Vegetarian or not, everyone is advised to include in his/her diet legumes or more specifically, pulses. Lest you be confused, the Harvard University clarifies that a legume refers to any plant from the Fabaceae family that would included its leaves, stems and pods (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/legumes-pulses/). A pulse is the edible seed from a legume plant. Pulses include beans, lentils and peas. So, the proper term for what we should but may rarely consume is pulses. Beans in their various forms (kidney, black, pinto, navy, chickpeas, etc.) are just one type of pulse. Lentils are lens shaped.
Vegetarian or not, nutrition experts advise a weekly consumption of two servings, each serving equivalent to 1/3-1/2 cup for the many benefits derived. Pulses are the best alternative to meat and other animal-based food as protein source. In fact, these are the cheapest good source of protein. Children need protein mainly for growth. We all need protein mainly for repair of body tissues and blood formation. These also provide significant amounts of carbohydrates which, like protein, provide energy for our voluntary and involuntary activities. The kidney (red) and patani beans contain higher amounts of carbs. Pulses are also rich in fiber, a non-nutrient but essential for a healthy digestive system and helpful in the prevention of constipation and management of obesity, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes. They play a significant role in the prevention of some cancers like colon cancer.
Pulses do not contain cholesterol which is a culprit in cardiovascular diseases. While the body still needs to manufacture cholesterol to supply needs, the external source is reduced with intake of pulses. Of course, pulses are also good sources of minerals especially calcium. Phosphorous and iron which are all needed in many if not all body processes.
While different pulses may contain varying amounts of the nutrients, incorporating varied kinds of pulses in your diet either as stand-alone dish or mixed with salad, halo-halo or soup, is highly recommended. When cooked well, with or without meat slices, their texture is soft and are flavorful.