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Legumes and proteins, let's talk, since if once they were considered the meat of the poor and today they are praised beyond measure, it is better to inquire before serving them at the table, discrediting them or entrusting them with nutritional tasks for which they are inadequate.
After the Second World War the tendency to consume more and more meat, dairy products and derivatives has grown, around the 2000s instead, we have rediscovered the value of legumes and proteins for our well-being until you get to compare them to meat.
They are not the same thing, it is not true that one is as good as the other: in some respects the nutritional value of legumes is lower than that of meat, but it must be admitted that they, from a safety point of view and the presence of foreign substances, are far preferable to meat . The best solution is to follow a balanced diet without excluding either one or the other.
Legumes and proteins: table
Before taking a look at the table, go on Legumes and proteins, better clarify the difference between the proteins contained in meat and dairy products and those of vegetable origin. The first are from high quality because they provide us with all the essential amino acids in the right proportions. To the others, however, some amino acids are missing, can be remedied by combining legumes in a reasoned way, but it is not the same as eating meat. An example of a winning couple is that of, pasta with beans.
Legumes and proteins or carbohydrates
There percentage of carbohydrates is certainly high in legumes: in general they contain a variable percentage of proteins, ranging from the lowest, 22% of chickpeas and peas, to the highest, 37% of soy beans. Nothing to do with the amount of carbohydrates which, as a rule, is greater than 50%, with the exception of 23% of soy.
Always arguing about the link between Legumes and proteins, often they come to pair them with cereals, the most digestible combination is considered this: two parts of cereals and one part of legumes. In reverse it is not recommended to combine legumes and animal proteins having very different amino acid profiles, there are still indications that should not be taken as rules to which never compromise.
Legumes and proteins: beans
THE beans are among the richest legumes in protein, are often paired with pasta but also with meat. I am thinking above all of cuisines such as South American or Mexican that they see in many recipes, dishes with rice, beans and meat. To deepen the theme of Legumes and proteins in the case of beans, I recommend the article Beans: properties and nutritional values
Legumes and proteins: lentils
Consume a lot between Christmas and New Year, lentils are also one of the most neglected legumes and it is a real shame, since they are considered a precious source of protein, but not only. Also of fiber, magnesium and potassium. Not to mention the iron: it seems that they contain even more of it than meat.
Returning to talk about Legumes and proteins, 100 grams of lentils, in addition to 291 kcal, also contain a protein percentage of 23%, and one of the carbohydrates of 51%, approximately, low in fat and 14% fiber.
Legumes and proteins: cooked chickpeas
Chickpeas, like most other legumes, are eaten cooked but they come often discriminated against at the table for fear of intestinal swelling. They are an effect linked to indigestible sugars (raffinose, stachyose and verbascose) which are fermented by the bacterial flora when they reach the large intestine.
There is no need to ban Legumes and proteins contained in them, from our menus, for this reason, just apply some trick during cooking. For example for make chickpeas and legumes more digestible better to soak them, eliminating those that come to the surface and throw the first boiling water. When the cooking is almost done, and not before, we can add salt or lemon.
The bicarbonate, then, it speeds up cooking and avoids the formation of insoluble compounds between proteins and calcium salts but let's not overdo it because it steals vitamin B1 from legumes. Another trick for cooking chickpeas and legumes is to add an onion, a carrot and a stalk of celery to the cooking water, which also improves the absorption of nutrients.
Legumes and proteins: recipes
In order not to create envy and dislike, we cook a mixture of legumes with thyme. You need 100 ml of vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, 100 g of lentils, as many beans and chickpeas, 1 onion and a little fresh thyme.
Let's soak dried beans and chickpeas in two bowls for about 5 hours, then draining them while we rinsed the lentils apart. We clean the onion and garlic, chop them and prepare a sauté with them to add the legumes. We leave cook for 30 minutes in a covered pot and only when cooked, add fresh thyme. If we want to skip the soup, let's do it for cooking purposes to avoid too crunchy chickpeas.
Those who want to indulge themselves and explore the possible combinations of legumes and proteins, can browse the book Legumes, vegetable proteins, by Alberto Fiorito, full of recipes but also of advice and information on what we eat.
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