BEANS, peas and lentils provide exceptional nutritional value for money, have a high micronutrient-to-price ratio, can improve soil fertility, are water-efficient and have a smaller carbon footprint.
The value of legumes has been emphasised for National Nutrition Week this week as health bodies encourage South Africans to eat healthy food regularly. This year's campaign theme is "Love your beans – eat dry beans, peas and lentils!"
National Nutrition Week is a joint initiative by the Department of Health, the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (Adsa), the Nutrition Society of South Africa (NSSA), the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) and the Consumer Education Project of Milk SA (CEP).
Health Department programme manager for health promotion, oral health and nutrition Lynn Moeng-Mahlangu said: “There’s a good reason to put dry beans, peas, lentils and soya into the spotlight. Unfortunately, they are largely overlooked as they are often seen as a ‘poor man’s food’ and they can take a long time to cook.
"We should be eating them, along with a variety of foods, at least four times a week and yet many of us hardly include them in our diets.”