Luscious Legumes to Add to Your Diet


The Benefits of Eating Legumes

Legumes are good for your health.
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Legumes need to be a part of your diet because they're high in fiber, protein, minerals and B vitamins. They're also inexpensive and you can store them for a long time. In fact, I think you should eat at least three servings of beans, lentils or peas each week. Flip through the slideshow to learn more about my favorite legumes.


Black-Eyed Peas

Black eyed peas
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One cup of cooked black-eyed peas has 11 grams fiber and 13 grams protein. They're often teamed up with pork or bacon and are featured in Hoppin' John recipes, but they can also be used in soups and salads.




Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Chickpeas are also known garbanzo beans. They're often served as a side dish, but their nutty flavor makes them perfect for snacks and topping salads. One cup of chickpeas has over 14 grams protein and 12 grams fiber.


Green Peas

Peas are good for your diet.
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One cup of peas has five grams fiber and about 6 grams protein. Peas are also low in calories compared to other legumes - one cup cooked peas has only 83 calories. Fresh peas are delicious, but it's a good idea to keep a bag or two of frozen peas on hand, they're so easy to prepare.


Cannellini Beans

Still life of cannellini beans (also known as white kidney beans) on wooden table
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Cannellini beans are large white beans that are also known as white kidney beans. They have a smooth texture but hold their shape well when they're cooked, so they're perfect for salads or dishes where you want the beans to stay whole. One cup of cannellini beans has about 15 grams protein and 11 grams fiber.


Northern Beans

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Great Northern beans are smaller than cannellini beans, and they have a grainier texture. But they'll work just fine in any recipe calling for white beans. One cup of Great Northern beans has 8 grams protein and 7 grams fiber.


Navy Beans

Spoon of dried white beans on cloth
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Navy beans are the small white beans with a mild flavor that are typically used in tradition baked bean recipes. They can fall apart so they're best in purees, stews, and soups. One cup of Navy beans has 15 grams protein and 19 grams fiber.


Pinto Beans

Pinto beans

Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Pinto beans are often used in Mexican cooking. They work well for recipes that call for either whole or mashed beans. One cup of pinto beans has about 15 grams protein and 15 grams fiber.


Cranberry Beans

Cranberry beans are good for you.
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Beautiful pink and tan cranberry beans have a soft texture and cook in less than an hour. They're also known as Roman beans or borlotti beans. One cup of cranberry beans has 17 grams protein and 15 grams fiber.


Kidney Beans

Kidney Beans In Sack
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Dark red kidney beans are some of the largest beans. They're the beans most commonly used in chile recipes. One cup of kidney beans has 17 grams protein and over 16 grams fiber.


Lima Beans

Still life of lima Beans (also known as butter beans) on wooden table
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Lima beans have a smooth texture and a nice flavor. They work well as a side dish or as in ingredient in soups, salads, and casseroles. One cup of Lima beans has 15 grams protein and 13 grams fiber.




Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Lentils are delicious, loaded with protein and they're so easy - no soaking needed. They only take about 20 minutes to cook. You'll find a few varieties, including gold, red and dark lentils.


Fava Beans

Fava beans lying on marble kitchen countertop
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Fava beans can take a bit of work - you need to strip them from their shells and then remove their tough coatings. But they're worth the effort. One cup of fava beans has 13 grams protein and nine grams fiber.

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