Compared to other types of dried beans, lentils are relatively quick
and easy to prepare. They readily absorb a variety of wonderful flavors
from other foods and seasonings, are high in nutritional value and are
available throughout the year.
Lentils are legumes along with other types of beans. They grow in
pods that contain either one or two lentil seeds that are round, oval or
heart-shaped disks and are oftentimes smaller than the tip of a pencil
eraser. They may be sold whole or split into halves with the brown and
green varieties being the best at retaining their shape after cooking.
Lentils are used in soups, stews and the Indian dish known as dal.
Lentils eaten with rice are a common meat substitute in India, as they
contain high amounts of protein as well as iron, phosphorus, calcium and
vitamins A and B. The French, on the other hand, like to pair lentils
with smoked pork sausage or bacon lardons.
Benefits of Lentiles
Lentils are low in calories and high in nutrition. Eating them at
least once a week is a great way to add the health benefits of these
tasty legumes to your diet.
Studies have found that people who eat high fiber legumes like
lentils have a much reduced risk of heart disease. The high levels of
folate and magnesium in lentils also go a long way in protecting the
Stabilize Blood Sugar
Due to their high fiber content, lentils help in regulating blood
sugar by providing steady, slow-burning energy and balancing blood sugar
High in Iron
Lentils are loaded with iron and are a great way to replenish the body’s iron stores, especially for people who don’t eat red meat like vegans and vegetarians.
Lentils are a great source of B vitamins, most notably folate and niacin (B3). B vitamins are important for the healthy functioning of the nervous, digestive, and immune systems.
Lentils are a great cholesterol lowering food due to their high levels of fiber.
Protein makes up 26% of the calories in lentils and they have the third highest level of protein than any other plant food. It’s no wonder that they’re a staple in many parts of the world.
Health Benefits of Lentils
good for digestion
help stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day (good for diabetes)
reduce bad cholesterol levels
healthy functioning of nervous system
help prevent cancer
reduce risk of heart disease
may help prevent irritable bowl syndrome (IBS)
strengthen immune system
A lentil has a great source of B vitamins, niacin vitamin B3, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin C.
One important vitamin lentil is deficient in is vitamin B12, which is found in dairy products and meat. If you don’t consume either of these food groups, then you would be better off taking it in supplement form.