The lupin is a plant of the legume family and a member of the genus Lupinus. The Latin name comes from the word lupus (wolf). According to a legend the roots of the plant were so deep that they depleted the soil from its nutritional elements. The white lupine (Lupinus albus) is cultivated in Messinia. Lupin beans do not mature all at once so their harvest must be done promptly to prevent losses from shattering of the pods. Planted in spring, white lupins are harvested late August to early September. Despite their great importance they have in both human and animal nutrition, lupin cultivation is quite limited today.


Lupin beans are legumes high in nutrients and low in calories. They contain little fat, mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. In terms of vitamins, lupin beans have B complex vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6) and small amounts of vitamin C, E and A with antioxidant activity. Together with chickpeas and broad beans, white lupin beans belong to the class of legumes that maintain the highest levels of phytosterols after boiling. Phytosterols are associated with significant health benefits such as the reduction of total and LDL cholesterol and thus a decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Lupins are included in the list of food allergens. Children, who have a high risk of allergies, should avoid their consumption without prior consultation with their pediatrician.

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