Legumes are a nutritional and medicinal treasure. Learn the best tips to integrate them correctly in the diet and without side effects
Legumes represent a group of exceptional food: they are delicious, accessible to every pocket, versatile, and perfectly balanced in nutritional matters. Not in vain most of its variants are considered a superfood and its consumption is associated with large nutritional and medicinal benefits.
Among his great genius stands out the unmatched richness of its composition, this is due to its extraordinary content in proteins, fiber, and essential micronutrients. Legumes are recognized as one of the nutritional profile foods more balanced, this is due to its content in carbohydrates slow absorption in conjunction with its long list of nutrients.
The consumption of legumes in the diet is a good ally to strengthen the immune system, this is due to its content in resistant starch and fiber that feed the beneficial gut bacteria and that has the peculiarity of producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). Which are related to benefits for reducing the risk of colon cancer and at the same time they provide great effects on immunity, the nervous system, and metabolism.
Another of his great genius is due to its power to regulate high levels of glucose and cholesterol in the blood. That is why its consumption is related to benefits to combat degenerative diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and triglycerides, arteriosclerosis, and heart and brain infarcts.
The truth is that legumes promote overall health and are related to longevity and a better quality of life. They are an essential part of vegetarian diets and are part of nutritious and versatile dishes, which are a nutritional treasure with great advantages. Probably the only downside with which its consumption is related is due to the stomach ailments that cause, as with symptoms such as inflammation and excessive gas.
The good news is that there are some infallible recommendations which are of great help to prevent eat legumes be an unpleasant experience and thus get all your nutritional richness.
Tips for cooking legumes
1. The most important step: Soaking
There are certain compounds that can hinder the nutritional quality of legumes, the main ones are phytates and lectins. The good thing is that they have the peculiarity of deactivated by soaking, sprouting, fermenting, and cooking. One of the main recommendations for avoiding gas and digestive ailments is to leave them in a soak in clean water the night before cooking. The goal of this method is to soften them, dissolve the skin membranes, and release the oligosaccharide sugars (substances responsible for inflammation and excess flatulence). Try to remove the soaking water and change it for clean water for cooking, in this way you will ensure that they are free of these sugars.
2. The medicinal secret: Add spices in its preparation
In recent years the popularity of spices has grown considerably, thanks to its unmatched medicinal properties. Although each one contributes great qualities, they are mostly related to wonderful antioxidant, digestive and anti-inflammatory benefits. It is because of that integrate them into the preparations It is not only a great ally in culinary matters that improve the color, smell, and taste of numerous recipes. Spices are a great complement to healing potential, the variants that best go with legumes are cumin, anise, the rosemary, fennel, the pepper, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. They are characterized by being digestive medicinal plants with great qualities anti-inflammatory, which is of great help to combat any intestinal pain
3. A good alternative: Puree
One of the best recommendations to introduce legumes kindly on the diet is to opt for the elaboration of patés or purees. When cooking legumes over low heat and for a long time the oligosaccharides sugars decompose and become much easier to digest. A good option is to gradually integrate your consumption, through products like hummus of different flavors.
4. The importance of cooking: Use a pressure cooker
Although the dried vegetables are previously soaked overnight, it is essential to ensure good cooking. And the most recommended is to cook them in a pressure cooker if we use a normal pot the legumes will need many hours in water at 100 ºC to be ready. The pressure cookers are very easy to use and reduce cooking time by less than half, taking into account that the legumes of big size may take up to 6 hours to be ready in normal cooking; to consider after soaking and pressure cooker ensures its cooking in 30-45 minutes.
5. Not least
It’s very important to use fresh legumes since this directly intervenes in your nutritional quality and final result. What happens when using old legumes is that with time they are losing more water and there comes a point in which they are impossible to cook, that is, no matter how much they are soaked and cooked in a pressure cooker they will always be hard. This is called “HTC default” (Hard To Cook) and not only involves dehydration in the grains but a whole complex range of reactions and mechanisms (such as oxidation of lipids and formation of insoluble pectates). Remember that eat undercooked legumes is another factor that is directly related to stomach ailments.