The potential health benefits of legumes as a good source of dietary fibre

Department of Science and Technology, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Gen Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City, Metro Manila 1631, Philippines.
The British journal of nutrition (Impact Factor: 3.45). 10/2009; 103(4):569-74. DOI: 10.1017/S0007114509992157
Source: PubMed


Dietary fibre has been shown to have important health implications in the prevention of risks of chronic diseases. The objective of the present study was to determine the potential health benefits of legumes as a good source of dietary fibre. Six to ten local legumes were studied as follows: cowpeas, mung beans, pole sitao, chickpeas, green peas, groundnuts, pigeon peas, kidney beans, lima beans and soyabeans. The following studies were conducted: (a) mineral availability, in vitro; (b) glycaemic index (GI) in non-diabetic and diabetic human subjects; (c) the cholesterol-lowering effect in human subjects with moderately raised serum cholesterol levels. The highest Fe availability among legumes was for lima beans (9.5 (sem 0.1)) while for Zn and Ca, the highest availability was for kidney beans (49.3 (sem 4.5)) and pigeon peas (75.1 (sem 7.1)), respectively. Groundnuts have the lowest Fe (1.3 (sem 1.1)), Zn (7.9 (sem 1.3)) and Ca (14.6 (sem 2.8)) availability. Legumes are low-GI foods ( < 55), ranging from 6 (chickpeas) to 13 (mung beans). Kidney beans showed significant reductions for both total (6 %) and LDL-cholesterol (9 %), and groundnuts for total cholesterol (7 %; P < 0.05). We conclude that mineral availability from legumes differs and may be attributed to their mineral content, mineral-mineral interaction and from their phytic and tannic acid content; legumes are considered low-GI foods and have shown potential hypocholesterolaemic effects. The above studies can be a scientific basis for considering legumes as functional foods.

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    • "The positive association between the food group of fats and oils and n-3 PUFA intake with lipid profile may be related to the fact that this group included all kinds of fats, even olive and soy oils, which are known to contain n-3 PUFA. According to the Familiar Budget Survey 2008-2009 [12], beans and rice are the most consumed food in Brazil, leading us to speculate that the correlation of n-3 PUFA intake with the food groups of both vegetable proteins and refined cereals are a consequence of the habit of eating rice and beans, which are considered healthy for their amino acids [47] and fiber [48] supply and also for being usually followed by a portion of meat or chicken and vegetables [49]. "
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    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Nutrition research
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    • "Legumes also provide carbohydrates, dietary fibre, some B-vitamins, in particular thiamin and niacin. They are also a good source of A. Ali et al. certain important minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc (Grusak, 2002; Trinidad et al., 2009). Legumes have low glycemic index and therefore can help to improve the glycemic control, diabetes and coronary heart diseases (Flight and Clifton, 2006). "
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation
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    • "Many publications show that consumption of foods rich in bioactive compounds also called functional foods reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, obesity, macular degeneration and colon and rectal cancers. Moreover, the consumption of these phytochemicals appears to mitigate the effects of diabetes, reduce serum cholesterol level and promote bowel movement (Chang and Liu, 2009; Figuerola et al., 2008; Morais et al., 2002; Trinidad et al., 2009). Due to the close relationship between food and health, it is very interesting to direct future research towards the study and use of foods rich in bioactive compounds and to the design of new functional foods. "
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