Some popular diets, like the Keto lifestyle, shun legumes. However, they are getting quite a bit of praise from nutritionists. These fiber-packed little wonders are a member of the Fabaceae family, and they are enjoyed by humans, livestock, and the soil-enhancing properties they carry.
A legume produces fruit or seed, which is also called a pod when dried. Many are surprised to find that vanilla and radishes are part of this family, but they are on opposite ends of the full spectrum. Surprisingly, not all these fruits are edible, but many are right for you and have vast health benefits.
Some experts believe that they are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available, which means they shouldn’t be removed from your diet. Conversely, they should be added to a healthy eating plan to help you lose weight.
While eating beans isn’t going to make weight magically disappear, they are full of fiber, which helps you eat less and remain full for more extended periods. They are diet-friendly food, but you need to put in some work and eat a well-balanced meal plan with low sugar and carbohydrates. Additionally, a study conducted by Reuters found that people who ate three-fourths a cup of legumes each day lost more weight than those who didn’t.
The beautiful thing about legumes is that you can use them in highly creative ways. You can grind them and use them to replace wheat flour for those who are gluten-free. They can be added to salads, pureed into a dip, or used in flavorful soups. Did you know that some people even use them to make healthy desserts like brownies?
Legumes that Provide Weight Loss Power
It’s apparent that you need to incorporate beans into your diet, but you may be confused about which ones pack the most potent health punch. If you want to kick your weight loss into high gear, then here are 12 legumes you need to add to your shopping list.
1. Adzuki Beans
Adzuki beans are an Asian delight. They have been harvested since 4000 BC in Japan, China, Korea, and New Zealand. Asian cuisines often grind them into a red paste, but few know that adzukis are responsible for that condiment. They are a powerhouse because they are an essential source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Research has proven that adding these beans to your diet can help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol levels, improve your heart health, and increase your energy. Their nutty flavor is appealing to even the fussiest palates.
2. Anasazi Beans
Anasazi Beans are also dubbed cave beans. The reason for the name is because the mid-1900s, archeologists found them growing in abandoned clay pots. They are about the size of a pinto bean, but they have a burgundy and cream-color speckled exterior.
You will often find these legumes in Latin American and Southwestern cuisines, as they pair nicely with this style of cooking. These beans are used in holistic medicine to fight cancer, treat diabetes, improve your heart health, reduce waist size, fight inflammation, and boost your immunity.
Since they are incredibly high in fiber, they help reduce inflammation in the body, which helps to flush the fat. They have also been documented to help fight against certain autoimmune diseases, which is impressive since many have no cure.
3. Black Beans
You can have a whole cup of black beans for about 110 calories, and if you eat an entire cup, it will surely fill your stomach. They are used in Mexican entrees as well as making delicious desserts like brownies.
Shockingly, these beans have a fantastic health boost, since they are high in calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, copper, and about ten other vitamins and minerals. When it comes to weight loss, the goal is to eat less and find foods that fill you faster. The black variety is a fabulous bean that can help to get your gut in shape.
These nuts fall into the legume family, but their name often confuses people about their classification. Unlike some beans, they work well on the Keto and other low carb eating plans. They are packed with protein and fiber. They taste great in home-made spreads without all the extra additives and sugars.
Though they are a bit higher in calories as one cup is 857, it doesn’t take much to fill you. These nuts can be used in Asian style cuisines as well as to make fabulous low carb desserts. Since this plant variety has such a high mold content, you must wash your nuts before eating them.
The dietary fiber for one cup of peanuts is 12.3 g, which will certainly help to fill you up. Their low sugar content and high healthy fat make them great for dieters. Plus, the 926 mg of potassium in that cup far exceeds that of a banana. In moderations, these nuts can help you to lose weight and stay full.
5. Black-Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas are initially from Africa. They are sometimes called the cowpea because they are a subspecies of that plant. Their wonderful smokey flavor makes them highly desirable in soups and salads.
One cup of these unique beans has about 130 calories. They are also full of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A, C, B, and DV Thiamine. When you need to reduce your caloric intake, and you still crave a smokey flavor that comes from certain high-calorie foods, then these are an excellent replacement.
6. Fava Beans
Dieters have long favored fava beans. Since they have protein and soluble and insoluble fiber, they help keep you from overeating. They are known to lower cholesterol levels and increase energy.
In 2018, a study was conducted to see how eating these beans could help to reduce weight. The participants found that when they used these beans to replace animal protein, they were fuller three hours longer than those that ate meat. Vegetable proteins have a higher effect on metabolism too, which is all good for weight loss.
7. Garbanzo Beans
Garbanzo beans are so useful, and they can help you lose weight. Since the beans are low in calories, they make a suitable meal replacement for high-calorie cravings. Weight loss is all about math and eating less to lose more.
The high amounts of dietary fiber help you slowly digest your foods, which keeps you fuller longer. You can use them to make hummus, eat them roasted as a snack, or have a pot cooked the traditional way. These beans are versatile and full of fiber and nutrients, and they should be in every dieter’s cabinets.
8. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are great in soups like chili. They are known for their appearance that mimics the human kidney. They come in a dark red or white variety. Their high fiber and protein content help them to fill your stomach and eat less.
The white version of this bean only has 90 calories for a cup, and they have 9 grams of protein. A study was done to see how much weight a person could lose if they ate these beans versus other foods. The group that ate these beans every day on top of a low-calorie diet lost 3.79 more pounds than the group that just followed a low-calorie diet.
9. Pinto Beans
Pinto beans are small and delicious. These little powerhouses are loaded with nutrients, and they are also an excellent source of fiber and indigestible carbs, a rich source of antioxidants, and can even improve your blood sugar.
Like most legumes on the list, the real benefit is the high fiber content that helps to fill you up. Plus, those who are dieting with diabetes can benefit from their advantage of blood sugar control.
10. Split Peas
Split pea soup, anyone? Don’t be mistaken that these peas are like the traditional variety. These don’t have near the sugar or carbohydrate content. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy antioxidants.
These peas can provide healthy and sustainable weight loss the entire year as they are versatile. You can make soups with them, salad, or other delicious dishes.
11. Lima Beans
Lima beans are a broad bean that is virtually fat-free. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels as well as give you a powerful punch of fiber. Some people may know them as butter beans, but they are all from the same variety.
These beans have Vitamins C, D, B-12, and A. Plus. They are an excellent source of minerals like copper, magnesium, and zinc. They are great for those who want to reduce and have a highly nutritious meal.
Lentils are something that you need to have on hand when you’re dieting. They are full of fiber, protein, and they have almost no fat at all. Since these beans are brimming with fiber, it can help you to stay full without having any extra calories.
They can help to stabilize blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, and help to keep you from indulging in not-so-healthy snacks.
If you’re ready to lose weight, then why not add some legumes to your grocery list. Keeping a wide variety on hand can help you when you feel those hunger pangs. They can help you stop overeating, and when you feel the urge to snack, their healthy fat content will support good overall health.