Saponins: what are they, benefits and foods that contain them
Saponins are organic compounds that are found in different plants and foods such as avena, garbanzos, frijoles and guisantes. In addition, the saponins are also found in the medicinal plant Tribulus terrestriswhich is sold as a supplement in the form of capsules, is widely used for those who want to gain muscle mass, as it facilitates muscle hypertrophy.
These compounds are part of the group of phytosterols, nutrients that provide benefits, such as reducing cholesterol, helping to control blood sugar and prevent cancer. The saponins are also attributed anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, immunostimulant, cytotoxic and antimicrobial properties.
The saponins could provide several benefits for health, which include:
1. Act as antioxidants
Saponins are powerful antioxidants that protect cells against free radicals, helping to prevent DNA changes that can lead to diseases such as cancer. In addition, its antioxidant power also reduces the formation of atheromatous plaques in blood vessels, preventing problems such as heart attack and stroke.
2. Reduce cholesterol
Saponins reduce blood and liver cholesterol levels, and reduce the absorption in the intestine of cholesterol from food. In addition, they increase the excretion of cholesterol in the ages, through the increase in the elimination of bile acids.
3. Favor weight loss
The saponins could favor weight loss because it could reduce the absorption of fat at the intestinal level, inhibiting the activity of pancreatic lipase; regulate the metabolism of las grasas and control the appetite.
4. Prevent cancer
By binding to intestinal cholesterol and preventing its oxidation, saponins are powerful nutrients in colon cancer prevention. Simism, help to strengthen the immune system and are important in the regulation of cell proliferation.
In addition, the saponins could have cytotoxic activity, stimulating the immune system and destroying malignant cells.
5. Reduce sugar in blood
The hypoglycemic action of the saponins seems to depend on different mechanisms of action such as improving the response to insulin, increasing the levels of insulin in the blood and inducing the production and release of insulin by the pancreas.
List of foods rich in saponins
The following table shows the quantity of saponins in 100 g of the main sources of food:
|Food (100g)||Saponins (mg)|
In addition, ginseng and wines are also excellent sources of saponins, especially red wines, which contain approximately 10 times more saponins than white wines. Know all the benefits of wine for health.
It is important to mention that to obtain all the benefits mentioned above, the consumption of these foods rich in saponins must be included in a balanced and healthy diet.
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