Health benefits of lupini beans include antioxidant effects, promotes proper digestion and keeps intestines healthy, aids in weight loss, reduces high blood pressure, provides essential vitamins and minerals required by the body and many more health benefits.
What are lupini beans?
Many of you might not be aware of what are lupine beans. They are also known as lupine beans or lupin beans. They are very popular in Mediterranean regions and also in certain parts of America like Latin America.
Lupini beans are a part of Lupinus genus. There are mainly 3 types of lupini beans. They are Lupinus albus, Lupinus mutabilis, and Lupinus hirsutus.They are leguminous seeds with high protein content. They are also known as Termis seeds.
In olden days, lupine beans were very popular amongst the Romans and Egyptians. Nowadays, these beans are eaten by people belonging to Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Brazil and the countries of Middle East and also in Latin American countries.
Lupini beans nutrition facts:
Lupini beans are rich in many types of vitamins and minerals which are crucial for the normal functioning of the body. They area also a rich source of protein which are the building blocks of the body. Let us look at all the nutrients that are present in lupine beans.
Lupini beans nutritional value (Per 1 cup or 166 g):
- Water: 117.99 g
- Energy: 198 kcal
- Proteins: 25.85 g
- Total carbohydrates: 16.40 g
- Total dietary fiber: 4.6 g
- Total fats: 4.85 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g
- Total trans fatty acids: 0 g
- Total saturated fatty acids: 0.574 g
- Total monounsaturated fatty acids: 1.959 g
- Total polyunsaturated fatty acids: 1.212 g
- Vitamin A (RAE): 0 µg
- Vitamin A (IU): 12 IU
- Vitamin B1 or Thiamine: 0.222 mg
- Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin: 0.088 mg
- Vitamin B3 or Niacin: 0.822 mg
- Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine: 0.015 mg
- Vitamin B9 or folic acid (DFE): 98 µg
- Vitamin B12 or Cyanocobalamin: 0 µg
- Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid: 1.8 mg
- Vitamin D (D2 + D3): 0 µg
- Vitamin D (IU): 0 IU
- Calcium (Ca): 85 mg
- Iron (Fe): 1.99 mg
- Magnesium (Mg): 90 mg
- Phosphorus (P): 212 mg
- Potassium (K): 407 mg
- Sodium (Na): 7 mg
- Zinc (Zn): 2.29 mg
Health benefits of lupini beans:
1. Lowers cholesterol:
According to a study, conglutin ɣ which is found in lupine beans protein extract helps in lowering the circulating cholesterol in animal studies.
In another study conducted to study the effects of lupin protein on various parameters of lipid profile, it was concluded that total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerols, homocysteine, uric acid decreased significantly after consumption of lupin protein in comparison to people who consumed milk protein extracts.
Some of these lipid-lowering qualities of lupin proteins can be attributed to the high arginine content of these lupine beans. The lupin kernel fiber has also been reported to reduce the lipid level in the body due to its ability to form short chain fatty acids like propionate and acetate.
The lupin protein isolate also increased the HDL cholesterol content in the blood. This is a helpful fat or lipid which protects our body from heart ailments like heart attack and atherosclerosis.
2. Good for Diabetes:
A study was conducted to study the efficacy of lupine beans for people suffering from Diabetes. The researchers noted that the supplementation of lupin protein rich diet in Diabetic individuals lowered the levels of blood glucose and many types of fats like LDL cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and triglycerides.
Lupin seeds protein extract also increased the levels of insulin which is very crucial for maintaining a proper balance of blood sugar levels in the body.
They also reduced the oxidative stress in the body and normalized the levels of liver enzymes like AST, ALT which are in abnormal levels in these Diabetic people. Lupini beans help in the prevention of complications of Diabetes.
3. Lower high blood pressure or hypertension:
Hypertension is caused by many different reasons like an abnormality in the innermost lining of the blood vessels called endothelium, kidney diseases, excess sodium in the body, etc. The lupin protein extracts have shown to correct the vascular endothelium dysfunction.
