Regardless of whether you follow a plant-based diet or not, legumes are one of the most underrated and under-consumed nutritional sources in western populations. Whilst they’re widely documented in the scientific literature, research suggests low consumption Down Under is a result of not being able to nail their preparation and inclusion in meals and taste preferences.

But their health benefits – from weight management to blood glucose (sugar) and insulin management, reduction in both blood lipids and inflammatory markers, to name a few – are worth learning how to combat these consumption barriers.

They’re a fabulous source of protein, fibre (especially prebiotic fibre), B-vitamins, iron, and zinc, so let’s get cooking!

Preparation & Inclusion

First of all, when stepping foot into a supermarket, you’ll come across dried and tinned legumes.

Without stating the obvious, tinned varieties are a *much* more convenient option when it comes to preparation. All they require are a quick rinse and you’re good to go. (If you’re looking for a grab-and-go option, reach for roasted chickpeas and fava beans!)

In comparison, dried legumes, like lentils, require some extra love and attention. They need to be soaked overnight for 8-10 hours before getting creative. We can assure you they’re worth it once served!

Speaking of, here are some of our favourite ways you can enjoy legumes in your diet:

  • Add red lentils into your spaghetti Bolognese, casseroles, or stews
  • Opt for lentil and vegetable, split pea, or minestrone soups
  • Add four bean mix, chickpeas, black beans, or kidney beans into salad and burrito bowls
  • Try your hand at black bean brownies (they’re delicious, we promise!)
  • Hummus with veggie sticks or wholegrain rice crackers
  • Filling your wraps with falafels
  • Sizzling lentil burgers (store-bought or homemade – you decide!)
  • Swapping mashed potato for white bean mash

As you can tell, the options are endless, but the key is to include them in ways you enjoy and switch up the variety of legumes for optimal benefits. If you learn to love them, consuming them three to four times a week will boost your health benefits, big time.


  1. Medawar E, Huhn S, Villringer A, Veronica Witte A. The effects of plant-based diets on the body and the brain: a systematic review. Translational psychiatry. 2019 Sep 12;9(1):1-7.
  2. Figueira N, Curtain F, Beck E, Grafenauer S. Consumer understanding and culinary use of legumes in Australia. Nutrients. 2019 Jul;11(7):1575.