Nutritional Quality, Processing and Potential Health Benefits
Maria Ángeles Martín-Cabrejas, Ryszard Amarowicz, Isabel Ferreira, Vanesa Benitez, Elvira De Mejia
Legumes have high potential for improving the nutritional quality of foods, but limited data on their bioactive compounds exists. Results of clinical and epidemiological studies suggest that natural antioxidants can protect us against oxidative stress that is closely associated with cancer and cardiovascular disease. Legumes are a valuable source of bioactive compounds such as phenolic compounds, peptides and non-nutritional factors. They are rich in several important micronutrients, including potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and zinc, and are an important source of protein in vegetarian diets. They are among the only plant foods that provide significant amounts of the amino acid, lysine. Commonly consumed legumes are also rich in total and soluble fibre as well as in resistant starch.
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the antioxidant activity and health aspects of legumes. The international spread of contributors will describe the key factors that influence consumer acceptance of legumes in the diet, as well as the known functional properties of legumes and legume based food products. It will serve as an excellent and up-to-date reference for food scientists, food chemists, researchers in human nutrition, dietetics and the chemistry of natural compounds.