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Why legumes are the new meat

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‘New year, new you’…isn’t that what they say? Divya Jagasia, author of Shoots and Tendrils blog (lover of legumes), has the lowdown on why legumes are the new meat, and the new way forward to healthy living.

The perfect alternative

With countless people trying to achieve better health by reducing their meat intake, pulses (dried lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas) are the perfect alternative for ensuring protein levels remain high.

Along with that essential protein, they’re loaded with fibre and minerals such as iron, and are both economically and environmentally friendly, as well as delicious.

Why legumes are the new meat

Why legumes are just as good as meat

If you’re still skeptical about the switch, then read our myths debunked below:

Myth #1: You need to eat meat to acquire protein

Meat is an excellent and popular source of protein, but there’s no reason why you can’t source it from plant-based alternatives instead, such as pulses, grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds, dairy products and eggs. Depending on the variety, just one cup of cooked pulses can provide around a third of the protein you need for one day.

Myth #2: You need to eat pulses + grains together

Nope. Nine essential amino acids are needed to make up a protein, all of which can be found in meat and in certain plant foods like soybeans and quinoa. Studies show that as long as you eat a variety of pulses, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds throughout the day, the body automatically plugs in the right amino acids it needs.

For instance, if you eat a piece of whole grain toast or oatmeal for breakfast, and then eat a delicious lentil soup for lunch, your body will gather all the nutrients up and use them (including the aforementioned amino acids).

Why legumes are the new meat

Four tips for transitioning to legumes:

1. Soak your pulses 

Not your ideal dinner party conversation, but to minimise gas make sure to soak dried pulses for approximately 12-20 hours (changing the water occasionally). Soaking will make your pulses easier to digest, and quicker to cook.

2. Change your cooking water regularly

When cooking pulses, bring the water to a rolling boil, then change the water two or three times to wash away the oligosaccharides (the culprits that cause gas!). Rest assured, your body will acclimatise over time.

3. Cook in large quantities

Cook large quantities of pulses and divide between storage containers. Freeze so you have them on hand for quick easy meals, such as your favourite veggie burgers, nachos, soups or salads.

4. Boost iron absorption with complementary foods

To boost iron absorption, enjoy your favourite pulses with a side of vitamin C-rich and/or fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi.

Recipes to get you started

Add these pulse-based recipes to your repertoire:

Please contact your health professional or dietitian if you have any dietary questions or concerns.

You’ve read our tips on incorporating pulses in your diet, now let’s hear yours… tell us your go-to legume-related recipes in the comments below.

Find out more

For more information about adding legumes to your life, read Divya’s simple tips for turning your diet around. If you’re interested in knowing more about Divya, read her interview here.

 

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Find out more

For more information about adding legumes to your life, read Divya’s simple tips for turning your diet around. If you’re interested in knowing more about Divya, read her interview here.

 

Find out more

For more information about adding legumes to your life, read Divya’s simple tips for turning your diet around. If you’re interested in knowing more about Divya, read her interview here.

 

‘New year, new you’…isn’t that what they say? Divya Jagasia, author of Shoots and Tendrils blog (lover of legumes), has the lowdown on why legumes are the new meat, and the new way forward to healthy living.

The perfect alternative

With countless people trying to achieve better health by reducing their meat intake, pulses (dried lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas) are the perfect alternative for ensuring protein levels remain high.

Along with that essential protein, they’re loaded with fibre and minerals such as iron, and are both economically and environmentally friendly, as well as delicious.

Why legumes are the new meat

Why legumes are just as good as meat

If you’re still skeptical about the switch, then read our myths debunked below:

Myth #1: You need to eat meat to acquire protein

Meat is an excellent and popular source of protein, but there’s no reason why you can’t source it from plant-based alternatives instead, such as pulses, grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds, dairy products and eggs. Depending on the variety, just one cup of cooked pulses can provide around a third of the protein you need for one day.

Myth #2: You need to eat pulses + grains together

Nope. Nine essential amino acids are needed to make up a protein, all of which can be found in meat and in certain plant foods like soybeans and quinoa. Studies show that as long as you eat a variety of pulses, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds throughout the day, the body automatically plugs in the right amino acids it needs.

For instance, if you eat a piece of whole grain toast or oatmeal for breakfast, and then eat a delicious lentil soup for lunch, your body will gather all the nutrients up and use them (including the aforementioned amino acids).

Why legumes are the new meat

Four tips for transitioning to legumes:

1. Soak your pulses 

Not your ideal dinner party conversation, but to minimise gas make sure to soak dried pulses for approximately 12-20 hours (changing the water occasionally). Soaking will make your pulses easier to digest, and quicker to cook.

2. Change your cooking water regularly

When cooking pulses, bring the water to a rolling boil, then change the water two or three times to wash away the oligosaccharides (the culprits that cause gas!). Rest assured, your body will acclimatise over time.

3. Cook in large quantities

Cook large quantities of pulses and divide between storage containers. Freeze so you have them on hand for quick easy meals, such as your favourite veggie burgers, nachos, soups or salads.

4. Boost iron absorption with complementary foods

To boost iron absorption, enjoy your favourite pulses with a side of vitamin C-rich and/or fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi.

Recipes to get you started

Add these pulse-based recipes to your repertoire:

Please contact your health professional or dietitian if you have any dietary questions or concerns.

You’ve read our tips on incorporating pulses in your diet, now let’s hear yours… tell us your go-to legume-related recipes in the comments below.

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Leave A Comment

Per Tanderup 3 years ago

Legumes ?? is that the name for a food trend ?
Legumes is actually the portuguese word for vegetables, so the reference to lentils and beans seem a bit odd 🙂

best regards

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Rachel Khoo 3 years ago

Ha! You might think so. Not a trend just another English term to describe pulses. The French word for vegetable is also ‘legume’.

Patricia 3 years ago

Love this article! i eat mostly vegan but ill have some fish occasionally. A vegetarian diet has changed my life in more ways than I can describe! Not to mention its so delicious! And great advice, always soak beans and nuts!

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Rhia Chohan 3 years ago

Do check out our veggie guide to Paris eats too!

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