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vol.45 suppl.1The status of legumes in Chile: an agronomic viewHow can legume consumption be increased in the Chilean population? author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518


HIDALGO, Miltha; RODRIGUEZ, Vania  and  PORRAS, Omar. Revisiting the physiological benefits of legume consumption. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2018, vol.45, suppl.1, pp.32-44. ISSN 0717-7518.

Legumes have historically been considered a good source of proteins and fiber. Currently, there is an undeniable epidemiologic trend towards overweight and obesity; therefore, it is a priority to correct unhealthy habits. The incorporation of legumes to the daily menu, perhaps as a replacement for meat, could lead, in the short- or longterm, to a slowing in the prevalence of non-communicable chronic diseases. This work offers an updated perspective to some key constituents present in the legumes frequently consumed in the Chilean diet: beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), lentils (Lens culinaris L.), chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) and green peas (Pisum sativum L.). The effects of soaking and cooking, both simple processes widely used during its home preparation, along with digestion and fermentation, are crucial in the release of bioactive compounds at the distal portion of gastrointestinal tract, which determines its interaction with resident microbiota. In conclusion, epidemiological studies together with experimental data offer an integral view of subjacent mechanisms of nutritional impact by regular consumption of legumes.

Keywords : Legumes; Bioavailability; Microbiota; Healthy foods.

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