidney”. They do not change shape or fall apart while cooking. Because of that and their texture, they are great in salads or any other meals where you want whole beans to stand out. As for protein and fiber, each cup contains 15 and 11 grams of these macronutrients.
Northern beans are smaller than cannellini but bigger than navy beans. They are white or almost white and are characterized by a bit grainy texture. They contain 8g protein and 7g fiber per cup and they are great in many traditional recipes where white bans of any sort are recommended to be used.
The ingredient of many traditional meals, navy beans are small and white and are characterized by a familiar taste and texture. While being cooked, they can fall apart easily, so most often they are used in mashed form and in different stews. They are very rich in fiber (19g per cup) and, just like all the other legumes, in vegetable protein (15g).
Mexican cuisine is unimaginable without pinto beans. These legumes appear in countless meals, both in whole or mashed forms, combined with different vegetables, meats, and spices. One cup of these beans contains about 15g protein and fiber.
Cranberry beans look quite attractive (as well as their coats). But what is more attractive is that they are cooked relatively fast (less than during an hour) and are characterized by soft and pleasant texture and taste. Just like other beans, they are fat-free, rich in healthy protein and fiber (17g and 15g per cup).
The so-called kidney beans are the largest sort of beans. They are typically used in Mexican cuisine and they are an integral ingredient of chili. As for their nutritional value, they contain 17gr protein and 16g fiber per cup.
Often served mixed with sweet corn, Lima beans are smooth and have fresh color and nice taste. Being a great source of fiber and vegetable protein (13 and 15 grams per cup respectively), they are a perfect ingredient in various soups and salads.
Fava beans are a popular ingredient in many European cuisines. Most often, they are sold right in their shells that need to be removed before cooking. Though some people may think that these extra efforts are not something that is worth doing, it’s actually not so because these beans are really tasty. Also, they are rich in healthy protein and fiber (13 and 9 grams per cup respectively).
Lentils are diverse and delicious. The different types of lentils differ in color — they can be gold, red, green, and dark — and have slightly different taste shades so it is very easy to vary your diet with lentils alone — the only thing you need to do is to opt for different sorts. And the best part is, of course, that lentils, just like the other legumes are just loaded with macro- and micronutrients, including highly digestible protein.
Also, lentils are easy to cook. They will be ready just in 20 minutes of boiling and you do not need to soak them in advance.