New research in the European Journal of Nutrition shows that eating a diet high in legumes like lentils and chickpeas can help blast excess body fat. The humble beans are rich in protein and high in fiber, both of which help stabilize blood sugar levels. Avoiding blood sugar rollercoaster spikes and drops ensures your body stops storing extra pounds, particularly around the waistline.
Research showed that the bean-based diet also helped reduce inflammation in the body. (Watch for my blog 14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain next week).
Lentils are also an excellent source of folate which helps to prevent birth defects, regulates blood pressure and reduce the risk of anemia.
In another recent study, participants reported greater dietary satisfaction and ate fewer processed foods when chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) were included in their diet. Chickpeas are also a good source of folate and the minerals molybdenum and manganese.
Add lentils or chickpeas to soups, stews, salads, curries, pasta dishes, and to make veggie burgers. Or use chickpea flour in baked goods. Their blood sugar regulating effects will have the added bonus of keeping your energy balanced throughout the day.
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