Improving Nutrition and Health

nutrition

Grain legumes are rich in protein, oil and micronutrients such as iron and zinc – all of which tend to be deficient in the diets of the poor. They supply amino acids that are deficient in cereals, sharply raising protein quality when eaten together (yet another synergistic benefit). High iron and zinc content is especially beneficial for women and children at risk of anemia. The exceptional palatability of grain legumes is also important: severely malnourished children tend to lose their appetites, so the World Food Programme uses peanut butter and chickpea pastes as base ingredients in emergency famine relief foods. Legumes also contain bioactive compounds that show some evidence of helping to combat cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Grain Legumes

Grain Legumes is a partnership among four CGIAR Research Institutes: ICRISAT as lead center, CIAT, ICARDA and IITA, along with several public and private institutes and organizations, governments, and farmers worldwide.

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Grain Legumes