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  • Darmadi-Blackberry et al reported, in a longitudinal study of older people from different cultures, that every 20 g increase in daily legume intake reduced the risk of death by 8%, concluding that higher legume intake is the most protective dietary predictor of longevity.
  • The results from the Greek European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, which found that the Mediterranean diet was associated with 14% lower mortality and that high legume consumption contributed to almost 10% of the protective effect, support this relationship.
  • Finally, a comparison of nutrient and food group intake of dry bean and pea consumers in the 1999- 2002 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that daily consumption of half a cup of beans or peas resulted in higher intakes of fibre, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium, with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat, therefore improving diet quality.

All these results support the food-based dietary guideline for legume intake for South Africans.

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