This help in proper relaxation of the blood vessels, which assist in lowering the high blood pressure. Hypertension leads to heart attack, stroke, paralysis, eye impairment, etc. Now we are protected from all these complications of hypertension if we eat lupine beans regularly.
4. Protects the heart:
Our heart can suffer from many ailments like atherosclerosis, heart attack or myocardial infarction and heart failure. High blood pressure, high blood sugar levels or diabetes, high cholesterol levels or hypercholesterolemia are the main culprits behind the development of heart diseases.
According to a study conducted on animal subjects, lupin protein extracts have shown to reduce the progression of atherosclerotic lesions. They also reduce the high blood sugar, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels which are the risk factors for heart diseases.
Due to a reduction of risk factors and also a reduction in the progression of atherosclerosis, our heart remains healthy. Also, lupine beans provide adequate nutritional supply with the required vitamins and minerals to keep the heart healthy.
5. Help in weight loss:
The high fiber content of the lupine beans makes a person remain satiated for a longer period of time. As a result, the people who consume lupine beans eat a lesser quantity of other foods in their meals.
This has resulted in significant weight loss among these people. Also, there has been a reduction in the waist circumference and body mass index or BMI as per the study.
6. Possess antioxidant activity:
A study was conducted on the Australian sweet lupin seeds or lupine beans to study their free radical scavenging ability. It was noted that these lupine beans contain many phenolic compounds and phytosterols which have the ability to fight harmful free radicals.
The lupine beans which were germinated for 9 days were noted to have a higher degree of antioxidant substances. The main antioxidants in the germinated lupine beans are phytosterols like β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol.
These phytosterols fight free radicals more efficiently than the non-germinated lupine beans. Another variety of lupine beans called lupines texensis was examined for its antioxidant substances. It has almost 17 flavonoids which have high levels of antioxidant ability.
The antioxidants in the lupine beans extracts protect our organs like heart, brain, liver, kidneys and also skin. They prevent premature aging.
7. Make intestines healthy:
In order to be energetic and have a good health, we need to have a good digestive system or intestine. We need to eat foods that promote the growth of helpful intestinal bacteria. These foods are called prebiotics and probiotics.
Lupini kernel fiber has shown to promote the growth of helpful intestinal bacteria like bifidobacteria. They also reduce the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria like Clostridium (Eg: Clostridium ramosum, C. spiroforme, and C. cochleatum).
If a proper balance of intestinal or gut microbiota is maintained, we suffer from disorders like dysentery, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome less often.
8. Reduce colon cancer risk:
The lupine beans are rich in dietary fiber. They relieve us from constipation and flush out the fecal matter from the bowel. They maintain the health of the bowel very well.
Accumulation of fecal matter in the colon for a prolonged period leads to the production of toxins, the growth of harmful microbes, etc which increase the risk of colon cancer. As the lupine kernel fiber maintain the health of bowel and helps us excrete feces efficiently, the risk of colon cancer is reduced significantly.
9. Strengthen bones:
Maintaining the health of bones is very important to avoid suffering from problems like osteoporosis, fractures, etc. Two main minerals which are required to make the bones strong and healthy are calcium and phosphorus.
Both calcium and phosphorus are present in an abundant amount in lupine beans. They work together and make our bones and teeth healthy. About 85% of phosphorus is present in our bones and teeth. A cup of lupine beans has 85 mg of calcium and 212 mg of phosphorus which strengthen our bones.
10. Rich source of protein:
1 cup of lupine beans contains 26 grams of protein which is very high as these seeds belong to legumes which are highly proteinaceous. Proteins are the building blocks of our body. We need proteins for the formation of cells and tissue of all the body parts.
All the hormones and enzymes in the body are made up of proteins. So, an adequate amount of proteins is required to regulate the metabolic processes in the body. Lupini beans being rich in proteins help in building healthy cells and tissues and carrying out metabolic processes efficiently.
11. Boost immunity:
We need a healthy immune system to fight all the infections. We need to take a good diet rich in vitamins and minerals to strengthen our immune system.
