A nutritionist advises a food that prolongs life when eaten daily

According to a new study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, replacing red meat and processed foods with legumes, whole grains and vegetables can help increase life expectancy by more than ten years for people in their 20s and 30s.

Vegetarian diet

Many people don’t immediately think of legumes when it comes to foods that should be eaten on a daily basis and have long-term benefits. But Samantha Heller, an American nutritionist, says she eats legumes every day as part of her vegetarian diet to maintain physical strength and help fight disease.

Multiple health benefits

The most common legumes are beans, including black beans, lentils, soybeans, beans, peanuts, and chickpeas. The main health benefits of legumes include:

• Protein: Legumes are an excellent source of protein, which is essential for many biological functions. One cup provides five to 10 grams of protein.
• Fiber: Legumes are an important source of dietary fiber – one cup contains four to 14 grams. Fiber helps strengthen the immune system, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, manage blood sugar and weight, and promote digestive health.

• Minerals: legumes contain minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. Minerals play essential roles in the human body.
• Antioxidants: Beans contain many polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that repair cells and tissues.

Prevention of chronic diseases

Research has shown that all of these nutritional properties can protect against chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

The American Cancer, Diabetes and Heart Associations recommend eating legumes as an alternative to animal proteins to help reduce the risk of these chronic diseases.

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