Legumes, despite their small size, pack a hefty punch when it comes to providing your body with health benefits.
Legumes are small vegetables from the plant family Fabaceae, also called Leguminosae. These veggies are packed full of plant protein, fiber, B-vitamins, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. In addition, most legumes are low in fat.
Thanks to their high protein content, legumes are a great alternative to meat and dairy products, with vegetarians often using them as such. Unlike meat, however, legumes have almost no saturated fat.
Legumes are also a great source of fiber. A single cup, or 240 ml, can give you up to 15 g of fiber, which is half of the recommended daily allowance for adults.
The healthy benefits of organic legumes
Despite being such small vegetables, legumes have quite a nutritional profile that can provide your body with several health benefits. These range from supporting the heart and the gut, to helping you maintain healthy weight and blood sugar levels.
Read on for more of what legumes can do for your health.*
Promote a healthy heart *
Eating legumes can support healthy heart functions. Studies have shown that people who made the switch from animal protein to legumes can maintain optimal cardiovascular health. 
Legumes also support a healthy cardiovascular system, thanks to their high fiber content. 
Support healthy blood sugar levels *
Legumes are packed with fiber, which can maintain blood sugar levels already in the normal range. Dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber, helps slow the absorption of sugar by the body. 
As a bonus, fiber also helps you feel full for much longer. This reduces your temptation to go and eat snacks, which may be high in sugar.
Promote sensible weight management plans *
The dietary fiber in legumes can help you feel full for longer. In addition, legumes are also chock-full of healthy starch that can offer the same benefits.
In fact, at least one study has shown that consuming foods high in fiber and healthy starches, such as legumes, could work as a long-term dietary strategy to help support your sensible weight management plans. 
Support a healthy gut *
Eating beans is also good for the health of your digestive tract. Research has shown that certain legumes help promote a healthy gut. 
Consuming legumes also helps maintain normal levels of healthy gut bacteria, and these can fight off the harmful ones in the gut. In addition, these healthful gut bacteria also support a healthy immune system.
Maintain healthy liver functions *
Eating legumes can also help maintain a healthy liver. Studies have shown that legumes can help support liver health, thanks to their low fat and high fiber content. 
Combat free radicals *
So far, we have talked about legumes in terms of their high fiber and protein content. Research has also shown that legumes are also rich in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant. 
Antioxidants help fight the effects of harmful molecules called free radicals that the body produces during metabolism and other processes. In excess, these molecules can cause cell damage that can lead to various diseases.
What legumes to eat
Legumes come in a wide variety of beans and peas. Each of these has their own specific properties and flavors.
Regardless of the type of legume, most of them share similar healthy benefits such as their high content of protein and fiber coupled with their low amount of fat.
Two of the most popular, delicious legumes you should try are organic pinto beans and red lentils.
Organic pinto beans
Called frijol pinto, or “speckled bean” in Spanish, pinto beans are popular in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. This bean is one of the most common beans used for refried beans in Mexican cuisine.
Pinto beans are often soaked to help shorten their cooking time – unsoaked beans can take up to three hours to cook. They’re great for many dishes including chilis and burritos.
Most pinto beans on the market, however, come canned. This means that they have already been processed and often contain harmful chemicals and preservatives to extend their shelf life.
Organic red lentils
Lentils, such as red lentils, are used worldwide for a variety of dishes. They’re especially widespread throughout the Mediterranean region, as well as South and West Asia.
Unlike pinto beans, red lentils do not need to be soaked before cooking, though you can still do so if you want. You can use red lentils to create delicious curries, as well as nutritious soups and stews.
Where to get organic pinto beans and red lentils
With their health benefits and versatility, it may be tempting to just go out and buy pinto beans and red lentils from the local grocery store. However, the food you find on most store shelves is often contaminated with pesticides such as glyphosate, heavy metals from contaminated water and soil, and preservatives, if canned.
If you’re looking for a safe, natural source of pinto beans and red lentils, you can try Health Ranger Select Organic Pinto Beans and Health Ranger Select Organic Red Lentils. These are the perfect, high quality legume products that are also safe and natural. Plus, they are great for long-term storage when vacuum sealed and stored in a cool, dry place.
Both products are certified USDA Organic, vegan, kosher, non-GMO and China-free. In addition, they have been laboratory-tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology.
Pinto Bean and Red Lentil Recipes
Pinto beans with Mexican-style seasonings
This bowl of chili is sure to catch everyone’s attention with just how delicious it smells and tastes!
- 1 pound Health Ranger Select Organic Pinto Beans, rinsed
- 2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chili peppers
- 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 pinch salt, to taste
- Place Health Ranger Select Organic Pinto Beans into a large pot then pour in enough water to cover by 2 to 3 inches. Let the beans soak overnight.
- Drain the beans and return them to the pot. Pour in fresh water to cover, then add diced tomatoes, bacon, onion, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 3 hours.
- Stir cilantro and salt into bean mixture; simmer until beans are soft, about 1 more hour.
- Serve and enjoy!
Red Lentil Curry
This rich and hearty lentil curry can be served both as a main course and as a side dish. While it uses a lot of ingredients, don’t let this fool you – it’s actually quite easy to make.
- 2 cups Health Ranger Select Organic Red Lentils
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp curry paste
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp Health Ranger Select Turmeric Root Powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
- 1 tsp Health Ranger Select Organic Palm Sugar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 can (14.25 oz) tomato puree
- Rinse Health Ranger Select Organic Red Lentils in cold water until the water runs clear.
- Put the lentils in a pot with enough water to cover; bring to a boil, place a cover on the pot, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, adding water during cooking as needed to keep covered, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onions in hot oil until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
- Mix curry paste, curry powder, Health Ranger Select Turmeric Root Powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, Health Ranger Select Organic Palm Sugar, garlic and ginger together in a large bowl; stir into the onions. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato puree, remove from heat and stir into the lentils.
Health Ranger Select Organic Pinto Beans and Health Ranger Select Organic Red Lentils are great examples of healthy legumes that you can use to increase the amount of protein you consume. Not only do they provide you with high amounts of protein, fiber and other nutrients without much fat, they’re also versatile enough to use in a number of healthy and exciting dishes.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.