For the study, researchers analyzed 21 clinical trials involving over 900 participants and found that adding three-quarters of a cup of these babies to your daily menu (just slightly more than the recommended ½ cup serving) can spark weight loss, even without making any other changes (see: calorie counting, crazy-long workouts).
Read more: Weigh Less By Next Week
Although those who lost weight shed an average of .75 pounds, it’s kind of amazing that they did it by just adding something to their diet.
“These are unique in that they’re one of the only foods with protein, fiber, and complex carbs,” says Cynthia Sass, R.D. author of “Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Pulses—The New Superfood”. That trifecta slows digestion, delaying the onset of hunger so you stay full for longer.
Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken, Beans and Rice
Even better, research indicates that the fiber in peas, lentils, and chickpeas may actually prevent your body from absorbing calories from these foods, says Sass. And because they’re rich in a whole spectrum of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants (red beans rival berries in these free radical-slaying compounds), they have other health-boosting, disease-fighting properties as well.