Legumes: Good or Bad For You?

Are Legumes Good or Bad
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When it comes to eating legumes, the experts do not always agree: either legumes are incredibly nutritious, or they are exceedingly harmful.

Should beans be avoided, or can they be consumed as part of a healthy, well balanced whole food based diet?

In this article, I’ll take a close look at the facts, and then I’ll let you decide if legumes are good or bad for you.

Healthy Benefits of Legumes


Legumes Contain Powerful Antioxidants, Which Help Fight Cancer

Legumes contain high levels of flavonoids and phytochemicals, which act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, making them an excellent choice to help protect against several forms of cancer.

Are Legumes Good or Bad

 

 

 

 

 

Legumes May Improve Cardiovascular Health

Legumes may improve cardiovascular health in a number of ways, the most significant being their anti-inflammatory properties. Legumes contain high levels of flavinoids, which have been shown to regulate fat metabolism and cholesterol emission.

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Legumes are also high in soluble fiber, which has been associated with fighting cardio vascular disease by facilitating the equalization of unhealthy cholesterol levels. A diet high in soluble fiber, especially from  legume sources, is thought to protect against heart disease, cardiac arrest, and stroke.

Are Legumes Good or Bad

Fiber removes waste and toxins from your body, keeping your arteries free from dangerous plaque build-up. Consuming a 3/4 cup serving of properly cooked legumes of any kind may help reduce the possibility of a heart attack.

Legumes May Help With Weight Control

Legumes, especially black beans, contain high amounts of folate and magnesium, which are significant in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. As an added bonus, the high fiber content of legumes helps to fill your stomach quickly. Having a full belly helps to prevent overeating and gaining excess weight.

Are Legumes Good or Bad

 

 

 

 

 

Legumes May Help Regulate Blood Sugar

Legumes contain a good balance of healthy complex carbohydrates and proteins, which the body is able to use easily for many necessary functions. Legumes have the ability to provide a steady flow of energy to your body in the form of starches. This helps prevent “sugar spikes” and cravings.

Are Legumes Good or Bad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disadvantages of Eating Legumes


Legumes Contain Anti-Nutrients

Unfortunately, there are disadvantages to eating legumes. Legumes house substances known as anti-nutrients, which are known to hamper with digestion and the absorption of many essential nutrients.

Phytic Acid

Legumes contain phytic acid, which can impede the absorption of minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium. Consuming high amounts of phytic acid can potentially result in mineral deficiencies in your body, which may lead to bone loss and osteoporosis. 

Are Legumes Good or Bad

Lectins

Lectins are proteins found in all legumes. This type of protein resists digestion and may have an adverse affect on the cells lining your digestive tract.

You Can Reduce The Anti-Nutrients Found In Legumes


Soaking and sprouting legumes may help to reduce anti-nutrients and may help to increase mineral absorption. In addition, properly soaking and cooking legumes may help reduce the formation of gas and may make them easier to digest.

Are Legumes Good or Bad

My Take-Away


Legumes are packed with numerous health benefits.

They have a remarkable nutritional profile, and are an excellent choice if you want plant-based sources of protein.

However, they also contain anti-nutrients, which may decrease their nutritional value.

There are ways to neutralize anti-nutrients found in legumes. For centuries, traditional cooking methods like soaking, sprouting, and boiling, have been used, all with beneficial results.

I believe moderation is the key. I have chosen to believe properly prepared legumes are healthy when consumed as part of a balanced, whole food based diet.

Try My Delicious Black Bean Burrito Recipe (Click here for the full recipe) 

How to make black bean burrito

Let’s Get Cooking!

Out of all the legumes I have tried, I think black beans are my favorite. I love their robust flavor, and I think everyone should have black beans  in their kitchen cabinets. They are extremely budget friendly and an excellent source of protein, soluble fiber, cancer fighting antioxidants, and a number of vitamins and minerals.

Black Bean Burrito With Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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Place black beans, 1 tsp Chile powder, 1 tsp cumin, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, garlic, onion, and dash of red pepper flakes in a blender.
Blend until beans are the consistency of re-fried beans.
Divide bean mixture evenly down the center of each of the tortillas.

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Top each with 2 tbsp. of shredded cheddar cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrap each burrito by first folding the bottom and top, and then rolling to close.

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Place filled burritos in a single layer in a lightly greased baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 350 degree oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Are legumes good or bad for you
I didn’t include this in the recipe, but to add more kick and flavor, try adding 2 tbsp of salsa to each burrito before baking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place 1 cup of shredded lettuce on each of 4 plates. Place heated burrito on top of lettuce. Garnish with tomato halves (each plate should get 8 halves). Top with 2 tbsp.. spicy yogurt sauce.

How To Make Black Bean Burrito


What about you? Do you think legumes are good or bad for you? What is your favorite legume? Please join the discussion and leave a comment below.



As always, thank you for stopping by.  I want to emphasize  I am not a medical doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist.  I do not have a degree in medicine, dietetics, or nutrition. I do not make claims to any specialized medical training, nor do I dispense medical advice or prescriptions.  The content on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any diseases. Please click here to read my full disclaimer. 

