Legumes spring from Nature and their culinary use has breached frontiers providing important nutritional advantages.
Advisor Sandra Alfaro – Dietitian Nutritionist, ascribed to Coomeva Prepaid Medicine
Yes, the majority of people in Africa, Asia, America, Europe and Oceania know about legumes. They know recipes that they combine or use as main ingredients such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, string beans or broad beans. Likewise, they are known as grains or seeds and for many families they are a must on their grocery list. Nevertheless, how much do they know about their valuable nutritional contributions? In a balanced diet, for example, it is recommendable to include them twice or three times a week. “They are of great value in the culinary art of the Vegans, they are vegetarian for their high protein content but, now-a- days, youngsters and regular consumers of meat have forgotten them.” Says nutritionist Sandra Alfaro.
In general, legumes are high in protein content, rich in nutrients, group B vitamins, antioxidants that combat natural ageing, and in minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc as well as carbohydrates containing starch; they are also an energy-providing substance.
Versatile and delicious
Their high fiber content helps improve the response to insulin. Intake generates a sensation of satiety in the organism and contributes to establishing sugar levels in the blood becoming a suggested option for people suffering from diabetes and those who wish to improve and control their weight. “We are facing a pandemic of obesity and overweight affecting over 50% of the population as well as the incidence and prevalence of malnutrition and undernourishment,” adds Alfaro.
- Aid in weight control. Their low-fat and high-fiber content increases the sensation of satiety and helps in adequate intestinal transit.
- Protection of the Heart. Their highly soluble fiber content (known for its effect on diminishing cholesterol) reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Prevention of anomalies. They are a source of vitamins such as Folate that decreases risk of congenital malformation of the neural tube wherein the brain, spinal column and spinal chord in the fetus are structured.
- They avoid lack of iron. Their high content of this mineral makes them a nutrient that prevents anemia in women and children. We suggest combining them with food containing Vitamin C in order to improve absorption of iron.
- They add to quality protein. They are special for growth and development. The protein quality of the vegetarian diets improves when legumes are taken along with cereals such as rice, quinoa, rye or maize in the adequate portions.
- They alleviate nutritional allergies. Since they do not contain gluten, intake of the same is ideal for those who are allergic to protein or present with celiac disease, a digestive disorder.
- They protect our Health. They prevent diminution of cognitive faculties, reduce the symptoms of menopause and enrich bone health.
Take into account
- Legumes are long-range conservation foods so that once stored in tight-sealed containers, they can last for months and even years without losing their nutritional value.
- Intake of soy is not widespread as a grain but is widely used as soy-based milk, cheese, yogurt, fermented foods and desserts.
- These crops are highly efficient. This condition, jointly with their important nutritional values, places them as a sustainable food to attend the global population of the future.