Legumes are a type of vegetable that includes beans, peas and lentils and are among the most nutritious foods available. According to the Mayo Clinic, legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, iron, magnesium and potassium. They are a great source of protein and can be a healthy substitute for meat. Soak legumes in water before cooking to enjoy an array of health benefits.
Ayurveda practitioner, Dr Dixa Bhavsar Savaliya in a post shared that soaking legumes improve digestion and nutrition absorption. “Well soaking them improves their digestion and nutrition absorption. That’s the main reason why we eat them right? We want nutrition. So if you want to absorb optimum nutrition- soaking is best option,” she wrote on her Instagram handle.
Dr Savaliya then laid down the benefits of soaking legume and said that it brings prana (life) into the legume. She added that soaking it in water removes the phytic acid and ‘tannins’ (tannic acid) from the legumes. These two components block the absorption of nutrition from it and cause bloating.
“That’s the reason why most of the people feel bloated/have gastric trouble after eating heavy legumes like rajma,” she added.
She also stated that soaking the legumes also reduces their cooking time and the best time to consume them is during lunch. She continued and said that the best option of soaking them is overnight and additionally mentioned the soaking time of the various types of leguminous plants which are as followed:
1. Pulses like Moong, Tuvar, Massor, Urad dal – from 8 to12 hours
2. Split Dals- 6 to 8 hours
3. Heavy legumes like Rajma, chana/chole or chickpeas- 12 to 18 hours
Dr Savaliya further addressed the frequently asked question about what to do with the soaked water and whether to use it or drain it away.
She said that since it contains tannic and phytic acid, the soaked water shouldn’t be used. But rather than draining it away, it can be used for watering the plants at your house.