Life With Legumes: A Tasty Plant-Based Powerhouse
Eating beans and other legumes do more than just improve your gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. This mighty plant-based food can also help improve type 2 diabetes management and weight regulation. So, if you want to incorporate more beans and legumes into your eating plan, here are some ways to eat more.
Legume intake and type 2 diabetes
They may be small, but they are nutritionally mighty! Legumes are abundant in fiber and protein, both important components for blood sugar regularity. Their consumption may help mitigate unwanted blood glucose fluctuations, helping to decrease oxidative stress associated with diseases at greater risk to those with type 2 diabetes. Fiber also helps improve mealtime satiety, improving weight management by minimizing between-meal snacking.
Ways to eat more beans and legumes
When it comes to making healthier lifestyle choices, food availability is a common barrier. However, there is a good chance you currently have a can of beans hiding in your pantry. It's a household staple that often gets overlooked when deciding the age-old question of what to make for dinner (or other meals).
Add legumes into baked goods
That's right; you can add the nutritional power of legumes to your favorite baked goods! Simply substitute a portion of the flour for a chickpea flour alternative. Since each recipe is different, it may take a little experimentation before getting the ratio right. But this substitution can be a simple way to add fiber-filled nutrition to every bite.
Try legume-based pasta
Transform a familiar favorite by substituting traditional pasta for a legume-based alternative. There are options like lentil, chickpea, mung bean, and edamame pasta. Each option comes with a unique flavor, texture, and nutrition profile. So, try a few times to find your favorite legume-based pasta alternative.
Then, toss your pasta with your go-to sauce and vegetables to satisfy your cravings while keeping your health goals in check. Bonus: legume-based pasta is also quick to cook, helping to make mealtime a breeze!
Make hearty salads
Are you looking for a satisfying meal that's easy to prep in large quantities to enjoy throughout the week? Head to the pantry and grab your favorite beans! If you don't have a "no-salt-added" option, give the beans a quick rinse and strain to reduce the sodium content. Then, store the leftovers in a container in the fridge. When ready to eat, dress your beans in olive oil, lemon, and your favorite herbs or spices to create an irresistible salad that will satisfy you for hours.
Delicious protein-packed spreads
While most people immediately think of hummus when thinking of legume-based spreads, there are many other ways to spread the legume love. Try less traditional options such as black beans, pinto beans, lentils, and more. A spread made from these other legumes can be a great addition to a sandwich, plant-based burger, or crudité platter!
Why limit tacos to Tuesday when they get filled with plant-based ingredients? Substitute ground meat for black or pinto beans! Then, create a flavor-filled meal by simmering your bean selections with onions, garlic, and spices. Don't forget to set up a toppings station with colorful ingredients such as salsa, guacamole, and other favorites!
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