Legumes

Legumes belong to the he Fabaceae or Leguminosae family of flowering plants. 

 

Fabaceae have always been important to human civilization.  The nutritive value they provide and the invaluable phytonutrients they contain prevent disease.

Kegumes also host important bacteria in their roots.

 

These bacteria or rhizobia, remove nitrogen gas (N2) from the air and convert it into NO3 or NH3 in a process known as nitrogen fixation.

In this symbiotic relationship nitrogen becomes usable by the plant and can replenish soil that has been depleted of its nitrogen.

 

Although not often thought of as fruit, legumes, peas, and beans are in fact fruits.

Legumes are the dry fruits that develop from the reproductive organ of plants, the ovary. 

Legumes have been a staple for over 8000 years and are essential for individuals who don’t consume enough protein in their meals.

The Paleo diet bans legumes and grains from its meals. For certain people, this may be a good idea since lectins contained in these foods can cause digestive issues.

 

Legumes are among the healthiest foods on the planet.

They provide all the necessary nutrients to sustain life.

 

Legumes are entities that can be separated into valves when opened along its seam.

Legumes are pods.  The term pulses is also used to describe these plants as well as the grains and seeds they contain.

Pulses are leguminous plants that contain grains or seeds, which vary in color, size, and shape within a pod.

Pulses are important food crops due to their high amino acid content (25% by weight).

Example of pulses include kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), Black-eyed peas (Vigna unguiculata) chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) and lentils (Lens culinaris).

 

Other legumes include soybeans and peanuts, which in addition to their nutritive value, they are pressed to extract their oil.

 

More in this category: « Lentils Eggs & Dairy »