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Move over edamame, lupins are the new bean on the block!

Lupins (Lupenis spp.) were discovered as a food crop in Australia in the 1970’s.  They were consumed throughout history for centuries particularly in Russia and Poland. Lupins could be the new ‘superfood’ they are low in fat 5-10%, high protein 40-45 %, and 20-30 % fibre so they pack a nutritional punch! What makes these beans extra special is that they do not contain the enzymes that block nutrition in some beans such as trypsin inhibitors and saponins. 

Older research suggests that they may aid in reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood glucose, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure as well as helping to reduce weight. Due to their fibre content they are good for the bowel, lowering bowel pH and have prebiotic properties. They are also gluten free [1].

They are not a complete protein, however combined with other grains high in methionine, they will provide a complete protein with a biological value (high absorption rate) close to that of eggs [2]. 

Dr Regina Belski (La Trobe lecturer, University of Melbourne), suggests that lupin enriched bread makes people feel fuller for longer – reducing the intake of food at the next meal.  The flour can be used in pastries and cakes or any dish that requires flour [3].

 

 

References:

1. Sweetingham M, Kingwell R (2008) Lupins-Reflections and future possibilities. DAFWA. In: J.A. Palta and J.B. Berger (eds). (2008) Lupins for Health and Wealth’ Proceedings of the 12th International Lupin Conference, Fremantle, Western Australia. International Lupin Association, Canterbury, New Zealand.  

2. Sipas S (n.d.) Australian sweet lupin, Health review. Australian Lupin Processing. Online Accessed http://www.lupinfoods.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Health_Review_FitPage.pdf

3. Belski R (2013) Why lupin is Australia’s wonder food. La Trobe University. Online. Accessed http://www.latrobe.edu.au/news/articles/2013/release/why-lupin-is-australias-wonder-food