Healthy Living

Legumes a Superfood

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Margot Marshall (Host), Dr. Eddie Ramirez


Series Code: HL

Program Code: HL000015A

00:15 Welcome to "Healthy Living!"
00:16 I'm your host Margot Marshall.
00:18 How amazing would a food need to be to be honored by
00:23 the "United Nations" for a whole year?
00:27 That is it declared 2016 as "International Year of Pulses."
00:32 That's another name for beans or legumes.
00:35 Stay tuned as Dr. Eddie Ramirez tells us
00:38 what makes them so amazing!
01:16 Pulses, legumes, beans - call them what you will,
01:21 they are staple in many poor countries and maybe
01:24 it's time developed countries took notice of the
01:27 benefits of them besides being so cheap - there would have to
01:32 be some compelling reasons why the United Nations
01:35 has declared 2016 as "International Year of Pulses."
01:40 Let's ask our guest, Dr. Eddie Ramirez what they are.
01:45 Welcome Eddie. Thank you.
01:47 Pulses are a very important food around the world.
01:52 And you know, experts especially in the field of
01:54 nutrition, they try to understand what kind of
01:58 food could we promote that it can meet necessary needs
02:03 in the nutrition factors and at the same time be
02:09 economically low so that most people could acquire them. Okay.
02:14 And, after you analyze the different food groups,
02:19 you'll realize the importance of beans and pulses
02:24 in the diet and that's why they are being promoted
02:27 all over the world as the food of the year because we
02:32 know it can meet many of the needs of those
02:35 people in that way.
02:37 Yes, well it's just interesting that they've been a staple
02:40 in other countries but how great they'd be if we, you know,
02:43 there's lots of other good reasons - not just because
02:46 they're cheap, not just about sustainability.
02:48 What makes them such a great food?
02:51 That's right. What is it?
02:53 Tell us some of the things.
02:54 See, in some areas in the world, I mean, I travel very much.
02:57 My last count is 49 countries that I've been to.
03:00 And 25 last year.
03:02 Just 25 last year, yes.
03:05 So as you travel around, you see
03:08 that economics vary quite a bit, you know, I mean
03:11 when you compare Australia to some countries in Asia
03:15 for example, I mean the economic disparity is quite big,
03:18 and people there have trouble acquiring certain foods.
03:24 And especially today, if you are on a plant-based diet,
03:29 I want you to listen the whole length of this program
03:32 because I'm going to give you some very important information.
03:37 See, legumes are an essential component of a healthy diet,
03:43 and unfortunately, especially in the Western world,
03:48 statistics show that actually their consumption is actually
03:53 decreasing not increasing.
03:56 So that international guideline all the way from the
03:59 United Nations, it not only applies to those countries
04:04 in which there are economic challenges but it also applies
04:09 to developed countries in which they need to meet
04:13 those necessary needs. Yes.
04:15 Yes, and you mentioned if you're on a vegetarian diet
04:19 we need to pay attention.
04:21 I'm going to suggest that if you're not on a vegetarian
04:23 diet, you really need to pay attention too! Absolutely!
04:27 So we'll work out why as you go along
04:29 through your talk - everybody needs to be including beans.
04:33 More so if you eat meat, more so.
04:36 There was an interesting study, just published a couple
04:39 of years ago in which they got average Australians,
04:44 a group of 100+ of them, and what they did, they just
04:49 asked them one thing, "I want you to add one can
04:54 of garbanzos per day to your diet." One can.
04:58 Very simple. You know, nothing complicated, it's not expensive,
05:02 it's simple and, you know, at the end of the research
05:08 period which was about a month.
05:10 They did blood samples, they did whole body evaluations.
05:15 The persons had lost a little bit of weight, you know,
05:18 especially those that were overweight. Yes.
05:20 Their caloric consumption per day just increased
05:23 a couple of calories, not much.
05:26 The persons reported that their bowels moved much better.
05:32 The persons reported that they felt full when they were eating
05:37 without needing to overeat and indicators such as
05:43 cholesterol actually decreased.
05:46 So it is simple to do these types of interventions
05:51 as you are applying this.
05:53 That's fantastic!
05:54 I really like that because it was one thing, just one thing
05:57 to do and they weren't being asked to take away
06:01 something and people don't respond well
06:04 to being told "don't do this, don't eat that," you know
06:07 it's like as soon as you think about what you shouldn't
06:09 eat, you know, it brings it to mind when you think
06:12 you might want to have it but to add something
06:14 is a very positive thing, isn't it?
