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Facts for Beans and Pulses

Legumes are a great meat substitute. Beans are rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fiber. They also contain calcium, iron, pottasium, and zinc.

Depending on your age, gender, and physical activity level, the Dietary Guideline for Americans, 2010 recommends that you consume at least 1/2 cup to 2 1/2 cups of beans per week. A half cup of cooked beans is about 1/4 cup of dried beans, which is about as much as you can hold on your palm. [ref: The Dietary Guideline for Americans 2010]

Lentils are a great meat substitute as they are an excellent source of protein and also low in fat. Lentils also contain folate, iron, phosphorous, potassium, and fiber.


Key Facts about Beans:

  • Beans have been an important part of the human diet for thousands of years and are one of the earliest food crops cultivated.

  • Dry beans can be eaten raw, sprouted or cooked, ground into flour, curdled into tofu, fermented into soya sauce, tempi and miso. They are excellent in chilis, soups and salads.

  • Beans are a good source of Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Copper and Manganese.

    Fruits and Veggies More Matter

  • The new U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guideline using the Eating Right Pyramid suggests, that the foods lowest in fats, oils and sugars (fruits, vegetables, dry beans and grains) should make up the largest portion of our daily meals.

  • Research shows that beans help to reduce cholesterol while providing excellent nutrition. When combined with nuts, seeds or grains, they form a complete high-fiber vegetable protein.

  • Most dry beans grown in this country belong to the species Phaseolus vulgaris, or common bean.