Kathy

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Author: Kathy

Hi! Welcome to In Abbas Kitchen! I would love to sit with you at my dining room table, getting to know you while we sip hot cups of tea and nosh on slices of warm banana bread. However, since that won't be possible, I'll settle on letting you get to know me.I am passionate about loving God with all of my heart, mind, body, and soul. I love to laugh at myself and with people. I believe laughter is contagious, and it establishes a sense of connection between two people. I love heart-to-heart chats with friends and loved ones because I believe transparency is the foundation of all meaningful relationships. I believe in the power of prayer; God listens. I try to see the good in people, even if I am the only one who can see it. I enjoy food; my food philosophy is to eat clean, whole foods while maintaining proper portion control. I work hard to maintain a realistic balance between healthy salads and not so healthy coffee mocha chunk ice cream. :) I believe moderation is the key to creating lasting healthy eating habits.At In Abba's Kitchen, you will find healthy recipes, Bible studies designed to inspire you to grow in your faith, ideas for wholesome living, and product reviews for my favorite kitchen tools and foods I use. You will also find my weight loss story.Although weight loss is not the basis of this site, it is a major component of my life. My weight loss journey has inspired the creation of this site, and it has given me a new found freedom and confidence. My desire is to walk with you on your journey, helping you with your weight loss struggles, inspiring you to grow in your faith, and helping you to find freedom from the things holding you back from being all you were meant to be.

10 thoughts on “Legumes: Good or Bad For You?”

  1. Kathy! Oh my goodness, the recipe sounds completely out of this world!!!! I to love black beans. My family consumes lots of different legumes, and soaking certainly is a great idea! However, occasionally there are times that soaking them first doesn’t come to mind in time, haha. A couple of days ago, I had a super craving for pintos and corn muffins. Had I have decided this the evening prior, it would have been no problem. But I didn’t. I washed, picked through them, threw them in a pot and it all worked out in the end :o). Thanks for sharing your research and especially that black bean burrito recipe! Mmm Mmm…can’t wait to give it a try!!!

    1. Hi Paula,
      Black beans are my favorite! I will be honest with you. Sometimes I am guilty of planning ahead and I have had to use canned beans. When this happens, I always use organic canned beans. This way I know I am not getting the pesticides and chemicals. Everything in moderation. Pintos and corn muffins? That sounds interesting. I’ve not heard of this combination. Do you make corn muffins and eat the beans on top? My grandmother had a recipe she called “Sloppy Beans.” She would cook up a huge pot of great northern beans with a ham bone. Then she would serve them over a slice of bread. It was delicious! Of course, these days, I have limited my bread intake, but once in a while, I will make a loaf of homemade bread using healthy flours of course and eat a slice with Grandma’s sloppy bean recipe. Grandma is gone now,and making her recipe brings back fond childhood memories.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Kathy

  2. Hello Kathy,
    I am not a huge fan of legumes, however this wrap looks fabulous! I will have to make it, I know for certain that my husband will really enjoy this.

    1. Hi Jackie,
      This particular wrap is amazing! It is one of my husband’s favorites too. I love that it is both delicious and healthy. If you try it for your husband, please come back and let us know how he liked it.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Kathy

  3. This is a very good post on legumes, as it outlines not just the benefits, but also the possible harmful effects to our health. Before I found this post, I wasn’t aware of the information that has been presented here.

    It’s also good to know that legumes can actually help with fighting cancer and avoid weight gain. Maybe they should be included in our daily diet in order to improve overall health. Lastly, your burrito looks really delicious!

    Great article!

    1. Hello Farhan,

      I learned a few things while I was doing the research for this article. I have always soaked my legumes before using them; however, after doing the research for this article, I tried soaking my legumes longer than usual to see if there was a difference. Recently, I made a dish using northern beans. Instead of soaking them the usual 24 hours, I soaked them for two days. The result: the beans expanded more than usual and they took a fraction of the time to cook than they usually do. They seemed to be easier to digest too because I didn’t feel bloated after eating them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Kathy

  4. I often find it really difficult to keep up with the latest trend on whether a food is healthy or not. It seems that one day something is healthy and the next it is actually bad for you or vice versa.

    I enjoy eating chickpeas and kidney beans and will try to follow the steps on soaking them before and cleaning them to help make them better.

    Are there certain types of legumes that are totally good or totally bad?

    1. Hi Craig,

      I agree with you. It is hard to keep up with the latest trends, and it’s even more difficult when the experts can’t agree. You asked if there were certain types of legumes that are totally good or totally bad. The answer is, no. There are good and bad traits in all legumes. The important thing to remember is whenever possible, choose certified organic beans, non GMO beans, and soak and/or sprout them to break down the anti-nutrients. And know your body; it is an amazing machine when properly taken care of!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Kathy

  5. Great post. I’m with you on the point that moderation is key. It also seems that legumes must be prepared properly.

    Those black bean burritos look awesome, I’m going to have to try those someday soon.

    Thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Samuel,
      Thanks for taking the time to read my post. When it comes to food, moderation is my motto. I like to enjoy all kinds of foods. These black bean burritos are very delicious! When I make this recipe, I usually make a double batch and then freeze the extras. I eat them warm, but my husband enjoys them cold. He says they are any easy lunch for him. He takes one out of the freezer and pops it in a warm oven to thaw and then packs it in his lunch box. 1,2,3 and his lunch is packed. When you try the recipe, please come back and let me know what you think.
      Kathy

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