You’ll hear the term “legumes” a lot when it comes to food and dieting. Legumes are often recommended to people who want to cut out carbs or meat. They’re supposed to give you a range of nutrients and benefits.
They’re excellent for weight loss. Legumes help to give your body sustained energy, keeping you feeling fuller for longer. You’ll also consume fewer calories than you would if you ate carbs or even some meats.
But you don’t just want to spend your time eating any legume. You want to eat these specific seven ones for their weight loss aid properties.
Stock Up on Chickpeas
The first legume you want to add to your diet is the chickpea. Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are full of nutritional benefits but are lower in calories than many other legumes out there. They’re also excellent for substituting grains and carbs while keeping your energy levels support throughout the day.
It’s the fiber count in chickpeas that helps the most. Fiber is a necessary food group that keeps your digestive system working. The body finds it harder to break down fiber than carbs and fats so that it will get rid of it slowly. You’ll feel fuller naturally since the body isn’t able to get rid of the food. With the slower breakdown, you’ll also find that you don’t get the sugar rush that many carbs will give you.
The fiber will also help to support the digestive system. When your digestive system is working effectively, your body absorbs all the right nutrients and will balance the hormones. The immune system works properly, meaning your mental and physical health benefit. You won’t give into the emotional food cravings as much as if you didn’t eat chickpeas, helping you keep your calorie intake down.
Hummus is made with chickpeas. It’s a popular dip for vegetables, and you can make it at home. You can also roast chickpeas with multiple flavors to get the perfect snack. Of course, you can also add whole chickpeas to casseroles, soups, and other recipes.
For those who aren’t over-keen on the texture of chickpeas, try soaking them for a while. This just helps to soften them when eating raw.
Add Lentils to Your Diet
Don’t forget about lentils. Whether you have red, green, or yellow, you want to add them to your diet. They’re perfect for those losing weight and those just wanting a healthier lifestyle. Lentils are often considered an overlooked superfood for the body, and it’s so easy to add them to your recipes.
Lentils are full of carbs, but the good kind. They won’t cause a sudden blood sugar rush or energy spike that can lead to health problems. Lentils boost the body’s natural metabolism, so you start burning more energy throughout the day. This will help you burn more fat, making it much easier to lose more weight.
They are also full of fiber and protein. Both food groups are important.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, make sure you’re eating more lentils. They will help to avoid a protein deficiency, which can be common in vegetarians and vegan’s due to the lack of meat and animal products.
Protein and fiber break down in the body slowly. They will leave you feeling fuller during and after a meal. You don’t eat as much as you would usually and won’t feel the need to snack later. Both benefits help you eat fewer calories throughout the day. Paired with the boosted metabolism, you will find it much easier to lose weight quickly.
There are plenty of types of lentils to try. Red and green are the most common. But you can also try black, puy, and split pea lentils. Enjoy the variety of tastes and textures in your soups, casseroles, and more.
Try Out Lupine Seeds
You may have never heard of these legumes, but don’t worry. While they are called seeds, lupine seeds are part of the legume family. They can also be referred to as lupini beans or lupins. The are so good that you can now find them in most of grocery stores and may find that a lot of recipes call for them as substitutes for usually unhealthier foods.
One of the most common replacements is for flour. Dried lupini beans are easy to crush and turn into a floury consistency. You will barely notice the difference.
Like all other legumes on this list, lupini seeds are full of fiber and protein. We’ve already looked at how these are excellent for the diet. When you feel the need to eat less, you won’t eat as many calories. You’ll also forget that you’re on a diet, making it easier to stick to.
There are also many other nutrients that are good for the diet. Lupine seeds can help to improve the immune function, balance the hormones, and improve the mental health. When your body is working in sync with itself, you will find it much easier to stick to your weight loss diet.
The only people who should avoid lupini beans are those allergic to peanuts. They are very similar and can trigger the allergic reaction.
Don’t Overlook the Peas
Did you know peas are classed as a legume? They’re often compared to other vegetables, but they can have a few extra sugars compared to normal vegetables. They tend to be slightly higher in calories, so you will want to watch how many you have compared to the likes of carrots and cauliflower.
You want to stock up on them for your diet. The best thing is you will have no problem finding green peas. You can choose garden peas, frozen peas, and even tinned peas. There is something for all interests and tastes.
Peas are full of dietary fiber, helping to keep the digestive system working. You’ll get a filling ingredient without too many extra calories. There are also plenty of carbs and protein. All the nutrients working together will keep your energy levels stable and help to support your mental health. When you feel full, you don’t feel like you need to snack.
