What are the legumes?

A flowering plants and seeds enclosed in a fruit, whose distinctive feature is to have vegetables and fruit; ie pods, which open lengthwise into two cusps, along two sutures, they are grouped as members of the legume family.

Legumes are low in fat, they are a good source of fiber, folic acid, potassium and magnesium. They contain the same quantity of protein as meat if eaten in the right portions, besides they are cholesterol free.

In the legume family are lima beans, beans, haricots, soybeans, peas, lentils and chickpeas.

Beans and other legumes can cause gas and flatulence, we share these tips to avoid this hassle:

In a saucepan cover 450 grams (2 cups) of beans with 10 cups of water. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or preferably overnight. This method is recommend to remove the indigestible sugars that cause gas, as they are dissolved in the water where they're wet.

The World Health Organization recommend the consumption of legumes to decrease the risk of diseases associated with food, such as, among others, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Also, to drink at least three cups of cooked legumes a week is recommended (1 cup = 225 g).

SourceFundación 5xDía, A.C. (Tip´s  5xDia.)

Recommendations for a low-salt diet.

Our body needs salt, which contains sodium to work properly. Sodium helps the body control many functions. To consume much sodium in your diet can be bad for you. For most people, the sodium in the diet comes from salt that is in food or that has been added to them. If you suffer from high blood pressure or heart failure it is possible that you should reduce the quantity of salt consumed every day. Even people with normal blood pressure can have lower (and more healthy) blood pressure if they reduce the amount of salt they eat.

The dietary sodium is measured in milligrams (mg) and your physician may ask you not to eat more than 2,300 mg per day when suffering from these conditions. For some people, 1,500 mg a day is an even better goal.

Reducing salt in food.

By getting a variety of food every day can help to reduce salt. Try yourself to consume a healthy diet.

We recommend to buy fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible, since naturally they have low salt levels. Canned food do often contain salt to help to preserve the color of the product, and so it look fresh. For this reason, it is better to buy fresh products whenever possible. We recommend to also buy the following:

  • Cow meat, chicken meat, or turkey meat, also fresh fish meat.
  • Frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables.

Look for the following words in the nutrition facts label: low-sodium, sodium-free, no salt added, without salt or non-salt. Do verify all the nutrition facts label in order to compare the portion of salt or sodium contained in one portion of the foods.

The ingredients of one product are listed in order, depending on the quantity contained in it. Try to avoid those foods where salt in at the top of the ingredients list. A product is considered as good when it contains 100 mg of salt or less.

See also: How to read nutrition facts labels

Stay away from high salt level´s food. Some of these foods are listed below:

  • Processed food, such as, matured or smoked meat , bacon, hot-dogs, sausages, mortadella, ham, and salami.
  • Anchovies, olives, pickles, and sauerkraut.
  • Soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, tomato and other vegetables juice, and most cheeses.
  • Many dressers and bottled salad dressers.

When cooking, replace salt by other dressings. Pepper, garlic, herbs and lemon, are good options to do so. Avoid using packed spice mixes as they often contain salt.

Try using powdered garlic or onion, but garlic or onion salts. Avoid eating food that contains monosodium glutamate (MSG).

When eating out, continue to eating steamed food, grilled meat, cooked, boiled and fried but with no added salt, sauce, or cheese. If you believe a restaurant may be using monosodium glutamate in their dishes, please ask them not to add it to your order.

Use oil and vinegar in your salad dishes, and add fresh or dried herbs. Eat fresh fruit or sorbet as dessert. Remove the salter from the table, and replace it by a free-salt dressing mix.

Ask your physician or your pharmacist for those antacids or laxatives with a low salt level or non-salt, in case you need these type of medicines, since they contain high salt levels.

Softeners or water softeners at home add salt to it and in this manner, if you own one of these try, reducing the quantity of tap water consumed and try drinking bottled water instead.

Ask your physician if a salt substitute can be used by you, since lots of them contain a high level of potassium; which can be harmful especially if you have certain health problems or are taking certain medications. However, if it is not harmful a salt substitute is a good way or reducing the quantity of sodium in your diet.

Source: Medline Plus.