Legumes. Perhaps the one true “superfood”

19th June, 2014

How to get half a kilo of legumes into your diet each week as per the Mediterranean diet.
*See post on the Mediterranean diet

The word “superfood” gets thrown around a lot, especially buy unqualified “health experts”. 

And while, in the words of ABC’s The Checkout, “there is no such thing as superfood, just super-marketing”, legumes are one food source that really are SUPER!

Legumes (this includes lentils) pretty much tick the box for everything. They are an excellent source of dietary fibre, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein and are free of cholesterol and saturated fats. They are also an environmentally sustainable food and very cheap!

Tinned legumes and lentils are just as good as dried ones and can be added to salads, soups, pasta sauces, casseroles, stews or pies. Replacing ½ the meat with legumes in your meals will reduce the cost, calories and saturated fat whilst increasing dietary fibre and phytonutrients.

To eat 1/2 a kilo per week, you need 70g per day which is just the right amount to add to your lunch or dinner, be it a salad, soup, stew, pasta dish etc. So it’s actually not that hard. If 1/2 a kilo seems way too much, start with 250g per week.

If you feel legumes and lentils upset your digestive system, try the tinned ones (rinse well) and just stick to 1-2 tablespoons at a time. It’s also not unusual to experience tummy symptoms when you first introduce them to your diet, but in time this disappears for most people.

legumes and lentils
A delicious legume soup with fresh herbs!