Legumes are power packs: protein content is outstanding
Lentil soup or pea puree has long been frowned upon as poor people's food. But that is now a thing of the past. A constantly growing range of products, new forms of preparation and refined recipes have paved the way for lentils, peas and all other legumes in households and gastronomy. The health values of legumes have played the door opener many times.
The more or less small plant seeds ripened in a pod are real powerhouses. They provide the body with plenty of carbohydrates, valuable fiber and minerals, as well as vitamins, especially B vitamins. However, the protein content of the legumes is outstanding: in the dried state, the protein content is between 20 and 35 percent. In ready-to-eat beans, peas and lentils, it is still five to ten percent. This makes them important building blocks in daily nutrition, especially for vegetarians. The protein requirement cannot be covered exclusively by legumes, since these do not contain all essential amino acids. But in combination with cereals, for example, this small disadvantage can be easily remedied.
The soybean plays a special role in several respects: with a protein content of almost 40 percent when dried, it is the clear leader among legumes. At the same time, in contrast to all of her relatives, she also delivers fat to a significant extent, namely a 20 percent fat percentage. Its composition is particularly favorable with a high proportion of omega-3 fatty acids and other polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, the fat is also noticeable in the calorie content. At around 70 kilocalories per 100 grams, it is about twice as high as the other legumes.
The soybean was cultivated in China as early as 2,800 BC. But it was only in the 17th and 18th centuries that the heat-loving plant reached Europe and America via Indonesia, India and North Africa. Around three quarters of all soybeans are produced there. Eva Neumann, aid