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What are Legumes?
Legumes are plants in the pea family that grow seeds in a pod such as peas, beans, alfalfa, etc. They produce a several-seeded pod containing dry fruit which is also known by the same name 'legume'. A storehouse of energy, these seeds contain higher concentrations of proteins, vitamins (especially Vitamin E), minerals, and protective phytochemicals. They can be found growing on every continent, demonstrating the adaptability of the over 18,000 species considered to be legumes.

Legume has played a vital part in almost all the cultures and ancient civilizations. Humans have been growing and eating legumes since innumerable. Archaeological findings suggest that

legumes may be the oldest crop known to man. Some common examples of legumes are clover, peas, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, and peanuts.

Legume is derived from the Latin word legumen which is in turn believed to come from the verb legere, which means "to gather." English borrowed the term from the French "légume," which, however, has a wider meaning in the modern language and refers to any kind of vegetable; the English word legume being translated in French by the word légumineuse.

Legume as a Fodder
As a rich source of nutrients, amino acids and proteins, legumes work wonderfully when used as an animal fodder. Innumerable animal farmhouse owners are using legumes as a coarse food for

their domesticated animals such as horses, pigs, goats, cows, sheep, and poultry. It is nutritious and has been found to substantially increase milk yields in dairy cows, as well as improving the vigor and performance of racehorses and brood mares.

Legume-fortified grass pastures help the cattle to gain weight more quickly. Other benefits include:

  • Improved feed quality
  • Rich energy value
  • Easy to source
  • High nutritional value.

Other Advantages
Legume, the powerhouse of minerals, proteins and protective phytochemicals, have been consumed by humans since innumerable. These plants are known for their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, thanks to a symbiotic relationship with certain bacteria known as rhizobia found in root nodules of these plants. In order to increase the fertility of soil, they are the best suited rotational plants.


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