The best way to enjoy peas is by bulking out your meals. Add them to curries, stews, and even other vegetables. You’ll get something filling without feeling guilty for it.
One method of eating peas that are overlooked is drying them out. Keep a stash of dried peas in your bag or your draw at work for snacking. You don’t get as many natural sugars as you would in dried fruits. Try mixing the dried peas with chickpeas and nuts for a nutritious and exceptionally tasty snack.
Add in the Kidney Beans
There is a common misconception that red kidney beans are bad for weight loss. This is often because of the other ingredients kidney beans are thrown in with. After all, they are popular with lots of mincemeat meals, such as chilies. The good news is that kidney beans are worth stocking up on for your weight loss efforts.
Kidney beans have various health benefits. They have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. The fiber count in them is also extremely good, helping to keep the digestive system in full working order.
One of the reasons for kidney beans to get a bad reputation is the bloating. If you eat too many, you can certainly feel uncomfortable and bloated afterward. This is because the fibrous food takes a long time to break down. It’s very hard for the digestive system to get rid of it. This does mean that you feel much fuller without eating as much as normal though.
There are also good levels of protein. This is far more filling than carbs or fat, and that filling feeling will last much longer. You don’t need to eat as many as you would with many other legumes to get the full-feeling benefits.
Studies do support the idea of kidney beans for weight loss. Researchers found that people who eat kidney beans (or any bean) will have smaller waists, lower body weights, and are less likely to be obese than those who don’t eat beans. People who eat beans are also more likely to have less inflammation and lower blood pressure than those who don’t eat beans. Those who have four servings a week saw the best results.
Don’t Skip on the Black Beans
Black beans are commonly overlooked. They don’t appeal to many people, despite their health benefits. However, they are something you want to include in your diet as a weight loss aid. Black beans, like kidney beans, offer the same benefits as found in the study above. They can also help you shed the pounds through their fibrous and protein benefits.
In fact, black beans are so good that they’re considered one of the world’s superfoods. This means they offer far more health benefits than many of their counterparts. This is all linked to the lack of saturated fat in them.
Black beans are excellent sources of protein. Just one cup of black beans will give you 15g of protein. Because it doesn’t have the saturated fat, the body can absorb all the protein and give it to the muscles. Your body finds it easier to repair the muscles after a workout and encourage the building of them, so you don’t lose out on the muscle calories while losing weight.
When you cut down on the calorie intake, your body will look for the easiest calories to burn. These tend to be from the muscles unless you’re building them or repairing them. If you keep topping up the protein, your body will take the calories from the fat instead.
By cutting out the saturated fat, you’re also making sure you protect the rest of your health. You’re at a lower risk of developing heart disease or high cholesterol levels. While your body wants some fat, it doesn’t want the saturated kind.
Get Your Black-Eyed Peas
We’re not talking about the band here, although put some music on and dance around to aid your weight loss! We’re talking about the ingredient that the band gained named inspiration from. Black eyed peas are a type of legume that you don’t want to overlook.
Black eyed peas get their name from their look. They’re whitish beans with a black dot that looks like an eye. But their inside contents are far more important for your weight loss efforts. As with all other legumes, black eyed peas are full of protein and fiber. I’m sure you don’t need any more explanation of how both macronutrients help to support your weight loss efforts.
Well, the fiber in black eye peas helps to boost the levels of cholecystokinin in your body. This hormone helps with appetite suppression. Not only is your body slowly breaking down the food, but you’re getting the right hormone to tell your body you’re full. Your brain believes that the body doesn’t need any more food, so you don’t get the cravings.
Yes, this has been proven in studies. Researchers believe that black eyed peas are key in helping to lose weight, if you use them in part of a healthy and balanced diet.
It’s Not All About the Legumes
The legumes above need to be added to your diet. They will help aid your weight loss efforts, by keeping you feeling full, giving you longer bursts of energy, and improving your overall health. However, it’s important to note that the legumes won’t do it all alone.
You will still need to follow a healthy diet and an exercise plan. Make sure your diet creates a calorie deficit. While you’re eating healthily, your body will need to burn some of the stored calories. This will help you burn fat and tone up.
For more info on the legumes and weight loss, check out these articles:
All-in-One Guide to Black Bean Nutrition
All You Need To Know About Cannellini Beans
12 Super Nutrients To Accelerate Your Weightloss