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Legumes are preferred mostly by vegans as high protein food group, but also everyone even prepared with meat. We can find it in the market boiled and canned, but if we buy it in dry form, we have to soak or cook under high pressure before consuming. This method is traditionally applied by our elders as well. But what's the reason?

Legumes contain some food components that can be harmful to the body when taken in high amounts. These components can cause problems such as bloating, vomiting, diarrhea and more advanced levels of autoimmune diseases, and difficulty in absorbing sugar as a mildly harmful dose. For example, the protein called lectin makes it difficult and prevents to digest the foods you eat, especially carbohydrates, reaching your cells. Another component, phytic acid, makes it difficult to absorb minerals such as magnesium, iron, and causes diseases such as anemia, osteoporosis, etc. However, an important feature of these components is their water-solubility and low resistance to heat. Therefore, soaking in water overnight can reduce the content of these components. When they are cooked, heat also breaks down these components significantly due to the effect of high temperature.

On the other hand, it is stated that a certain amount of lectin and phytic acid intake is beneficial for health. Lectin delays the absorption of sugar, prevents insulin fluctuation, provides long-term satiety and is used in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes. It is known that phytic acid destroys harmful cells, especially cancer cells, and prevents the formation of kidney stones. Moreover, the high fiber content in legumes is also important for gut health and weight control.

soyaBefore we finish our article, it must be stated that these components are not only found in legumes. They are present in almost all plant based products with different amounts, from green leafy vegetables to tomatoes, wheat and oats. Plants produce these ingredients to protect the seed - in a way. In addition to cooking and soaking, sprouting is also a way to eliminate these ingredients. In other words fermenting is one of the ways to consume the food in a healthy way.