06:15 And probably in a subtle way, it probably did replace
06:19 some of the things that they might have otherwise eaten.
06:22 I love that simplicity and you know, less cholesterol,
06:27 were there any other indicators?
06:28 Yes, so there were the weight indicators;
06:32 there was the cholesterol indicator;
06:34 there was also society - the person felt that
06:38 they didn't need to overeat and so forth.
06:43 So their bowels worked much better and so forth.
06:47 So there are many benefits of adding a more amount of
06:54 legumes to your daily diet.
06:56 And you know, from the old times, people have survived
07:01 with the blessing of these types of foods.
07:06 We found a very interesting Bible verse that we can
07:09 see on the screen, in Ezekiel 4:9, it says there:
07:15 "Take also unto thee wheat and barley (these are grains),
07:20 and beans and lentils (which are legumes), and millet
07:26 and spelt and put them in one vessel."
07:29 So as you can see, from the old days - you know,
07:34 if you believe in the inspiration of the Bible,
07:36 this was actually a message that God gave to Ezekiel.
07:39 And it's interesting, there was a businessman that
07:45 put that same recipe and made a bread out of it.
07:49 Just with the same exact ingredients.
07:51 In fact, that's the name of the bread - you find it in the
07:54 stores even here in Australia, it's called "Ezekiel 4:9 bread."
07:59 And I can tell you, it is one of the most healthy
08:02 breads you can ever eat.
08:04 The reason why is because certain diabetics when they
08:09 eat wheat bread and even if it's whole wheat bread,
08:15 there are certain people that are diabetic that
08:19 their sugars may go a little bit too high for what
08:21 we would like, but when they eat this Ezekiel 4:9 bread,
08:26 it is perfect for them.
08:28 Their sugar doesn't go up and so forth and even if
08:31 you are not diabetic, you benefit from the
08:35 consumption of this. Yes.
08:36 So how interesting this is that something that
08:40 was written even before the birth of Christ,
08:43 still applies to today's world.
08:46 Aren't we slow learners? Aren't we slow learners?
08:49 I mean to think that that's been there for thousands
08:52 of years from a very good authority (That's right)
08:55 and now we sort of think, "Oh," He sort of knows
08:59 what He's talking about, I mean, it's actually not even
09:02 funny - it's tragic because if you think of people who
09:05 suffered and died (That's right) because we don't follow
09:08 the original diet that you've talked about and on other
09:11 programs, you know, the plant-based diet.
09:14 But I still love the simplicity and I can just imagine
09:18 if you're tuning into the program, to do what Eddie
09:22 has just suggested happened in this study - just add a
09:27 can of - well you talked about garbanzo beans, it could be any.
09:30 It could be a four-bean mix; it could be any of them.
09:34 How many different legumes are there?
09:37 Beans, pulse, whatever we're calling it? How many?
09:39 There are more than 100 of them and it's interesting how
09:44 they vary depending on the area of the world that you go to.
09:50 For example, if you go to Latin America, you will find beans
09:56 such as the pinto bean, such as the lima bean.
10:02 Lima bean - yes, got those.
10:03 Then as you go to areas like Japan, for example, you also
10:10 find their own variety.
10:12 You go to China, you find things like the pigeon peas.
10:17 I've never heard of pigeon peas until now.
10:20 That's right! I've never seen those.
10:21 As you've said, "There's hundreds," and we've probably
10:24 got few dozen in this country.
10:26 And then you go to areas like Northern Africa, Mediterranean
10:31 when they eat a lot of fava beans.
10:35 You go to areas like India, man, that's the paradise
10:40 for legumes - I love visiting India.
10:44 Last year I was there twice and they have this nice variety of
10:48 legumes - they're not only in
10:50 one area, but they are everywhere.
10:52 You have the garbanzos, you have the lentils,
10:54 you have the red lentils, the black lentils,
10:56 the yellow lentils and all kinds of combinations.
11:00 And you know, variety is really important - that's actually
11:03 one of the Australian dietary guidelines,
11:06 it's probably true in other countries too to have a wide
11:09 variety of nutritious foods because they've all got their
11:12 individual things that are just maybe a little bit different,
11:15 like the yellow lentil might be different from the brown lentil,
11:18 and so on, and so it's good over time, not all in one day.
