The fruit of Lupinus plant belonging to the Fabaceae family is a pulse which seeds are called lupines. Well known since the time of ancient Greeks and Romans, nowadays the lupines are becoming more and more popular thanks to scientific studies that have highlighted their healthful properties. The lupines are rich indeed in plant-based proteins and fibers and result, for this reason, nutritious, with a satiating power and useful to improve the bowel functionalities. Lupines are also rich in vitamins, such as A, group B and C, mineral salts, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids important to take under control the levels of cholesterol. The lupines have also a beneficial effect on the heart by helping prevent hypertension and, thanks to a protein, the conglutina, the lupines could be used to treat diabetes and insulin resistance because, as demonstrated by a study performed by a team of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Italy, and published in 2011 on the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and cardiovascular diseases, the conglutina-gamma should be able to mimic the action of insulin and fight against the accumulation of glucose in blood. Arginine, an amino-acid contained in lupines, has a healthful action on the blood vessels. In fact, the lupines improve the endothelial function by strengthening the inside walls of the blood vessels. Since these legumes don’t contain gluten they can be eaten also by those people who suffer from celiac disease, on the contrary avoid lupines if you are allergic to lupines or to peanuts because this last allergy can make you more susceptible to allergies to lupines. Lupines can be eaten after a particular procedure, in fact they should be soaked for several hours by changing often the water, then they should be boiled and then soaked again for some days because this treatment allows you to remove toxic substances such as lupaina and lupinina. The treatment of lupines is complex and takes a long time, for this reason it is better, if you don’t know exactly the procedure, to buy them ready to be eaten.
Alternatively, you can use also lupin flour for baked goods.