A flower as protein source

Lupins adorn many gardens and can bloom even on barren highway embankments and mountain slopes. But did you know that you can also eat the seeds of lupins? Until recently, lupin was relatively unknown as an agricultural crop. But for some time now, lupins are being cultivated as a legume.

Beautiful lupins in a field

Alternative food source for animals and humans

Lupins originated from South America. For 3,000 years they have been cultivated in Europe as food for animals and humans. However, because lupin harvests yield less than that of grain and rapeseed, cultivation is limited. Lupins are also not used as animal feed in conventional agriculture because imported soy is cheaper. For organic farms, however, lupins are a stroke of luck, because organic farms have to produce half of their feed themselves. Lupin, which is rich in protein, fits well into this concept. Above all, unlike imported corn and soy, it is GMO-free. Lupins also improve soil quality, because the bacteria found at their root nodules can bind nitrogen and thus render artificial fertilization superfluous.

Good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans

The lupin legume contains about 40 percent protein, including all essential amino acids, as well as important minerals and lots of fiber. Lupin seeds are free of cholesterol, low in calories and also contain few uric acid-forming purines. This is why lupin makes an interesting protein alternative, especially for people with gout. The legume is also gluten-free and therefore the products made from it serve as an alternative for those with gluten intolerance. Lupins are comparable in protein content to soy. However, unlike soy, lupin does not contain phytoestrogens. Pytoestrogens are hormone-like ingredients that are said to be beneficial for menopausal women. However, not all their health effects are seen in a positive light.

How to find lupin products

Lupin products can not yet easily be found in all supermarkets. But health food stores offer different versions. Lupins can be found sold as beans, flour, in lupin burgers, and also as products similar to tofu. More and more gluten-free products include lupin (also spelled lupine) on the ingredient list, such as in biscuits, bread or ready-made dough. So it may well be that you have already eaten products containing lupin without knowing it. Especially in France are lupin beans very popular as a snack.

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