Proteins and fiber: Why legumes are very healthy

Proteins and fiber: Why legumes are very healthy

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Legumes can score with proteins and fiber
According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), legumes have a lot to offer. The classic representatives of lentils, beans and peas are particularly nutritious. That is why the DGE recommends integrating legumes into the menu more frequently.

In the months of June and July, local farmers offer fresh peas, broad beans or sugar snap peas on the market and bush beans are freshly available until September. But dried legumes are also a valuable nutritional enrichment. These can be prepared in a variety of ways and are well suited for stockpiling, according to the DGE. With their high proportion of protein, they are also a good meat alternative. Long-lasting satiety is achieved due to the fiber it contains.

Versatile uses of legumes
In the current release, the DGE also has some tips for the preparation of legumes. Their variety invites “to try them out and lets us travel around the world in culinary terms.” White beans are an enrichment as an ingredient in Italian minestrone, kidney beans are used in Tex-Mex dishes such as chili con carne or “sin” carne, and black beans belong in a Brazilian feijoada, reports the DGE. In Germany, pea stew is known as a traditional dish, as is lentil soup. However, lentils are also suitable as an ingredient in salads and have a completely new taste in oriental dishes, according to the DGE.

Contain many vitamins and minerals
Another form of legumes is chickpeas, which are becoming increasingly popular as an ingredient in hummus, falafel or in curry dishes. In the new flyer "Legumes - discover hidden diversity", the DGE explains which ingredients are in the dried legumes, how they are prepared and how they can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen. According to the DGE, legumes can score with valuable ingredients such as vitamins B1, B6, folate and the minerals iron, magnesium and zinc. They also contain phytochemicals that have positive health effects.

Beware of gout
Legumes also have indigestible carbohydrates, which only cause the blood sugar concentration to rise slowly, explains the DGE. So “dried lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas are low in fat and have a low energy density, ie. H. they only supply a few calories based on the amount. ”However, soybeans and peanuts are an exception with their higher fat content. In addition, patients with gout must note that legumes generally have a high purine content.

Year of the legumes
According to the DGE, legumes also offer some advantages in terms of sustainability. In this way, the plants bind the required nitrogen from the air during growth and therefore less fertilization is required. The cultivation of legumes also increases soil fertility and supports the formation of humus. For these reasons too, the United Nations launched the International Year of Legumes in 2016.

Do not consume raw!
In its current press release, the DGE points out that legumes should not be eaten raw. Because they contain natural toxins, which in humans - if consumed raw - can cause intolerance or even symptoms of intoxication. The DGE warns that raw beans, soybeans, chickpeas and lentils contain toxic lectins that can lead to clumping of red blood cells. These lectins are destroyed by cooking. There is therefore no danger if legumes are cooked before consumption. For sprouts made from soybeans or mung beans, heating is also advisable, as these can be contaminated with pathogenic germs raw, reports the DGE. (fp)

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