Legumes (also known as pulses) are a group of plant foods which aren’t just for vegetarians! They contain a wide variety of nutrients and are a very healthy and economical food for everyone to include as part of a balanced diet.
Legumes are high in dietary fibre which helps to keep our bowels healthy. They are also a good source of soluble fibre which can help lower blood cholesterol levels. Legumes are a source of carbohydrate and have a low glycaemic index (GI), which means they are broken down more slowly so you feel fuller for longer. This makes them a particularly good food for preventing and managing diabetes.
Legumes are also made up of protein, making them an ideal base to a vegetarian dish or a substitute for meat. Legumes are very cheap to buy, so including them as the main protein in your meals can save you money on your grocery bills.
Other benefits of legumes include:
– High in B-group vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium
– Good source of folate, which is essential for women of child-bearing age
– Good source of antioxidants
– Low in saturated fat.