11:21 That's like I said! All in one pot.
11:23 But it's just over time to make a point and varying
11:26 whether it's legumes or nuts or fruit or veggies.
11:29 You know, just not to always have exactly the same
11:31 things day after day and meal after meal.
11:33 That's right and you know studies show that even in
11:36 those countries that we were just mentioning such as
11:40 India, such as Mexico, such as Asia, for example,
11:45 there was a study that was comparing how much
11:49 the change on intake has decreased.
11:55 And you know, sadly in Mexico, the bean consumption
11:59 just in a matter of 40 years, the consumption decreased
12:03 by 25% and in India, the consumption decreased
12:07 by 40% which is sad.
12:10 See, as people started to improve a little bit their
12:14 economies and availability of foods started becoming
12:18 more common, many times those people start substituting
12:23 between legumes to animal products and that has been
12:28 reflected - also you can see the correlationship
12:31 very clearly in rates of diabetes, obesity,
12:36 heart disease.
12:38 As the people changed those good legumes
12:42 to animal products, negative consequences
12:46 have come as a result of that.
12:49 And what you showed in that study just in the space
12:52 of a month, those very things we're reversing, you know,
12:56 the cholesterol, the heart disease and the diabetes
12:59 just in a short time and that's what I think is so exciting
13:02 to think that we can turn things around in a short time.
13:05 That's right! Isn't that wonderful.
13:07 It's not like you have to think, "Oh, this is going to take
13:10 years, I don't know if I can do it."
13:11 But if you've got a goal to reach and it's just
13:15 fairly close, you think, "Oh, I can do it,
13:16 I can do a month, I can do this for a month,"
13:19 and just add a can of beans and it's so cheap!
13:22 So cheap compared to meat, I mean and you know,
13:26 even in Australia, 1 in 10 people rely on food relief
13:31 every year - that's a lot. Yes.
13:33 And we don't always realize that - we just think
13:36 and we know there are countries where people are really,
13:38 you know, not getting enough to eat - it happens here.
13:42 And even if you don't have economic problems,
13:45 I want you to get a paper and a pen and I want you to write
13:50 the following information:
13:52 See, if you are switching towards a vegan diet,
13:57 (a vegan diet is a diet that is excluding the animal products
14:05 in general), you need to make sure that you are eating
14:11 enough proteins - specifically, we are concerned about lysine.
14:17 So let me tell you this way, if you're a female and you're
14:24 not eating legumes, for example, you could use rice and to meet
14:30 your caloric needs with rice, just if you were to eat rice
14:34 in one day and you're a female, you need 10 cups of rice.
14:38 That's what you would need to meet your caloric need.
14:42 That's rather a lot! More than anyone would eat.
14:45 You still won't meet your lysine requirement. Okay.
14:49 You would have to eat 18 cups of brown rice in order
14:56 to meet your lysine requirement.
14:58 So if you are on a vegan diet, you need to incorporate
15:05 legumes and pulses in your daily diet.
15:10 So how much are we talking about?
15:13 Well if you analyze the nutritional content
15:18 it's about 2 servings per day that will meet your
15:24 lysine requirement.
15:26 Now if you want to be sure that you're
15:28 really, really meeting them, I would encourage you
15:30 to actually make that 3 servings per day.
15:35 So what are those servings?
15:36 Let me give you some examples so that you can
15:39 have some facts and you can use them as a guideline
15:46 as you are planning your meals and so forth.
15:49 So 1 serving, for example, would be 1/2 cup of beans,
15:53 okay, that's 1 serving.
15:55 One-half a cup of tofu or tempeh, 50 to 80 grams
16:01 of vegemeat, you know, the one that is made out of soy;
16:07 1 cup of soymilk - that's a blessing of today having that
16:13 with so much availability and if you prefer to use something
16:22 more like peanuts and so forth, well you would have to eat about
16:26 1/4 cup of peanuts - that is 1 serving.
16:31 Because they're actually a legume, aren't they?
16:33 That's right, they are legumes nutritionally speaking. Yes.
16:38 Or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter that would meet that.
16:43 So if you don't like beans and you say, "Well, you know,
16:46 now I see that I need to incorporate this,
16:48 let me give you some other servings equivalent.
16:52 What would be 1 serving? So it would be like 1/4 cup
16:55 of pistachio nuts, 1/2 cup of cashews and you can
17:02 easily meet these needs.
