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Grains, bread, potatoes, legumes, nuts and seeds.    Play Audio


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General information
Legumes
Grains and cereals
Keywords

Grains, cereals, bread, potatoes, legumes, nuts, seeds, carbohydrates, frequent consumption

Author

ROS

Level

Basic

Grains, bread, potatoes, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Description
The Mediterranean Diet increases the daily consumption of grains, cereals, vegetables (plant-based foods) and fruits, easily cooking and dressing with olive oil and herbs.

Legumes /beans are large, fleshy, colorful plant seeds. There are a wide range of types of legumes such as soy, peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, beans, chia.

It should be highlighted that the consumption of legumes has been drastically decreased since the 1970s. However, legumes are qualified as superfood by United Nations (UN), based on the following reasons:

*From a nutritional point of view legumes provide complex carbohydrates that fuel the body with energy. They are relatively low in fat and provide satiety due to they present a high content of fiber. Legumes are an important source of plant protein (20-30%), important for the muscles and tissues building processes. Combining with other products as cereals turns into a very interesting and nutritive product. B-vitamins, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc are also presented in legumes and beans.

*From an environmental point of view, it is considered a cheaper and long-term sustainable cultivation/crop, non-demanding water crops and drought resistant as well as heat/frost tolerant and less carbon footprint.

*Legumes are relatively low-cost products and are easy to find. Moreover, they present endless culinary applications. Soft and earthy-flavored, legumes can be eaten in many ways, they are suitable for hot brews, ideal for the winter, as well as in cold salads. Nowadays, they are used in bakery (chickpeas flour, peanut powder) as well as pasta or event presented as snacks, ideal for kids.

Grains and cereals, (for example oatmeal, buckwheat, millet, whole rye, corn, spelt, bulgur, barley, brown rice) are rich in complex carbohydrate, mostly starch, providing the energy that fuels the body. Moreover, gluten may also be present in these products.

It is also essential to choose whole grains instead of refined grains which are stripped of valuable nutrients in the refining process.

Products such as pasta, bread, flours and some kind of biscuits are products mainly derived therefrom.
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Benefits
A lot of benefits related to health can be listed for grains and cereals, especially, wholegrain.
Since it is a good source of fiber, it leads to a reduction of risk hearts disease, the improvement of digestive processes, it also provides satiety (high rich in protein so it can be considered as a ally to weight management.

Wholemeal bread milder effect on blood sugar and insulin than white bread, white rice, and other refined grains

Legumes are a good source of fiber reducing the risk of suffering heart diseases, they also improve digestive processes and provide satiety. They are relatively affordable products and present an endless culinary application. Combining with other products as cereals turn into a very interesting and nutritive product.

Furthermore, legumes are gluten free, making them suitable for consumption by celiac disease patients or individuals sensitive to proteins gliadin and glutenin.
Representative Products
Grains and cereal (oatmeals, buckwheat, millet, whole rye, corn, spelt, bulgur, barley, brown rice), potatoes (russet (starchy), sweet potatoes, red potatoes (waxy), white and yellow potatoes (all- purpose), legumes (peas, chickpeas, puy lentils, brown lentils, black beluga lentils, red lentils, kidney beans), nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, cashews).
Risks
There are some risks of intolerances and allergy reactions related to the consumption of:

Gluten which is a protein generally presented in grains: several conditions relate to gluten, including celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy.

Allergies can also be very severe, and tree nut allergies, usually a lifelong condition, are responsible for anaphylaxis-related deaths. Risk of choking in children under 5 years.

In cereals and grains, weevils may appear, a specie of beetle very common in these products

Further references
- https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/know-your-food-groups
- https://www.intechopen.com/books/functional-food-improve-health-through-adequate-food/the-role-of-legumes-in-human-nutrition
- https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/Nuts-and-seeds
- https://www.potatogoodness.com/

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