Lupini beans contain all the essential minerals and vitamins like vitamin A, B complex, vitamin C which make our immune system strong. Vitamin C content of lupine beans also makes our immune system strong and capable of fighting infections like colds and flu.
The high protein content of lupine beans also ensures that the antibodies or immunoglobulins that fight harmful microbes like bacteria are synthesized properly.
12. Benefits of lupini beans for skin:
Lupini beans are rich in antioxidants that fight the harmful free radicals. Free radicals can damage the skin and lead to premature aging. Free radicals lead to the development of age-related changes like age spots, wrinkles and fine lines at a young age.
The antioxidant content of lupine beans prevents early aging. It also reverses the signs of aging like wrinkles. Also, the vitamins and minerals in these beans nourish the skin and make it healthy and glowing.
13. Benefits of lupini beans for hair:
Our hair is made of proteins. So, high proteins content of lupine beans helps in the formation of healthy hair structure. The high protein content of these beans also makes the hair strong, thick and difficult to break or fall down.
Our hair also needs an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals for healthy growth. Lupini beans have all the required nutrients to promote healthy hair growth. They nourish the hair very well.
14. Treat anemia:
Lupini beans have a good amount of iron which helps in the formation of hemoglobin. The vitamin C content of these beans also helps in promoting the absorption of iron and the formation of hemoglobin.
Anemia causes many problems like fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor of the skin, etc. Lupini beans help in treating anemia to some extent and help to relieve us from these symptoms.
15. Relieve constipation:
High fiber content of lupini beans ensures that the stool in the gut absorbs water from the body and becomes soft. Dietary fiber helps in easy passage of stool through the gut. Relief from constipation prevents complications of constipation like anal fissure and hemorrhoids or piles.
Lupini beans side effects:
1. Lupin poisoning:
The alkaloids present in the lupini beans are poisonous and not good for health. We need to soak the beans properly to get rid of alkaloids in it.
Improperly soaked lupine beans retain the alkaloids which lead to lupin poisoning. These alkaloids have anticholinergic properties and so the symptoms of lupin poisoning resemble that of anticholinergic system functions.
Symptoms of lupin poisoning:
- Dilated pupils or mydriasis
- Alteration of mental status (confusion and disorientation)
- Slurred speech or altered speech
- Uncoordinated movements of the body
- Tachycardia or fast heart beat
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Tremors or shaking movements in the body
- Giddiness or dizziness
- Dryness of mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Uneasiness or malaise
In order to avoid suffering from lupin poisoning, always make sure you soak the lupine beans for sufficient time so that you can get rid of the anticholinergic alkaloids in it.
2. Mycotoxic lupinosis:
Sometimes a fungus called Diaporthe toxica infects the lupine beans. If we consume the beans without knowing about the fungal infestation, we develop a condition called mycotoxic lupinosis.
In this condition our internal organs like liver are damaged by the fungal toxins produced by Diaporthe toxica.
The most important fungal toxins or mycotoxins produced by this fungus that damage our body are phomopsins.
In order to avoid consuming lupine beans with a fungal infection, always ensure that you buy the freshest lupine beans that are not stored from prolonged time.
Anaphylaxis is the hypersensitivity reaction produced in some people in reaction to certain substances to which they are allergic.
This is a life-threatening condition. It can lead to symptoms like reduced blood pressure or hypotension, difficulty breathing, wheezing, stridor, swelling of lips and areas around the eyes or periorbital region, etc.
If you experience any such symptoms after eating lupine beans, you need to cal emergency immediately. You will have to take an intramuscular injection of Epipen or epinephrine immediately. If not you might even end up losing your life.
It can also cause a minor allergic reaction with itchy rash or urticaria all over the body. You will need to take antihistaminic tablets to treat this condition and also avoid eating lupine beans in the future.
You have seen all the health benefits of lupine beans. Have you ever eaten them? What is your recipe with lupine beans? Do you know anyone who has suffered due to side effects of lupine beans? Share your experience with us.