Legumes are important crops in human nutrition and considered as protein sources for low income populations due to the fact that they can be accessed at relatively lower price than animal products. In Ethiopia, the production of leguminous crops is increasing supported by generation of agricultural technologies by different research institutes. The improvement in the production is supported by pre-harvest information like agronomic characteristics, disease resistance, yield potentials and the like. Nutritional data are lacking in varietal selection for breeding and production and this is due to shortage of nutritional research in our country. Legumes contain sufficient amount of nutrients for both humans and animals. These crops are known for their significant source of protein, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and dietary minerals. In addition to their proximate value, legumes also contain other very important biochemical compounds called phytochemicals which helps in either prevention or even treatments of certain chronic problems. On the other hand, legumes also contain different compounds which impair their nutritional value after consumption. These compounds are commonly called antinutritional factors and they are known to inhibit either digestion or absorption of nutrients by human body. Some of the anti nutritional factors are known to bind the different micronutrients available and reduce the bioavailability of some important minerals. Others, bind directly to the enzyme used in digestion of foods and inhibit the digestion process. This is why legumes are sometimes considered low nutritional value crops. Hence, it is mandatory for legumes to undergo certain processing like soaking, cooking, fermentation and the like before consumption so that the level of these anti nutrients will be reduced or possibly removed.
Review on Nutritional Importance and Anti-nutritional Factors of Legumes, International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences.
Vol. 9, No. 6,
2020, pp. 138-149.
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