Legumes: rich in nutrients and fibers

Food Resources: the importance of legumes

The 2016 has been declared, by the UN / FAO, the international year of legumes. These include beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, soybeans, beans, as well as many local varieties of legumes.

The challenges that humanity will face in the coming years will be to provide sustainable food resources for the environment and for the entire world population aging, with a load of chronic degenerative diseases on the rise.

As stated by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon: “legumes may contribute significantly to addressing hunger, food security, malnutrition, environmental challenges and human health“.

This food category characterizes the basis of the Mediterranean diet, representing an important source of nutrients and fibers.

The NUTRI-lipidomic recipe
Spring barley

The daily recipe regards the fava (broad) beans, typical of the spring season and characteristics of Italian cuisine in various regions, particularly South and the Islands. These crops, as the peas, should not be consumed by those who presents the hereditary enzyme defect called “favismo”.

An easy preparation recipe is suitable for all* and represents a full plate to which combine raw or cooked vegetables or, reducing the amount, a first plate to which to follow a small second protein with vegetables.

It is a dish that gives satiety and is also suitable for those who must monitor blood sugar spikes and to those who have high cholesterol problems, thanks to the presence of beta glucans in barley.

* Contains gluten.

Ingredients (per 2 people)

  • Pearl barley (120 g)
  • Fava beans (120 g, about 400 g with the pods)
  • Onion (n. 1) or onions (n. 2)
  • Parsley (a few tufts)
  • Turmeric (1 tsp)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Vegetable broth


Chop the onion and fry in a pan with oil. Meanwhile, prepare a vegetable broth. After a few minutes add to the pan with the onions beans, turmeric, a pinch of salt; cook covered over low heat 8-10 minutes.

Add the barley stirring for a few minutes. Then add the hot broth in several occasions, mix everything and cook for about 30-35 minutes (total). Dispense the addition of broth to have a final creamy and not dry result. At the end, add the chopped parsley and some raw fava beans.

Article by:
Nutritionist Dr. Francesco Bonucci

The diet tips, written in the article, are not intended to be a substitute for a personal nutrition plan and are to be adapted to specific cases.

Photo: 123RF Archivio Fotografico | ©Antimo Andriani, 49968262, 2017-04-20 | ©Claudio Ventrella, 20786926, 2017-04-20

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