Information about Legumes: Introduction to the Plants

About the legume family of food, information about their nutritional value, varieties and more.


Legumes are those plants that bear their seeds in 2-valved pods, and "pulse" is the term used for the seeds of such legumes as peas, beans, and lentils. Legumes are often grown for the benefit they bring to the soil; they restore nitrogen to the earth when they are plowed under. Beans have become an important crop not only because of their protein content, but because they can be dried and saved for winter. The protein in pulses is incomplete, but since pulses can supplement one another, the body can receive a total protein by combining 2 properly chosen pulses. Beans and grains are also compatible in this way.

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