Nutritious and energetic, our ancestors used the consumption of lupins in their diet for its great satiating power and its multiple benefits. Learn about all the properties and benefits of lupine below.

Food is a fundamental part of our health, the quality of the functions of our body depends largely on it. For this reason, it is common that we are always looking for alternatives to complement our diet, make it healthier and more balanced.

For example, legumes are an easy food to obtain and contain many beneficial properties for the body. They are edible seeds that grow inside pods. They can be eaten raw, toasted, ground, in flour, etc., and at any time of the day.

A seed recognized for its properties

One of the most famous seeds among legumes is lupine, also known as tramuses, chocho, almorta or lupine. Lupins are the legumes or legumes best known internationally, their consumption is common as a snack in bars.

Although it may not seem like it, this common food contains numerous properties that can have a very positive impact on the body.

If you want to know more about the benefits of consuming lupins, keep reading!

What are lupins?

The lupine is a legume or legume belonging to the Fabaceae family and the Faboideae subfamily . It is a flattened, yellow fruit that grows in the pods of the plant.

There are several types of lupins, mostly used to feed livestock as they contain components that make their taste bitter and can be toxic to humans when they are not processed in the correct way. Despite this, these seeds provide good digestion for livestock.

Its consumption in humans is safe as long as the bitterness is previously extracted. This is done by soaking them in salted water for approximately 10 hours.

They can also be left in the sun to remove toxicity. In addition, there is a variety of ‘sweet lupins’ that can be consumed by humans without having to go through any process.

How is it grown?

Lupine is an easy-to-grow plant, it can easily develop where other plants could not. It tolerates sandy, poor and acid soils. In addition, it has a great resistance to cold and drought, and, as if that were not enough, it does not need to be fertilized.

Its sowing season is from October to February at 50-180 kilograms per hectare each year, while its harvest season is from June to August, with a yield of 500-1500 kilograms per hectare.

In Spain, the regions where lupins are mainly grown are Western Andalusia, Extremadura, Valencia, Las Castillas and some yellow lupins in Galicia.

Properties of lupins

One of the main characteristics of lupins is that they are an excellent source of protein, which makes up 38% of its composition.

In addition, they also contain 24% vegetable fiber, 24% carbohydrates, 7.5% minerals (potassium, magnesium, zinc and others) and a very low level of fat, 6%. The fats they contain are called ‘healthy fats’, made up of omega-6 and omega-3, essential oils for the proper functioning of the immune and cardiovascular system.

Likewise, lupins contain phytosterols, a substance present in some foods of plant origin that has a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory action and that help regulate the body’s systems in general. They also contain high levels of vitamins of groups A, C and B.

But beyond that, what distinguishes lupins from other seeds and foods is that they have the highest concentration of a unique element called Lupanin, an alkaloid that potentially lowers blood sugar levels.

Benefits of lupins

  • It lowers cholesterol and regulates it, which is why it is widely consumed among the vegan and vegetarian population.
  • It reduces the risk of retaining liquids and makes the release of water more fluid due to its high water content.
  • Helps lower hypertension and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
  • It prevents macular degeneration and protects from other vision problems.
  • Helps protect the prostate.
  • They do not contain gluten, so they are an ideal food for people with celiac disease, allergies or gluten intolerance.
  • They provide a quick sensation of satiety, thus reducing appetite and preventing weight gain.
  • They are an ideal food for diabetic people because they help metabolize glucose.
  • They contribute to the proper functioning of the intestines and provide good digestion.

How to consume them?

Lupins are a fairly traditional aperitif in Spain and some Latin American countries such as Argentina.

They are usually served in bars with drinks for free, but they can also be included in other recipes.

They can be prepared as stews or in salads, or eaten in grains as a snack. Also, these seeds are used as a substitute for soy to make sauces.

There is also flour and milk made from lupine, with which you can make different dishes such as pasta, bread or cakes.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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