Diet and Nutrition Data Verified

Legumes: Vegan, Rich, and Nutritious

Published on Dec 12, 2022 and last reviewed on Mar 22, 2023   -  3 min read


Read the article to know all about the types, systemic health benefits, cuisines, and ways to include legumes in diet plans.

What Are the Different Kinds of Legumes?

A high and regularized intake of vegan plant-based food, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and nuts, is always essential to lower the growing global risks due to unhealthy dietary issues like high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases.

Legumes are popular low-fat, nutrient-dense sources of vitamin B, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorous, and they are virtually free from saturated fats. That is the main reason why they have always been deemed the best daily sources for improving one's systemic health. Legumes are inclusive of a wide range of all forms of beans and peas originating from the Fabaceae or Leguminosae families. The legume family of plants also comprises lentils and pulses (the dried seeds of legumes). These are seeds that are used in making thick soups. Other Well known dried legumes are chickpeas, butter beans, haricot or navy beans, red kidney beans, adzuki beans, black-eyed beans, soybeans, cannellini beans, lupins, etc., to name a few varieties.

Globally, the most commonly consumed dried legumes are green beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts. They remain in popular use and are grown in pod form, from which they can be extracted and eaten fresh. However, most legumes are usually dried to prolong their shelf life and storage.

Why Are Legumes Always Part of Healthy Diet Plans?

Legumes such as beans, pulses, lentils, peanuts, and their dried forms can all be used in thick soups, stews, add-ons for side dishes and starters, in salads or can be steamed or rehydrated by cooking. Legumes have been recommended for several decades as an integral and mandatory part of every healthy lifestyle by healthcare specialists. Ranging from its use in the Mediterranean lifestyle or the DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) eating plans or the vegetarian and vegan diet, legumes offer additional benefits by having a lower-glycemic index (GI) in all these diet forms and patterns.

What Are the Systemic Health Benefits of Legume Consumption?

Clinical research and evidence show the importance of legumes in both preventing and managing several systemic health conditions.

  • Impact on Type 2 Diabetes

Legumes are commonly consumed plant-based nutrient sources, and regular consumption is shown to have a positive impact on patients with type 2 diabetes. Research indicates a lower risk of the onset of type 2 diabetes in individuals who are regular legume eaters and also beneficial to those who have diabetes to improve both their glycemic and lipid profile control.

  • Impact on Hyperlipidemia

Regular consumption of legumes may aid in lowering the total and LDL (low-density lipid) cholesterol levels. They can also be effective in lipid control in hypertensive patients. Being rich sources of potassium, magnesium, and fiber, these nutrient-dense legume forms would be useful in healthy weight loss.

  • Healthy Weight Management

The fiber content, the proteins, and the slowly digestible carbohydrate aid in satisfying appetite. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), adults who consume a variety of legumes have significantly improved, maintained, and managed body weight and also help to regularise BMI (body mass index) as compared to legume non-consumers. Evidence also suggests that the fiber and monounsaturated fat content is ideal for obese individuals who wish to lose weight.

What Is the Availability and Culinary Use of Legumes?

Lentils are available in multiple varieties and colors globally. The most commonly colored legumes are of orange, green, and black forms. Lentils also have a relatively short cooking time and may not require advance soaking always unless they are stored for a long time. Lentils can be steamed or boiled which requires only just 20 minutes of cooking time. Cooked legumes can be kept in the refrigerator so as to be added anytime to a dish as per choice or requirement.

The best example on a daily basis would be to add one tablespoon of prepared lentils to one cup of prepared rice or quinoa. This will add color, and texture, enhance the flavor of rice, and make it a healthier meal option (as rice is starchy and carbohydrate-rich). A squeeze or dash of lemon juice can enhance the flavor of conventional legume dishes like soups, stews, and salads. Yogurt can also be added to legume dishes as it is a good probiotic source.

A basic legume salad comprises any variation or combination of cooked legumes, chopped herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper that packs in a nutrient and vitamin-rich meal. Additionally, when chopped vegetables or fruits or even cheese cubes or slices of tofu, paneer, or chicken breast are added, it can provide individual satiety. Legumes are mainly elaborated as excellent soup ingredients. When all legumes are served with grains, the dietary needs for daily nutrient intake become complete with the presence of essential amino acids. Especially for vegetarian athletes, sports players, and bodybuilders, this diet can be a great protein-packed meal.


Despite the numerous and multifarious benefits on general health, global consumption of legumes, according to research data, is still low, which is attributed to the population’s unfamiliarity with the best incorporation of legumes into the daily diet. These nutrient and vitamin-rich legumes are not only easy to identify and cook but can also be regularly consumed to gain the maximum daily nutritional benefit.

Last reviewed at:
22 Mar 2023  -  3 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

Recently, my father had second heart attack and a stent is placed. Please suggest your opinion.

Query: Hi doctor, My father is 62 years old and he had a second heart attack recently. The first one was before seven years and a stent is placed. Now again a stent is placed in the left circumflex artery. His recent ECHO report shows diastolic dysfunction of grade 1, with mild mitral regurgitation and tr...  Read Full »

How to treat cuts inside my lips and tongue?

Query: Hi doctor, I am 18 years old, male and I have small cuts in the inside of my lips and my tongue. They burn when I drink or eat. They look like cuts.  Read Full »

What herbal medicine can I take to maintain sexual health?

Query: Hi doctor, Recently, I got my semen test from a laboratory. Detail of the test is as follows: Volume - 3.0 mL, color - gray white, viscosity - thick, total sperm count - 60 million, active motile 20%, sluggish motile 30% and non-motile 50%, pus cell 3-4/HPF and morphology 45 %. I want to know that ...  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Legumes or ?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.