Are legumes as healthy as they tell us?
February 10 World Legumes Day is celebrated, date designated by the United Nations General AssemblyFor this reason we have decided to clear all the doubts that usually arise about legumes, that food that always appears in the nutritional pyramid as a very healthy and recommended option to include in the usual diet. We tell you if the legumes are really as healthy as it seems.
Reasons to eat legumes
They are rich in protein and low in fat, they provide carbohydrates of slow absorption so they will keep you satiated and with stable energy levels throughout the day. Legumes have a high nutritional value, they are a great source of minerals and vitamins, as well as antioxidants that fight and prevent damage caused by free radicals, which cause premature cell aging.
They have iron, copper, vitamin B1, niacin, folic acid, carotenoids … a healthy cocktail that takes care of you inside and out because they are excellent allies to keep the skin young and healthy.
In vegetarian and vegan diets They are an excellent substitute for animal protein because legumes have a good dose of vegetable proteins. Although they have iron, the iron that contains the protein of animal origin is higher.
They help reduce the risk of colon cancer and cardiovascular disease, prevent anemia and protect muscles and proper brain function. They are a very economical and versatile food, so they are usually one of the dishes that is never missing (and never fails) weekly in Spanish homes.
Do legumes get very fat?
According to Leticia Carrera, technical director of the Felicidad Carrera center and Master in Nutrition “legumes constitute an important pillar in the Mediterranean diet, however for some decades, their presence in our daily kitchen has suffered a reduction progressive due mainly to changes in lifestyle (we do not have time to prepare them, or so we believe) and to a myth: legumes get very fat. ”
It is true that the belief that legumes get very fat but nothing is further from reality. 110 grams of lentils for example would provide about 116 kcal less than rice or breakfast cereals. In addition, the fiber content of legumes is a great help in slimming diets as it improves intestinal transit and helps to easily eliminate waste substances and toxins so weight control would be more effective.
By having slow-absorbed carbohydrates, glucose levels are regulated, thus preventing insulin spikes that are responsible for the accumulation of fats in the body. As you will see the legumes are perfect to include in your bikini operation without any fear.
The other side of legumes
They are listed as allergens and many people are intolerant or allergic, especially legumes such as soybeans, lupines or peanuts (yes, they are legumes). But the main contraindication of legumes is that it is not recommended to eat them raw or undercooked as it is related to digestive discomfort, stomach pain or gas.
“The consumption of legumes usually generates some unpleasant side effects such as gas and bloating. To avoid them we can leave the vegetables 12 hours to soak or, if we go very badly, we can use the jars where they are already pre-cooked but, yes, rinsing them thoroughly ”explains Carrera.
Legumes contain toxins that act as antinutrients (saponins, lectins, phytic acid, oxalates, tannins and enzymatic inhibitors) and that are reduced considerably when the legume is raw 12 hours soaking and with subsequent cooking, so no legume should be consumed raw, except the sprouts that are so fashionable
Other tips that we recommend to avoid the blissful flatulence and swelling that legumes can generate are, either add cumin during the preparation, or add a piece of kombu seaweed in the stew. They are two tricks that work very well to reduce gases. Also always choose to puree them if they usually give you problems of swelling would be a good idea to make them more digestive.
Are dried legumes better than canned ones?
According to the Report on Legumes, Nutrition and Health prepared by the Spanish Foundation of Nutrition (FEN) in collaboration with the Spanish Agency for consumption, food safety and nutrition (aecosan) “dried (already cooked) and canned legumes have a Very similar nutritional heat. The only differences are the salt content that some preserves may have"
As to whether or not to wash canned vegetables before consuming them, you can do it or not and we explain why. Wash them what you are going to do is eliminate a possible excess of sodium but that foam that comes out when you put them under the tap does not represent any health problem but if you want to save that salt or the viscosity of the liquid they bring (called aquafaba) you can of course wash them. Aquafaba is also widely used in vegan diets to replace eggs, especially in pastry recipes.
How to include them in your diet
Legumes are perfect for both summer and winter. In summer you can consume them by adding them in salads, hummus or pate, and in winter in the tasty spoon dishes so satiated and comforting.
The ideal is to consume the vegetables with vegetables so as not to increase the caloric intake of the dish. How they have a good amount of iron choose to accompany them with vitamin C to enhance their absorption. A good idea would be to add parsley, spinach, red pepper … or dress with lemon juice.