The Year Of Legumes

When it comes to healthy eating there are some great foods that people don’t eat a lot of, but should. So in the New Year in our practice we call it the year of legumes.

Legumes: lentils (our focus in the next two months), beans, peas, and peanuts.  The more common ones that humans consume.

Want some data?

People who ate legumes four times a week had a 22% reduction in heart disease when compared to those who consumed legumes once a week or less.

Nutritional Value
Legumes are a significant source of protein, dietary fiber, carbohydrates and dietary minerals; for example, a half cup  of cooked chickpeas contains 18% of the Daily Value (DV) for protein, 30% DV for dietary fiber, 43% DV for folate and 52% DV for manganese. Not much fat and not much sodium in these.

Chickpeas are one of my favorite snacks - Tarbell's restaurant does these so well

Chickpeas are one of my favorite snacks – Tarbell’s restaurant does these so well

Legumes are also an excellent source of resistant starch, one of my favorite starches.  Resistant starch isn’t broken down by your gut, but is broken down by bacteria in the large intestine to produce short-chain fatty acids used by intestinal cells for food energy. Those byproducts reduce the risk of colon and rectal cancer.

Favorite Recipes:
My favorite recipe is life-saving Dahl by Simon Majumdar – my co-host of FORK U. His recipe is here.

Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, et al. Legume consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women: NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. Arch Intern Med 2001 Nov 26;161 (21):2573-8.

“Nutrition facts for Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt, 100 g, USDA Nutrient Database, version SR-21”. Conde Nast. 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2015.

Birt DF, Boylston T, Hendrich S, et al. Resistant Starch: Promise for Improving Human Health. Advances in Nutrition. 2013;4(6):587-601. doi:10.3945/an.113.004325.

Am J Hypertens. 2014 Jan;27(1):56-64. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpt155. Epub 2013 Sep 7.
Effect of dietary pulses on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled feeding trials.
Jayalath VH1, de Souza RJ, Sievenpiper JL, Ha V, Chiavaroli L, Mirrahimi A, Di Buono M, Bernstein AM, Leiter LA, Kris-Etherton PM, Vuksan V, Beyene J, Kendall CW, Jenkins DJ.

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit

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