17:04 For example, in your breakfast you eat bread
17:08 with peanut butter - that's your 1 serving.
17:11 For lunch you can eat a wrap made out of hummus,
17:16 you know, that would meet that requirement.
17:19 And then for supper, you could eat some quinoa
17:22 and in that way, you have your three servings a day. Go ahead.
17:25 Oh um, I can't remember what I was going to say now. Laughter.
17:30 It was just on some point you made there.
17:32 But you know, I just would say this - You're talking about a
17:36 vegan diet; you're talking about a plant-based diet and I'm
17:39 just wondering how people might be reacting to that because
17:42 it's like, "Huh," not everybody but some people might react
17:46 but it's very interesting that although that's the diet
17:49 that the good Lord gave at the beginning
17:51 all totally plant-based.
17:53 The "World Health Organization" (I was just going to say that!)
17:56 encourages that diet - you can go to the "World Health
18:01 Organization" website and they define a complete
18:05 diet as that composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains,
18:12 legumes and nuts and they call that "a complete diet."
18:16 Yes and that's fact sheet 394.
18:19 You can check it out. Fact sheet 394.
18:22 On the "World Health Organization," I was actually
18:25 quite surprised because we don't get that in Australia,
18:27 we get, you know, "Australian Guide to Healthy Eating,"
18:30 includes some animal products, not as many as that used to,
18:33 and probably other countries, but when I saw that I was,
18:36 "wow, that's amazing!"
18:37 And if you still have further doubts, go ahead and find
18:42 the position statement of "The American Dietetic Association."
18:48 Just put "American Dietetic Association," vegetarian diets."
18:51 And the official position of the organization says
18:56 that a vegetarian or a vegan diet provides all the
19:02 nutrients that are needed to have good health and it
19:07 says there very clearly, go and read it on your computer,
19:11 that this is adequate for pregnant women, children,
19:16 people developing, elderly people and people doing sports.
19:21 Yes,..., so that's right and it's very
19:24 well documented there.
19:27 So again coming to the point of vegan diets and the need for
19:31 legumes, if you are not eating enough lysine in your diet,
19:38 this will be reflected in your muscle mass;
19:42 it will be reflected in your bones.
19:46 So especially ladies need to make an effort to eat
19:51 enough lysine in their diet by eating enough legumes.
19:57 So this needs to be something that is important, you know,
20:01 because we're talking about your long-term health.
20:05 And you know, also in the past, we thought that you have
20:10 to eat a complete protein in one meal - today our
20:16 modern understanding of nutrition tells us that
20:18 there is a buffer effect, so you can eat part of your
20:23 essential amino acids in the morning, then later in the day
20:27 you eat the other parts and you will get good, plenty
20:31 nutrition out of them.
20:32 Also another concern is if the protein of the vegetable
20:37 is sufficient - the reality is that it is.
20:42 You know, it's interesting, when you go and see the
20:44 most strong animals in the planet, I mean you see a
20:49 horse - all the muscle mass and so forth - how many
20:53 steaks did the horse eat, you know?
20:55 How many steaks did the bull eat to have that
21:00 tremendous muscle mass.
21:01 It's just grass that they were eating that helped them
21:06 get that muscle mass.
21:08 So yes, there is plenty of protein.
21:11 Now, if you are going to go on a vegan diet,
21:14 we do need you to eat little bit more than the usual amount
21:20 of protein but it is just a little bit more.
21:24 So by adding those legumes, you meet that requirement.
21:29 Now I suppose - I'm just imagining that people,
21:33 you know, tuning into this program they're thinking
21:37 about the down side of beans because, you know,
21:41 you hear that and some people are very wary about
21:44 using them because of the antisocial factor
21:47 that comes into it. That's right.
21:48 But I thought about that, well go on, tell us about it.
21:51 Yes, so when you are introducing these beans, the problem
21:59 of today's society is that we eat too little fiber.
22:05 This is a huge public health problem in Australia,
22:08 and that's why colon cancer rates are very high;
22:12 that's why damage to the colon happens long-term from
22:16 having constipation problems and you get this diverticulitis,
22:20 this damage permanent to your colon which is dangerous
22:25 yet very, very common in Australia.
22:29 So your digestive system many times is not used to
22:33 dealing with this problem.
22:36 So what I want you to do is I want you to add those
22:40 legumes little by little and then your intestinal flora,
22:45 your bacteria that you have inside actually starts changing.
