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What are legumes?

Legumes come from plants whose seed pods split on two sides when they're ripe. Beans, lentils, soybeans, and peas are all legumes. Legumes are high in protein, iron, fiber and other vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients. In the MyPyramid food guide, legumes can be counted in the Meat and Beans Group or the Vegetable Group -- but not both at the same time. Add legumes to soups, stews and casseroles or toss some in salads.
Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Legumes (beans) are among the oldest cultivated plants. In fact, fossil records demonstrate that prehistoric people domesticated and cultivated legumes for food. Today, this extremely large category of vegetables contains more than 13,000 species and is second only to grains in supplying calories and protein to the world's population. Compared to grains, legumes supply the same number of calories, but two to four times as much protein.


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Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

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Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...
Legumes are beans. They come in all sizes, shapes, flavors and colors -- and they're good for you.

Some healthy legume choices include black beans, kidney beans, soybeans, lentils, lima beans, black eyed peas, fava beans and edamame.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.