Why it's worth having legumes for breakfast
Legumes are among the recommended products by the American Institute for Cancer Research for cancer prevention. Why is that?
The population of the Western world is much more prone to getting cancer than the majority of underdeveloped countries. It was originally believed that lack of fiber must be the reason. By eating less meat and more whole plant foods people in underdeveloped countries get way more fiber than an average American. However, further research has shown that there’s something more than just fiber that’s contributing to the lower cancer rates. The compound that’s turned out to be so important is phytate.
Phytate is not only present in the legumes, but also in the rest of the seeds of the plants: nuts, seeds, and whole grains. For a while, phytates were believed to cause the malabsorption of minerals, like iron, calcium, manganese, zinc, magnesium, and copper, which was based on studies on dogs and rats. But when the actual studies on humans came, they have shown that people that consume phytate-rich foods regularly displayed greater bone mineral density. But back to the prevention of cancer. To make the most of the beans, it is advised by the American Institute for Cancer Research to consume them with every meal!
How to Add More Legumes to Your Meals
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to eat beans for the main dish. As we transition to a balanced plant-based diet, we get more and more accustomed to having legumes as a regular part of the meals. But having legumes for breakfast? Who does that? The concept may seem crazy at first before you come across these ideas:
- Green peas or white beans in the breakfast smoothie
- Mashed beans paste or hummus on a whole-grain toast
- Baked beans with mushrooms and roasted tomatoes as a plant-based variation of English breakfast
- Fudge Peanut Butter muffins with chickpeas
- Omelet or frittata from chickpea flour
Above recipes are just few examples of effortless ways to add an extra portion of legumes to your diet. And as a bonus, we get an extra boost of protein as well as other beneficial nutrients, while lowering the chances of cancer (as we see from this study).
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