22:50 See, beans have what is called "a prebiotic effect,"
22:57 in other words, when you are eating these legumes
23:01 and pulses, you are encouraging in your system the growth
23:06 of beneficial type of bacteria that will have long-term
23:14 effects and will have an effect in your health and also
23:18 in your longevity.
23:19 So, for example, when you have these legumes as you are
23:26 eating them, there is something that is called the
23:29 "beefy dough bacteria" that starts
23:31 to increase in your system.
23:34 Studies show that as you introduce these legumes
23:37 you will have between two to ten-fold more of this
23:42 bacteria while the negative bacteria that we don't like,
23:45 that is called "clostridium," actually decreases.
23:50 So even at the level of joint health, mental health and
23:56 many other aspects, we now know that the bacteria
24:00 that you have in your intestines play a very important role.
24:05 So there is something in the beans that cause this effect.
24:09 Let us see in the screen, a graphic
24:13 about that "oligosaccharides" which are the ones that
24:18 we are talking about.
24:20 The way you process this will determine how this will happen.
24:26 If you eat them raw, if you notice, it has very high
24:29 oligosaccharide.
24:31 If you boil it but you don't soak them before,
24:35 you still have high levels.
24:37 But if you soak them, boil them and then you throw away
24:41 that water and put new water, the levels go very low.
24:45 And, if you add a little bit of alkaline such as bicarbonate,
24:51 and you boil your legumes, you will see that the
24:54 level is very low.
24:56 And finally, germinated has a little bit higher levels. Okay.
25:01 So as you can see, the way you prepare those beans
25:05 will have a huge impact on how they actually will behave.
25:11 In terms of gas - that's what we're talking about.
25:13 In the topic of gas, as they say - "You know there's a
25:18 war going on there."
25:20 You know, you can hear the canons exploding and so forth,
25:25 but as you continue to apply these legumes on a regular
25:31 basis, your intestinal flora will change and will be able
25:36 to handle that.
25:37 You know what, I think the fact that it might decrease
25:40 over time might be very disappointing to young boys.
25:44 I've got some grandchildren and, you know what,
25:46 and I sort of think why don't we turn that around
25:50 and make it work for us and think feed them up so they
25:52 can enjoy all this stuff they seem to enjoy and then
25:55 they'll get used to eating beans and it will help them
25:57 with their health problems later on.
25:59 And not only provides the protein side of things,
26:03 but it will also provide important nutrients such as
26:07 potassium which is a deficient nutrient here in Australia
26:14 such as iron, such as magnesium, such as zinc, such as copper,
26:19 so you are getting a variety of benefits when you are
26:25 incorporating these foods on a regular basis.
26:27 So let me summarize things!
26:29 So what are we getting the benefit
26:32 from eating these legumes?
26:34 Well we need #1 to make sure we are eating enough calories
26:40 and that we are incorporating those legumes.
26:43 We need to eat a variety of whole food plant-based foods,
26:50 and we need to remember to have 2 to 3 servings of legumes.
26:57 And if we are over 60 years of age, I would actually
27:05 advise you to add another serving because you
27:10 need more protein - that's the latest research that
27:14 has come about, in order to maintain enough muscle mass.
27:19 This is a big problem in people over 60, they lose their
27:21 muscle mass and to maintain bone health. Okay.
27:26 Well it's no wonder that the "United Nations" has declared
27:31 2016 as the year of pulses which are beans and legumes
27:34 like we said for all those good reasons that you've given us
27:37 and, of course, they just don't have any cholesterol.
27:41 And I know there's more - if we had more time, we could
27:44 probably talk about more of the benefits but they're just
27:47 absolutely amazing food.
27:49 As they say, "I stopped eating legumes and the only thing
27:52 I got was 3 centimeters off my smile." Laughter!
27:58 Alright, so yeah, they are just an absolutely beautiful food.
28:04 I wish that we just had more time to actually think about
28:07 some of the things, you know, there's no cruelty
28:09 and all of that - so I just want to close with saying,
28:13 beans are good for the health of your body;
28:15 good for the health of the planet,
28:17 and they're good for the health of your wallet.
28:19 So enjoy them every day!
28:21 And if you'd like to watch our programs on demand,
28:24 just go to our website:
28:28 and click on the watch button.
28:30 We'll see you next time.


Revised 2019-10-01