Are you into Mediterranean and Latin American cooking? If so, you may have encountered lupini beans in the past. These legumes are a wonderful addition to the diet because they are rich in protein as well as a bunch of other nutrients. Some of them include fiber, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins B and C.
Sometimes called lupine beans, they are commonly added to stews and soups. In many parts of the world, lupini beans are usually eaten as snacks. Sometimes they are also pickled and popularly served at bars.
However, it’s important to note that lupini beans have to be soaked in brine for several days to effectively remove their alkaloids, which make them toxic. The good news is scientists have actually produced cultivars of lupini beans that contain much less of those poisonous substances, thus requiring less intensive soaking.
With those toxic alkaloids out of the picture, you will surely benefit from the inclusion of lupini beans in your diet. Here are some of the health perks that they are known to come with:
Controlled Blood Sugar
There is no denying that lupini beans are perfect for people with diabetes or who are at risk of it. Being rich in fiber, these legumes help keep the levels of sugar in the blood within the normal range. Experts say that certain compounds in lupini beans also stimulate the production of insulin, a hormone that helps take sugar from the blood to the cells.
Lowered Blood Pressure
One of the many nutrients present in lupini beans is potassium, which is known for its ability to lower the blood pressure. Potassium serves as a vasodilator, which means that it causes the blood vessels to relax and expand. With your blood allowed to flow through your blood vessels more efficiently, high blood pressure can be prevented.
Reduced Bad Cholesterol
Lupini beans contain fiber, antioxidants and certain amino acids that all work together in lowering bad cholesterol in the body. You certainly wouldn’t want your cholesterol levels to go through the roof because it can increase your risk of having clogged arteries, which can then make you prone to having heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Accelerated Weight Reduction
If you are trying to slim down, it’s a wonderful idea for you to include lupini beans in your diet on a regular basis. That’s because its high fiber content can help make you feel really full, thus warding off overeating as well as hunger pangs. Also, lupini beans supply the body with protein, whose significant role in weight reduction will be discussed next.
Increased Muscle Mass
Just like other legumes, lupini beans are phenomenal sources of protein for vegans and non-vegans alike. This only means that adding them in the diet helps build and repair muscles. Having bigger muscles is helpful if you wish to become slimmer because muscles tend to burn a lot of calories whether you are on the move or while at rest.
Enhanced GI Tract Health
Being high in protein, lupini beans help promote better digestion. They also encourage the multiplication of good bacteria in the gut, thus resulting in optimally functioning digestive and immune systems. Also, it’s no secret that foods high in fiber such as lupini beans are important for warding off constipation and deadly colorectal cancer.
Lowered Cancer Risk
Speaking of colorectal cancer, the addition of lupini beans in the diet on a regular basis may help considerably reduce a person’s risk of having various types of cancer. It’s because these legumes are rich in antioxidants that neutralize excess free radicals in the body before they have the chance to cause cell mutation which can lead to cancer formation.
Finally, the intake of lupini beans can help in strengthening the bones, thus lowering your chances of suffering from osteoporosis in the future. That’s because these legumes contain calcium. What’s more, lupini beans also contain phosphorous, which is another mineral that helps keep your bones strong, say nutrition experts.