Living until 100 may not be as challenging as you think. There’s just one key ingredient that you need in your recipe for longevity—legumes. Beans, peas and lentils can aid your efforts to live a long and healthy life, and we have the evidence. According to Blue Zones, Power 9 legumes are “the cornerstone of most centenarian diets.”
Researchers have examined the health benefits of legumes for years, but this particular study, published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed the diets of older people in various cultures. The study focused on nine major food groups based on the Mediterranean diet and analyzed the dietary habits of individuals, aged 70+ in Japan, Sweden, Greece and Australia. The results revealed that people who eat more legumes, fish and olive oil were more likely to live longer. Researchers also discovered that individuals who eat 20 grams of legumes daily have a reduced risk of mortality by seven to eight percent.
Legumes are rich in fiber, which helps reduce your risk of certain chronic conditions and diseases, and increase the strength of your body. Learn how legumes affect your body’s health.
Legumes help regulate your blood sugar levels, decreasing your risk of diabetes. People who suffer from diabetes also benefit from these superfoods, thanks to their balance of protein and carbohydrates. Rather than surging the body with glucose, legumes provide a gradual flow for those with diabetes.
Beans contain the chemicals phytosterols and isoflavones, which are known to reduce the risk of cancer. They are also rich in antioxidants and fiber, which can also help fight the disease.
The fiber in legumes helps your body digest food at a normal rate and promotes weight loss. Many are low in calories and rich in protein to help your body build more muscle and cut fat. Just remember to eat within the recommended portion size (1/2 cup of beans, peas or lentils) to avoid excessive weight gain.
The soluble fiber in legumes helps your body maintain healthy cholesterol levels. They are also packed with saponins and phytosterols, which help to lower cholesterol as well. When eating legumes, keep in mind that canned beans and peas can have high sodium levels, so opt for dried beans instead.
We want to help you live a long and healthy life. Learn about more foods that promote longevity and help ward off diseases.