A number of different factors can affect the digestion of legume protein. Those factors include the processing methods used to prepare legumes. For example, the soaking process used in the production of beans is not always ideal. Similarly, the thermal treatment used in the production of pulses and other legumes has undesirable effects on the protein content of the product. Other factors that influence protein digestibility are anti-nutritional factors, such as lectins and tannins.
A variety of other benefits of legumes include their versatility and low cost. Legumes are an excellent source of fiber and protein. They contain more than 10% of the Daily Value (DV) for certain vitamins and minerals. They're inexpensive, widely available, and environmentally friendly. The only drawbacks are the negative effects of certain compounds in raw legumes. These compounds interfere with digestion and absorption of other nutrients. So, it's important to make sure you are consuming only healthy legumes.
Interestingly, the degree of IVPD varies with different cooking methods. Cooking beans, lentils, and soy protein, for example, may be more beneficial than raw legumes. Cooking, however, has many other disadvantages. While baked beans may contain a lower percentage of proteins than raw legumes, they may contain higher levels of the necessary amino acids to support digestive functions. A higher content of protein is necessary for optimal health.
Recent research shows that a diet rich in legumes can help manage blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Its high-fiber content and slow digesting properties may help in regulating insulin and plasma glucose levels. Research has also linked legume fiber intake to a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of metabolic problems including high blood pressure and diabetes. These findings are encouraging, and we should continue to eat legumes.
Studies have suggested that eating beans is associated with reduced systolic blood pressure, increased fiber intake, and decreased body weight. Interestingly, eating legumes on a regular basis is associated with a reduction in waist circumference and lower body weight. Ledikwe JH and colleagues analyzed dietary patterns in older adults from rural South Africa and found that eating legumes four times a week resulted in the largest weight loss.
Another study showed that legumes are better for people with low levels of folate and high intake of meat. The studies also showed that legumes contain folate that enhances the absorption of folate and endoysteine in humans. These findings suggest that legumes are better than meat in the long run. The phytic acid content of legumes may also cause mineral deficiencies. However, if you are not eating a lot of meat, then eating less of them will not hurt you.
The most popular pre-processing method used to prepare legumes is soaking. Soaking depends on the type of legume, the amount of water used, and the temperature of the soaking water. Soaking time varies from one legume to another, but generally lasts for between twenty and forty minutes. Traditional cooking is another thermal processing method. Legumes are placed in water that is either surplus or boiling.