Friday, December 13, 2013

Plant Protein Alternatives / Legumes- Beans,Lentils,Peas


Legumes provide more fiber per serving than any other vegetable.


Legumes are, the edible seeds of plants. The term legume is derived from the Latin word legumen. The history of legumes is tied in closely with that of human civilization. Beans a type of legume are one of the longest-cultivated plants, in history. In ancient times Broad beans, were gathered wild in Afghanistan and the Himalayan foothills. They were grown in Thailand since the seventh millennium BC, predating ceramics. They were buried with the dead, for a snack in the after life in ancient Egypt. In the second millennium BC, large-seeded broad beans were traded for in the Aegean, and Europe. The oldest-known domesticated beans in the Americas were found in Guitarrero Cave, an archaeological site in Peru, and dated to around the second millennium BC. The Chinese discovered tofu 2000 years ago. Tofu is a highly nutritious, protein-rich food that is made from the curds of soybean milk. Legumes are cultivated for their seeds. The seeds are used for human and animal consumption or for the production of oils for human and industrial uses.
The best way to lower your cholesterol, is the natural way. Eating legumes is one of the best heart healthy way's of eating. They are classed as vegetables but legumes have their own special properties. To be considered a legume, a vegetable must grow in a pod, seeds are spread when the pods pop open. There are 600 types of legumes and 13,000 varieties. Legumes are very high in fiber, they contain high amounts of potassium and folic acid. They have no bad fat's. Three of the most popular legumes are beans, lentils, and peas. Legumes are an important source of protein for vegetarians. The protein in legumes is considered incomplete, however, and needs to be eaten in combination with say, whole grains to make a complete high-quality protein. For example, green beans, lentils, and rice, or navy beans and barley, or soybeans and sesame seeds, or red beans and rice. Beans are so nutritious that the latest dietary guidelines recommend we triple our current intake from 1 to 3 cups per week. In terms of fiber and water content, two ingredients that make you feel fuller, faster, adding beans to your diet helps cut calories without feeling deprived. When it comes to fiber (the average American consumes just 15 grams daily), to the detriment of both our hearts and our waistlines. One cup of cooked beans (or two-thirds of a can) provides about 12 grams of fiber -- nearly half the recommended daily dose of 21 to 25 grams per day for adult women, 30 to 38 grams for adult men. Meat, on the other hand, contains no fiber at all. Beans have something else that meat lacks, phytochemicals, these compounds are only found in plants. Beans are high in antioxidants, a class of phytochemicals that incapacitate cell-damaging free radicals in the body. BAM !!
Beans
There are a huge variety of beans for you to enjoy. You can have navy beans, kidney beans, lima beans, and many other kinds of beans. According to the USDA, "consuming as little as one-half cup of cooked dry beans" will help to lower your cholesterol levels, and pinto beans seem to be the best in helping to lowering cholesterol. Pinto beans are very high in fiber providing over 58% of the daily requirement. They are also very high in folate, tryptophan and manganese.
Lentils
Lentils are a staple in the diet of most vegetarians as they provide high protein, high fiber, and they are low in fat and high in many nutrients. Lentils are an excellent replacement for meat products. Lentils are among the first foods to be cultivated and are even mentioned in the Bible. There are 17 different varieties of lentils available. They are a good source of molybdenum, folate, vitamin B1 and provide almost 63% of the daily requirement of fiber. If lentils are stored in an air-tight container they will last uncooked for 12 months. After they are cooked, lentils will keep for three days in the refrigerator. Lentils are excellent in salads, soups, and main dishes.
Peas
Peas are a very versatile vegetable that can be eaten right out of the pod. Peas were originally found in Asia and Europe. Peas became popular in France during the reign of Louis XIV who had them served at palace dinners. The pea also played a role in the study of genetics when Mendal used them in his cross-pollinating experiments. Peas are high in vitamin's K, C, and B1. They are also high in dietary fiber, manganese and folate. To keep them fresh peas should be refrigerated immediately after harvest and used within a few days. They can also be blanched and then frozen for later use.
Peanuts
While peanuts are nutritional and delicious as an everyday food, during expeditions on foot into the wilderness, especially regions of sub-zero temperatures like the South and North Poles, having peanuts has been the deciding factor between life and death.

Boiled peanuts are a popular snack in the southern United States, as well as in India, China and Ghana. I don't think you'll find a sporting event in this country that doesn't sell peanuts. Peanuts are rich in nutrients, providing over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients. Peanuts are a good source of niacin, folate, fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese and phosphorus. They also contain about 25% protein, a higher proportion than in any true nut. Research conducted by a team of University of Florida scientists, published in the journal Food Chemistry, shows that peanuts contain high concentrations of antioxidant polyphenols, and that roasting can increase peanuts overall antioxidant content by as much as 22%.

Truthfully, I can't wait for winter every year so I can get on some split-pea with bacon, or navy bean and ham soup. You can't make chilli without kidney beans, and black beans go with everything from fish to mexican. Also, I eat organic peanut butter by the spoonful. If you don't digest these foods very well, there are products like "Beano" that you can take before you eat that will alleviate your discomfort. Foods affect us in a very individualized manner. Even the healthiest foods are not appropriate for everybody. So, if you have a good reason to eat legumes, enjoy, and pay close attention to how they impact your health, blood sugar, digestion, energy, mood, sleep, etc. You'll be pleasantly surprised to find that they'll tastefully expand your diet choices, and enrich your health.  Good Luck...







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