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Why You Should add Legumes to Your Nutrition


Many of us avoid legumes because we don’t know how to integrate them in our diet.

Legumes are a healthy meat alternative, economical, and easy to incorporate in our meals. They can also help with common health problems, such as heart disease, by lowering blood cholesterol or diabetes and by controlling your blood sugar level. All around, legumes are an excellent choice for weight management!

Most common legumes

  • Red kidney beans;
  • Black beans;
  • Navy beans;
  • Split peas;
  • Lentils (brown, red, green);
  • Chickpeas;
  • Black eye peas.

What’s in legumes?

  • Protein: Essential component of every cell, proteins help you feel full faster and longer.
  • Fibre: Helps weight management by increasing satiety and regular bowel movement.
  • B vitamins: Key element in the transformation of fat, proteins and carbohydrates into energy.
  • Iron: Facilitates the transportation of oxygen through the body.  To help the absorption of non-heme iron (found in plant foods like legumes), you should consume foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, pineapples, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts and peppers.
  • Also a source of: antioxidant, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.


Dry:  Put 1 portion of legumes in a bowl with three portions of water. Let it soak for about 12 hours before cooking. Boil water separately, add the soaked legumes, and let simmer until they become soft (1-2 hours). These are general guidelines; follow the directions on the package for precise information.

Canned: Rinse, to remove salt and gas-producing components. Since they are pre-cooked, simply add to your meal! Salt free cans are also available.

Easy ways to incorporate legumes

For the following delicious recipes, check out the book
“Zero Diet” by Karine Larose

Lentil bread (p. 172)
Next Generation Shepherd’s Pie (p. 148)
Spicy Mexican Rice (p. 180)
Vegetarian Chili (p. 179)
Couscous, Lentil and Apricot Salad (p. 78)


What’s your favourite legume dish?

By Alyssa Fontaine, nutritionist

Alyssa Fontaine, Dt.P.

Nutrition supervisor at Nautilus Plus, member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec and holder of a bachelor’s degree from McGill University, Alyssa joined the Nautilus Plus team in January 2014. She developed an interest in healthy nutrition at a very young age, inspired by her grandmother’s large vegetable garden and her iron health still going strong at over 90 years of age. Proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are the secrets to a long life. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Alyssa exercises regularly and shares her tips to living a balanced lifestyle acknowledging that she does have a sweet tooth. She is the proud spokesperson for the «Zero Diet» brand and she is being followed more and more on social networks.

Why You Should add Legumes to Your Nutritionis a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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