Beans and other legumes such as chickpeas and lentils are power-packed and hunger-busting. They are high in protein and fiber, and low in glycaemic carbohydrates. These filling foods offer a range of delicious flavours and are used in a number of dishes around the world. There are many different types of legumes, here’s a taste of some of our favourites.
The broad beans that we enjoy in SA are known as Lima beans elsewhere in the world. Broad beans are packed with wholesome minerals and nutrients.
Broad beans are also rich in both folate and B vitamins, which we need for nerve and blood cell development, cognitive function and energy. They are an excellent vegetable source of protein and fiber, a winning combination for weight management. Broad beans are known to contain small, but useful amounts of isoflavones. It is a compound that has been found to lower the risks of developing breast cancer.
Known globally as Light Speckled Kidney Beans locally, the sugar bean is widely enjoyed as a curry. It is a popular option in many homes, restaurants, and takeaways. It can also be used in casseroles, stews, and salads.
Sugar beans are high in micronutrients especially potassium, magnesium, and iron. Like broad beans, kidney beans are high in protein and fiber. Magnesium content of sugar beans can significantly provide relief from fatigue. Kidney beans are high in anti-oxidants and are proven to have anti-aging effects. They also provide a moderate quantity of zinc that plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin.
Like other legumes, chickpeas too are high in fiber and protein and contain several key vitamins and minerals.
If sugar is the villain, chickpeas are your private security team. Also known as garbanzos, chickpeas are high in fiber which helps stabilize blood sugar, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes. Chickpeas can be eaten whole and added to salads and soups. Mash them and you have the main ingredient in hummus which you can use as a dip, spread on crackers, or even use on sandwiches as a healthy swap for mayo.
Low in calories and high in nutrition, lentils are the perfect legume to eat in salads, spreads, pasta, and curries.
The high fiber in lentils helps to reduce cholesterol. Lentils are a great source of folate and magnesium, which are major contributors to heart health. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, to efficiently transport oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
So, in a bean pod, legumes are delicious and nutritious. We stock the widest legume range at Gorima’s, so visit your nearest store to stock up on these healthy, nutrient-packed foods.