Whether you are fellow vegetarians, vegans or healthy eating advocates,  you probably already know about the many benefits of eating legumes; They are versatile, fun and make a quality nutritional side / main dish; depending on your own habits and diet. Unfortunately, people sometimes are taken aback by them because they do require a bit of prep time...But hey...it's actually really simple and you don't really need to invest that much time... you'll be surprised :)! 

What are legumes, and what do they offer us?
legumes belong to the leguminous plants which grow in a pod. The legumes family includes (among other kinds)  red and green lentils, kidney beans and white beans, Faba beans, Azuki beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, Mung beans, dried peas, soybeans, etc'....

Legumes contain high protein content compared to their fellow plants (fruits and veggies), and are therefore considered to be a reasonable nutritional choice for vegetarians and vegans. 

However, you don't need to be a vegetarian/vegan in order to enjoy their benefits! They are low in fat and contain NO cholesterol at all ! (yes, that's right! NO cholesterol!!!), rich in minerals and vitamins, potassium, folate, iron and magnesium. In addition to that, they contain a high amount of fiber necessary for maintaining the health and proper function of the digestive system and help lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Furthermore, they have antioxidant qualities and thus may help prevent the development of heart disease and blood vessels, certain types of cancers, increased blood pressure and diabetes. 

Now, to the mother of all questions in the pulses eating topic arises : How do we prevent bloating & flatulnece? (or in a simple word...gas!)
Firstly, it׳s recommended to soak the beans in water (overnight is the best time) before cooking to reduce as much as possible the risk of gas after eating; These are caused due to a lack of adequate disintegration of the sugar in the beans during the cooking process. When these sugars reach the colon they undergo fermentation by the friendly intestinal bacteria  and the result is an accumulation of gases in the digestive tract :(
Another way to reduce the formation of gases is to sprout the beans (when you see a little tails coming out of the bean). Sprouting them significantly improves their nutritional value, increases the amount of amino acids, sugars available for use and improves the ratio between soluble and non-soluble fiber. 

How to use them?

Different kinds require different cooking time- boiling them in water would be the main cooking method. Look for recipes: you can use them to make /add in casseroles, salads, different spreads & pastes , soups and much much more! 

I love them! Maybe you can try it your way..and you'll love them too:) !

Go for it ! ...& don't forget ....keep in SHAPE +