Lupins are good for you and have numerous beneficial properties for the body. Let’s see what their benefits and nutritional values are.
Today we are talking about lupins, little-known legumes (or rather less famous than their “brothers” beans) that, however, we should all introduce into our diet.
The reason is very simple: they are delicious and rich in beneficial properties . In particular, they are great for those with diabetes. Let’s see what their nutritional characteristics are.
What are lupins
As we have anticipated, lupins are legumes , seeds of a flowering plant, the Lupinus . There are several varieties, some not edible, but the most common and used in cooking are white lupins, yellow lupins and blue lupins. All have a rounded and flattened shape and have the characteristic (at the level of the lupine plant) to adapt to difficult and inhospitable environments. These legumes derive from an annual plant whose sowing takes place around October and November while the ripening takes place in the hot months of June and July.
They are usually found on the market precooked and in brine , because raw they contain a potentially toxic substance, which is eliminated by boiling and soaking in salted water. It is also possible to buy them raw dried, but they must always be soaked and boiled.
A flour is also produced with these legumes, which can be used to prepare soups, veloutées, focaccia, pies, breading and vegetarian burgers, just like it is done with chickpea flour.
Theirs is an ancient story, and in fact they have been known since the times of the Maya and the Egyptians, when they were cultivated to improve the quality of the soil.
Properties of lupins
Lupins, like all legumes, are rich in proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals . In particular, they contain: vitamins A and C, which have antioxidant properties and help strengthen the immune system; B vitamins (B1 and B6), which improve metabolic functions and ensure the correct absorption of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Finally, they are a source of mineral salts (iron, calcium, potassium, zinc and manganese) and “good” fatty acids (omega 3 and omega) and are completely gluten-free .
The benefits of lupins: diabetes and more
- Allies against diabetes. According to research from Australia’s Curtin University of Perth, lupins are great for preventing and fighting diabetes , as they stimulate insulin production and keep blood sugar peaks in check. The credit goes to the presence of the conglutin-gamma protein and soluble fiber which, in addition to controlling glycemic peaks, also slows down the absorption of carbohydrates .
- Important for the intestine. But it doesn’t stop there. Among their benefits we also find positive effects for the intestine, given the high fiber content and the elimination of toxins.
- Powerful allies of the heart , these legumes also help keep bad cholesterol and hypertension under control thanks to omega 3 and omega 6.
- Bone health. Thanks to the presence of calcium and phosphorus in good quantities, lupins are legumes that are suitable for strengthening bones and indicated for the growth of the skeletal system of the youngest or in particular moments of life such as for women with the arrival of menopause or in elderly people who have marked bone fragility.
- Magnesium for the muscles. The presence of magnesium in fact regulates the nerve cells that are responsible for muscle movement and that is why they are also indicated in the diet of athletes.
The nutritional values of lupins: proteins, calories and …
The nutritional values of 100 grams of lupins are as follows:
– kcal 371
– Water 10.44 g
– Protein 36.71 g
– Fat 9.74 g (of which saturated 1.156 g)
– Carbohydrates 40.38 g (of which sugars 0 g)
– Cholesterol 0 g
– Glycemic index 15
As you can see, lupine has a high protein content , which is why it is suitable as a meat substitute in a purely vegetarian or vegan diet and more: in fact it is gluten-free and can be a food of the diet for those intolerant to gluten. and celiacs. But be careful: lupine proteins have a lower biological value than animal derivatives, however combined with cereals it can be, as previously mentioned, a valid substitute for meat. They also increase the sense of satiety and are therefore also suitable for a slimming diet.
The contraindications of lupins
There are many benefits of these legumes, as we have seen, but there are also some considerations regarding some possible contraindications. First of all, they can create intestinal swelling , while as regards those preserved in salt, it is better not to abuse them, especially in case of hypertension or circulation problems.
As for any allergies , lupins can cause symptoms such as rashes, abdominal pain and even more serious problems, up to anaphylactic shock . So do not consume them if you suffer from food intolerances or other.
Last but not least, it has already been mentioned above but it is good to remember it also in this section. To the question: do lupins ever hurt? Our answer is no, if treated with care. In fact, raw lupins have components that can be potentially toxic: they contain a lupotoxin, lupanine, which could lead to the onset of unwanted effects such as fever and vomiting or even alter blood pressure. To eliminate this toxin in raw lupins it goes through heat, and then cooking and through a process of deamarization.
How to sweeten lupine legumes
Deamarization consists of a long process of soaking in water and salt after boiling the lupins themselves. How does it work?
After soaking them for about 8-12 hours, rinse the lupins thoroughly and boil them for at least 1 hour in salted water. Once the set time is over, drain and let them cool. Now prepare the soaking for the deamarizzare: for about 1 kg of lupins add 2 liters of water and 70 g of salt, mix thoroughly and immerse the lupins in the liquid so that they are completely covered .
The time has come to wait: change the soaking water twice a day for 5 days, remembering to rinse the legumes well in cold water. Once the indicated time has passed, rinse them one last time thoroughly and they will be ready to become the protagonists of your recipes.