Stroke, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and ischemic heart disease were responsible for over 15 million deaths in 2015. According to a 2016 World Health Organization (WHO) report, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and ischemic heart disease killed more than 1.5 million, 8 million, and 6 million persons respectively in 2015. These 3 diseases are among the top 10 causes of deaths globally in the last 15 years.
For most of us, our genetics and lifestyle choices put us at high risk of developing diabetes mellitus, stroke, and ischemic heart disease. Now, let's suppose that someone offered you a pill to prevent stroke, ischemic heart disease, and type 2 diabetes; you would take it, right? And what if this pill tasted great too? Well, legumes are nutritious and tasty "pills" (foods) that can help ward off stroke, ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and several other chronic diseases. Fortunately for us, we do not have to visit a doctor to get a prescription for legumes; we can grab a wide selection of legumes from our supermarket, in the form of lentils, beans, and split peas.
What makes legumes so special is that they are excellent sources of healthy plant protein, fiber, vitamins A and B-complex, and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. The vitamin A and zinc found in legumes help to and enhance immunity as well as to protect the body cells from free-radical induced oxidative damage. In addition, legumes are packed with fiber that helps to lower and maintain serum cholesterol and blood glucose within the healthy range. The cholesterol-lowering and blood sugar-controlling actions of legumes are great benefits to the heart and blood vessels specifically and to the body in general. How? Beans help to keep plasma glucose and cholesterol in check, thus reducing the likelihood of developing stroke, diabetes mellitus, and ischemic heart disease.
For individuals who want to cut their risk of developing ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke, adding more dals, lentils, and split peas to their diets will be of great help to defend against these killer diseases. Examples of healthy legumes that should occupy a large space in the plates of these individuals include lentils, peas, kidney beans, soya beans, pinto beans, and navy beans. Daily consumption of low-fat, nutritious, health-promoting legumes can substantially reduce an individual's chances of developing and dying from ischemic heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, all of which are responsible for millions of deaths worldwide yearly.