[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Even though they are part of our culinary heritage, beans, chickpeas and lentils are still too often forgotten on our menus. Their nutritional qualities are however recognized.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
What are dried vegetables?
Dried vegetables, also called legumes, are a whole family of starchy foods which are seeds like:
- Beans (black, red, white, aduki, etc.);
- Lentils (brown, green, coral, etc.);
- Peas (chicks, split);
- Beans ;
- All soy varieties.
And all these dried vegetables have interesting nutritional values for health in common, so much so that they were included in the dietary recommendations published in January 2017 by the French Food Agency (ANSES).
What do these dried vegetables bring us that is so interesting for our health?
First of all, it is an interesting alternative to animal proteins. In fact, accompanied by cereals such as rice or pasta, dried vegetables will provide proteins as high quality as those provided by meat, but without the bad fats!
Dried vegetables also have the advantage of being rich in fiber, which has a beneficial role in intestinal transit but also in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, certain (colorectal) cancers, overweight and obesity.
Finally, their iron content is very interesting.
On the other hand, you must remember to accompany dried vegetables with vitamin C during the meal, that is to say you must accompany them with raw vegetables or lemon juice for example in order to facilitate the absorption of this vegetable iron.
Vegetarians and vegans will find something to suit them.
Some health benefits of dried vegetables:
Dried vegetables make you gain weight, true or not?
No, pulses do not make you gain weight.
But I know why many people have this preconceived idea in mind: dried vegetables are part of the starchy family, known to cause weight gain.
However, starchy foods do not cause weight gain at reasonable consumption, and moreover, dried vegetables have the additional advantage of providing fiber, which helps limit the “storage” of fats and “stuffs” you (this called satiety).
So yes, dried vegetables contain sugars but they are useful sugars for us, because they serve as fuel for our body, which is not the case for the sugars found in sweets, for example, which , can promote weight gain.
And in addition to the satiety effect that I have just mentioned, their fiber intake has other beneficial effects such as:
- Lower cholesterol levels;
- The drop in blood sugar, that is to say the sugar level in the blood;
- They are naturally gluten-free, practical for those with intolerances.
Are dried vegetables not very digestible after all?
Well, you should know that regular consumption of dried vegetables reduces bloating, on the contrary! And yes! I explain to you.
In fact, we must already understand that the fibers that make up dried vegetables ferment in the colon, under the action of bacteria, and this is what produces flatulence.
And although uncomfortable, this fermentation mechanism is positive because it promotes transit.
But fortunately, and this is less generally known, the act of eating regularly fiber and practicing physical activity sustainably increases gas absorption capacity, thus reducing flatulence.
But if, despite everything, you systematically experience digestive discomfort when you eat dried vegetables, there are little tips to limit the intestinal gas that occurs when digesting dried vegetables:
- The day before, soak the dried vegetables in a bowl of cold water. As soon as the water becomes a little cloudy, don’t hesitate to change it.
- Then cook in 2 stages : when the water in which we cook our lentils or chickpeas comes to a boil, presto, we change it!
- Another excellent tip to avoid bloating and flatulence after a meal rich in dried vegetables is to cook legumes with spices and aromatics such as cumin, cardamom, fennel or rosemary. These spices and herbs prevent the creation of gas in the intestine.
- Last tip to facilitate the digestion of dried vegetables: add, before immersing them in water, a tablespoon of baking soda. In addition to making their digestion much better, it will also speed up their cooking!
To sum up
- Dried vegetables are a source of protein;
- They are rich in fiber and iron;
- They don’t make you gain weight.