Legumes

Studies have shown how eating more beans and following a plant-based diet benefit our health. Consuming a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds is associated with significantly lower risks of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

Many diets, such as the Mediterranean-style regimens and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), encourage increasing intake of plant-based foods like beans and their associated health advantages even though they are not entirely vegetarian. Only 8% of Americans report consuming beans daily, although science backs up their health advantages.

Table of Contents

Legumes Meaning

A legume is a plant that belongs to the Leguminosae or Fabaceae family, or its seed or fruit. This seed can also be considered as a pulse when used as a dry grain.Legumes are commonly planted for human usage, feed and hay for livestock, and as manure to benefit the soil.

Legumes generate a simple dry fruit that normally dehisces on two sides and is a botanically distinct type of fruit. It develops from a simple carpel. Beans, peas, soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, lupins, carob, mesquite, tamarind, clover and alfalfa are commonly known legumes.

Legumes are essential to crop rotation because most contain symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in organs known as root nodules.

Pulses and Legumes

The Leguminosae or Fabaceae family — the legume, bean, or pea family — is the third-largest group of flowering plants, having more than 20,000 species. The terms “pulses,” “legumes,” and “beans” have distinct meanings though they are often used interchangeably.

Fabaceae plants are legumes. An edible legume seed is called the pulse. Lentils, peas, and beans are examples of pulses.

Legumes Examples

One of the best sources of protein in plants is legumes. They are a common food source in many underdeveloped nations since they are affordable and highly nutritious.

Here is a list of well-known legumes:

Lentils

People buy lentils, the tiny seeds of the legume plant Lens culinaris, as dry or canned goods.

  • green lentils
  • puy lentils
  • beluga lentils
  • brown lentils
  • red lentils
  • yellow lentils

Beans

Beans are the larger fruits produced by legume plants and are frequently bought fresh, dried, or canned.

  • black bean
  • kidney bean
  • blackeye bean
  • adzuki bean
  • cannellini bean
  • navy bean
  • garbanzo bean (chickpea)
  • pinto bean
  • flageolet bean
  • borlotti bean
  • pigeon peas
  • lima bean
  • split peas
  • fava bean

Additional Legumes

In addition, the legume family includes peanuts, green peas, and soybeans. Although they are fruits of the legume plant and grow in pods, people frequently call these items by various names.

For example, when processed, green peas, peanuts, and soybeans are all referred to as legumes (soy).

Legumes and Their Usage

Farmed legumes can be classified as grain, fodder, blooms, pharmaceutical/industrial raw material, fallow or green manure, and wood species, among other agricultural groups. Depending on their maturity level at harvest, most commercially cultivated species perform two or more functions at once.

Human Usage

In addition to fibre and phytochemicals, legumes contain various minerals and vitamins. Grain legumes are grown for their seeds, which are then utilised to make oils for use in industries or for animal and human consumption. Beans, lupins, lentils, peas, and peanuts are examples of grain legumes.

Legumes are an essential source of protein, dietary fibre, carbs, and minerals. For instance, a 100 gm meal of prepared chickpeas includes 18% of the Daily Value (DV) of protein, 30% DV for dietary fibre, 43% DV for folate, and 52% DV for manganese.

Fodder

Animal performance is enhanced by diets made from legumes instead of perennial grasses. There are two main groups of fodder legumes. Some are planted in pastures and browsed by animals, such as alfalfa, vetch (Vicia), clover, stylo (Stylosanthes), and Arachis. Other fodder legumes, like Albizia or Leucaena, are species of woody shrubs or trees consumed by animals or routinely chopped down by people to feed livestock.

Other Applications

Legumes have been associated with various additional health benefits, including lower cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart disease.

The daily consumption of legumes may also lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Legumes make us feel full because of their high fibre and protein content, which may help us eat less over time and result in weight loss.

Related Links:

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Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Name the products made from legumes.

Legumes can be found in various products across the supermarket due to their flavour, texture, and nutrient content. While they can include traditional choices like peanut butter, tofu, and hummus, legumes and their byproducts are also crucial in various plant-based meat substitutes.

Which nuts are considered as legumes?

Beans, lentils, and peas are members of the same family as legumes, which contain edible seeds encased in pods. While tree nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pecans, are all produced on trees.
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