Load Up On The Legumes!
A new research article this year has shown that adding just 35g of legumes to your daily diet can transform your large colon (gut) health and reduce your colon cancer risk in just 4 weeks. After the 4 weeks, the people who consumed 35g of cooked navy beans showed 26 different metabolites in their stool sample, compared to the control group who didn’t consume the beans. These metabolites showed beneficial effects on the body such as regulating detoxification pathways and providing antioxidant defences.
Legumes are a great source of plant-based fibre, protein, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and numerous other compounds which so beneficial for our health.
So let’s take a closer look…
What are legumes?
Legumes are plants or seeds of plants in the Fabaceae family. Examples are:
- Kidney beans
- Black beans
- Broad beans
- Pinto beans
- Navy beans
- Haricot beans
- Cannellini beans
What does 35g a day look like?
35g of legumes is less than ¼ of a cup, or a small handful.
How can I include more legumes in my diet?
- Dips made from flava or cannellini beans
- Adding lentils to meat sauces
- Salads with legumes
- Peanuts as a garnish
- Roasted chickpeas (see recipe) and a snack or salad topper
- Roasted bean mix as a snack
- Three bean salad and a filling
- Stuffed peppers or butternut squash with lentil mixture
- Lentils burgers or falafels
- Chickpea curries
- Lentil dhal (see recipe)
- Hidden in cakes (such as my strawberry cake recipe)
Research shows that colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related death in the USA, so adding this small amount of legumes to your daily diet is ever more important.
It is also recommended to keep your intake of red and processed meats to less than 500g per week (cooked weight). This includes:
- deli meats
** Please remember to increase your fibre intake slowly and gradually if your current fibre intake is low.
*** This blog post is not intended or implied to be a substitute for seeking professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information provided here is general and is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any diseases or conditions. Please contact your GP or private health consultant if you have any personal health concerns, or consult a registered nutritional therapist for personalised dietary and lifestyle advice and guidance.
Study reference: Baxter, B., Oppel, R. and Ryan, E., 2019. Navy Beans Impact the Stool Metabolome and Metabolic Pathways for Colon Health in Cancer Survivors. Nutrients, 11(1), p.28.