How often do you eat legumes? Do you give enough importance to these protein sources? It is suggested that we should include legumes in our diet once or twice a week for a healthy body.
What are the most popular legumes in Turkish cuisine? The most loved one is beans. The dish called dried beans is like our national food although it’s less known than kebab or doner. Other legumes we use in dishes very often are romano/haricot beans, black-eyed peas, dried faba beans, chickpeas, green and red lentils.
Protein bioavailability in legumes increases when they are combined with grains like rice and bulgur. I’m not sure if this is the reason why our national dish, dried beans is always accompanied by rice or bulgur pilaf, but we do something healthy for sure!
Besides containing vitamin E and types of vitamin B except B12, legumes are also a great source of calcium, magnesium and iron. When they are combined with vitamin C sources like citrus fruits, walnut and pepper, iron bioavailability rises.
Legumes are the best source of fiber, which balances blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of glucose through small intestine. It prevents constipation, and has effects on preventing rectal cancer. It also keeps blood pressure and cholesterol at right level. Fiber in legumes has also antitoxic effects and reduces the effects of toxic substances caused by additives and some medicine.
You can find Turkish dishes with legumes here.
Don’t forget to combine them with grains. You can find pilaf recipes here.
Suggested salads with legumes: