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Is Lupin The Next Superfood?


Submitted by Kim Allison
Posted on 20 Mar, 2016


Is Lupin The Next Superfood
Lupin was first introduced into Australia in the 1960s to help crop rotation cycles and return nitrogen to the soil. Lupin grains left over from this process usually goes to feed sheep and cattle. Research is uncovering the potential health benefits of lupin grains when they replace wheat in products such as bread. As more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of lupin, its demand globally is starting to pick up.

 

Nutritionally Speaking

Nutritionally, lupin offers the following:

  • Lupin is 40 to 45 per cent protein, one of the highest sources of plant proteins available. That’s almost four (4) times higher than whole grain wheat.
  • 25 to 30 per cent dietary fibre. It’s high protein and fibre composition places it very low on the Glycemic Index.
  • High in essential amino acids, cholesterol free and contain negligible amounts of trypsin inhibitors (known to interfere with digestion) often found in other legumes.
  • Very low in lectins and saponins (two known gastric irritants), the latter of which afflicts the soybean even after extensive baking and processing;

Lupin is easily digestible with high bio-availability of essential nutrients and minerals. it has little or no starch and it’s low in oil. Put this together and it may be a natural weapon against obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin insensitivity – all risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

 

Heart Related Benefits

Research suggests lupin has real potential for being a functional food. In one study, a group of overweight and obese people were divided into those who ate lupin-enriched bread, biscuits and pasta or into a control group that ate wholemeal versions of these foods. At the end of the study, the lupin group had significantly lower blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity.

 

Weight Loss

Lupin-enriched foods also helped with appetite control. A study at the University of Western Australia found people who had lupin bread for breakfast ate up to 20 per cent less for lunch than people who ate white bread for breakfast. When people eat lupin-enriched bread they feel fuller more quickly and that fullness lasts, so people eat less at their next meal, too.

 

Precautions

People should be wary of possible allergies when trying lupin-enriched foods. Lupin falls into the nut family so err on the cautious side if you have a history of allergic reactions, particularly to peanuts.

 

Final Word

The research is promising. Lupin appears to be a naturally healthy food, similar to other high-fibre, low-GI carbohydrates such as wholegrain flour and brown rice. The problem is lupin is not readily available at the moment.

*If you are interested in buying lupin flour, you may get it here.

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