Lentils – Nutritional information
Lentils are a specific type of edible legume. The seeds of lentils grow in pods and usually each pot contains two seeds. The lentil is one of the earliest domesticated crops with origin in South Asia. These seeds contain plenty of proteins and a lot of fibers. They are like the smaller brother of the beans and can be green, brown, red or black. Lentils can be easily cooked and are cheap to buy. They protect the health of the heart and provide plenty of manganese and folate along with other useful nutrients.
|Fats||1.1g (Saturated 0.2g, Monounsaturated 0.2g, Polyunsaturated 0.5g))|
|Vitamin A||39 IU|
All kinds of plant-based foods provide plenty of benefits and lentils do too. Below we will discuss some of these benefits.
Lentils contain folic acid, fibers and potassium, which are beneficial for the health of your heart.
The AHA (American Heart Association) claims that if one is to increase their fiber intake they can reduce the “bad” cholesterol (LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, cholesterol). Increased fiber intake has been associated with reduced incidence of cardiovascular diseases and it had also shown it can delay the progression of already developed cardiovascular disease.
If you wish to, or have to, replace the meat in your diet you can easily substitute it with lentils because they contain a lot of fibers, minerals and vitamins. That way you can further decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease for you have removed the meat, which is a source for plenty of trans fats and saturated fats. Lentils provide magnesium, potassium and calcium – those ingredients naturally lower down the blood pressure.
This food also contains selenium – a particular mineral that is present in a small percentage of the foods. This mineral can prevent inflammation and decrease the growth rates of various tumors. It also boosts the immune system by making it produce more T-cells (the cells that kill bacteria and viruses). In addition, the lentils help the function of the liver and thus helps to faster detoxify cancer-causing compounds. That food has fibers, too – as we have already mentioned – and this has been shown to reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
The aforementioned fibers are also important for the feeling of satiety and are a major factor when it comes to losing weight. They also reduce the appetite. Another beneficial property of the fibers in the lentils is that they can prevent constipation.
Yet another benefit of the fibers (the soluble ones) is that they slow down the process of digestion and can stabilize the levels of sugar in the blood, which may be really important for people with hypoglycemia, diabetes or insulin resistance. We are not done yet! There are even more benefits of the fibers and among them is that they can help to reduce the cholesterol in the blood; this promotes clean arteries, which, in turn, reduces the risk of stroke or heart disease.
If you are a vegetarian, choosing to add lentils in your diet will be wonderful due to their high protein content – since they have stopped eating meat that is the primary protein source for other people.
Lentils also contain polyphenols, which can act as antioxidants while also having neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects.
In addition, if you are suffering from an iron deficiency, lentils are a wonderful source of iron.
With what foods can we eat lentils
That food can easily be cooked in no time. With it you can prepare salads, soups or various other meals.
Lentils can be easily combined with rice to make a delicious and healthy dish. On the other hand, you can cook them with sweet potatoes and make yourself an amazing meal.
They can also be combined with eggs or vegetables – as red pepper, broccoli, beet, red cabbage.
Another tasty dish can be prepared by combining lentils with smoked sausages and carrots. Also, you can easily use different spices to make the lentils taste better – for example, cumin, parsley, thyme, salt, basil, black pepper, etc. Alternatively, you can make a salad out of lentils and