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How to cook legumes properly and what are their benefits

Iryna MelnichenkoLS Food
How to cook beans properly
How to cook beans properly

Legumes are an excellent source of vegetarian protein, including lentils, chickpeas, and beans, which are the leaders in terms of protein content. It is worth noting that when cooked, they contain 5-8 g of protein per 100 g of product.

Nutritionist Svitlana Fus shared the benefits of legumes and how to cook them properly on Facebook.

The benefits of legumes

The expert noted that all legumes are very healthy because they contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins, especially B vitamins.

How to eat legumes correctly

"They contain a lot of fiber, about 7-10 g per 100 g of the finished product. This is important because many people's diets usually contain 2 times less fiber than the daily value, which is 20-30 g for adults. It is fiber that helps digestion, improves the elimination of toxic substances from the body, and in combination with protein, makes you feel full. This makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight, as well as to influence the functioning of the intestinal microflora," Fus explained.

It is worth knowing that legumes, with all their advantages, also have disadvantages, namely:

Who should not eat legumes

They contain phytates, substances that interfere with the absorption of mineral elements, including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

They also contain protease inhibitors, substances that are useful for the plants themselves and are designed to better preserve seeds in nature, but they prevent proteins from being fully absorbed.

Bean pate

"Therefore, legume protein is absorbed by 65-70% compared to animal protein (meat, eggs), which is absorbed by 90-95%. And although vegetable proteins in the diet will not completely replace animal proteins, they should be present in the menu," Fus explained.

Boiled beans

In addition, legumes contain galacto-oligosaccharides and fructans, which are dietary fibers that the body cannot digest on its own.

"This is done by intestinal bacteria, which do a good job, but in the process of breaking down these substances, gases are released that cause bloating. Thus, they burden the digestive system," the nutritionist said.

How to cook legumes correctly:

How to cook beans properly

1. If they are dried, soak them for 18 hours in water, which should be acidified with lemon juice, and put them in a warm place. Then pour out the water and pour in fresh again.

"This reduces the content of phytic acid by 20-30%," says Fus.

2. Legumes can be boiled in 2 stages.

Even desserts can be made from legumes

Boil for 5 minutes, then drain and add fresh water. Cook until tender.

This method of cooking legumes can minimize the risk of bloating.

Fus noted that salt should be added at the end of cooking.

"Legumes should not be cooked for a long time. Then they will become an easier substrate for fermentation by intestinal bacteria and contribute to more gas formation. It's better to cook as much as you can eat at once," the expert advised.

How to cook legumes correctly

The expert advises to introduce legumes gradually into the diet and monitor the body's reaction.

"Introduce them into your diet gradually, once or twice a week in small quantities, and closely monitor your body's reactions. Legumes that are better accepted by the body include green beans, red lentils, and green peas," advises Fus.

Bean pate

The nutritionist noted that it is best to eat legumes with fresh herbs to prevent bloating.

Bean dishes

"Parsley leaves, basil, dill, marjoram, or thyme can help improve the digestion of legumes. And don't forget to chew thoroughly," summarizes Fus.

Legumes should be eaten with greens

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