According to the CAE, (Spanish Food Code), legumes are defined as dry, clean, healthy seeds, separated from the pod, from plants of the legume family, of their current use in the country and which is suitable for the feeding.
They are very interesting foods from the nutritional point of view.
Our chickpeas, lentils, beans or white beans, beans, peas or soybeans belong to this denomination (a legume of great interest in nutrition).
They are the type of food that should not be missing every day in our diet, within a balanced, healthy and sustainable diet, as they are also the most complete foods of all those that exist. Most of them have a high concentration of important nutrients such as:
– Starch: between 41 and 50%
– Proteins: between 19 and 23%
– Fats: between 1.5 and 5%.
(These values refer to dry grains).
They are also important sources of calcium and iron and their content in vitamin B1 is good, although it is not so much in riboflavin (vitamin B2) and carotenes.
Apart from their energy nutrient (starch), they contain a protein percentage (20% on average) similar to that of meat. However, they have a limiting amino acid, methionine, which decreases the biological value of the protein. Hence, for example, the importance of combining legumes with cereals so that their amino acids complement each other and achieve a “Complete Food”.
Soybeans, a legume hardly cultivated in our country, have a special interest. Indeed, varieties of this legume have been obtained with 30-40% protein richness, and work is underway to improve its amino acid content through genetic bioengineering.
It is also rich in lipids, which can be extracted to obtain soybean oil.
The fibrous cover of legumes is mainly made up of cellulose, hemicelluloses and pectins, which gives them the ability to generate meteorism and flatulence in the body and therefore we should not stop consuming or limit their consumption, since ingesting legumes together to spices like cumin, we eliminate that possibility in part.
Undoubtedly, legumes must be taken into account for their important soluble fiber content. This type of fiber is characterized by being made up of components that capture a lot of water and are capable of forming viscous gels during the digestion process, so they should be taken into account among those who want to maintain their weight or lose it (it causes a feeling of satiety). , who suffer from diabetes (maintains blood glucose levels avoiding spikes in blood glucose), or high cholesterol levels (The gel formed by soluble fiber traps the cholesterol found in the intestine, preventing it from passing into the bloodstream)
The ideal would be to include any of our legumes 2 to 3 times a week in their different forms. Cooked, salads, healthy appetizer … are you cheer up?