Bulking up the diet with legumes such as beans and peas can lower the risk of heart disease, study findings from Tulane University in New Orleans suggest. Men and women who ate legumes at least four times a week had a 22% lower risk of coronary heart disease over 19 years than those who consumed legumes once weekly. The most enthusiastic legume eaters also had lower blood pressure and total cholesterol, and were less likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes.
Legumes are rich in soluble fibre, which has been shown to help lower total cholesterol and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and improve insulin resistance. Legumes are also low in sodium and high in potassium, calcium and magnesium
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