6 Reasons Why Lentils Are Healthy

Lentils are packed with nutritional value

Although lentils are real filling foods with 40.6 g of carbohydrates, they do not make us fat. Because 100 g of lentils contain around 300 kilocalories, just 1.5 g of fat and plenty of protein with 23.5 g. They also score with 11 g of dietary fiber – that’s about a third of the amount we should eat every day.

Lentils are packed with vitamins, minerals and more

Lentils are packed with healthy nutrients. On the one hand, they come up with a whole range of vitamins . These include various B vitamins, niacin and folic acid as well as vitamin A , which is relevant for the immune system and vision, and vitamin E , which protects cells . Folic acid is an important vitamin, especially for pregnant women, as a deficiency can lead to embryonic malformations.

On the other hand, lentils offer a lot of healthy minerals such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, nickel, selenium and zinc . These are fundamental to our health in many ways. They support hormone metabolism and bone metabolism, prevent platelet aggregation, protect against oxidative stress, regulate metabolism and insulin formation, protect cell membranes, ensure better wound healing, can support thyroid metabolism and much more.

Vegetarians in particular should use lentils more often because they have a high iron content. The trace element is used for the formation of blood components as well as muscle and liver function. This effect is promoted by a combination with fruit and vegetables containing vitamin C.

Good for the figure: lentils provide a lot of fiber

Lentils are not only low in calories , they are also high in fiber. Therefore, they have a low glycemic index (GLYX). This means that blood sugar levels rise slowly after eating and only a small amount of insulin is released. The fiber regulates blood sugar and can thus reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. They also ensure good digestion and keep you full for a long time . Niacin also supports the energy metabolism and the build-up and breakdown of carbohydrates and fatty acids.

Lentils provide a lot of protein

Adequate protein intake is particularly important if you are following a vegetarian diet. Lentils are the ideal meat substitute. With around 23 g of protein per 100 g, they are among the most protein-rich foods and, in combination with rice or cereals, provide all the important amino acids. The body cannot sometimes produce these itself, which is why intake through food is important. In addition, protein is used to build cells, muscles, enzymes and hormones.

Lentils are heart healthy

Lentils contain a variety of secondary plant substances, so-called polyphenols. Laboratory experiments have shown that these polyphenols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and blood pressure- regulating effects. They can counteract thrombosis aggregations or the development of cancer. This effect remains to be researched in the human body, but it has been proven that certain types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases occur less frequently with a diet rich in polyphenols and vitamins from fruits and vegetables.

It has also been proven that eating legumes lowers what is known as “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and increases “good” cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) . This also leads to healthy cardiovascular function.

Lentils are real nerve food

The B vitamins contribute to a healthy nervous system and support the formation of red blood cells. In addition, 71 mg of magnesium in 100 g of lentils ensure a good nervous system and healthy blood circulation. The legumes are therefore real food for the nerves.

Prepare lentils: how it works!

The colorful legumes are available in various colors in the supermarket and are prepared differently. Unpeeled lentils are more nutritious and tastier, while peeled ones are easier to digest. The unpeeled lentils should therefore be soaked overnight and boiled without salt so as not to put too much strain on the digestion. With or without the skin, they should all be washed well before cooking. Acid in the form of lemon juice or vinegar also intensifies the aroma after cooking.

Red lentils

Red lentils are cooked with one part lentils and three parts water for about 10 minutes . Since adding salt to the water can increase the cooking time, it is advisable to add salt after cooking.

Black beluga lentils

Black beluga lentils owe their name to their caviar-like appearance. Here, too, three times the amount of water is used and only salted after cooking. However, the cooking time of beluga lentils is about 30 minutes .

Yellow lentils

Yellow lentils require less water to cook than other varieties. Double the amount is enough. Salt or broth can be added to the water here to give the lentils a more intense taste. After 12-15 minutes of simmering, the yellow lentils are done.

Plate lentils

Plate lentils require at least three times the amount of water or more and 45 minutes of cooking time. If they are soaked the night before, 10 minutes is enough.

The mountain lentils

Mountain lentils are also boiled in three times the amount of water for 30 minutes and then salted.

FAQs on lentils

Are lentils healthy?

Yes, lentils are extremely healthy. They provide a variety of valuable nutrients and are the ideal meat substitute, especially for a vegetarian diet.

Which lentils are the healthiest?

The unpeeled lentils are richer in nutrients and more flavorful, but also more difficult to digest.

How do you cook lentils?

Lentils should be soaked before cooking. Cooking time will vary depending on variety and size.

How healthy are lentils?

Thanks to their high protein, protein and fiber content, lentils are very healthy. They provide a lot of energy, fill you up for a long time and are particularly low in fat. They can also prevent coronary diseases and have a blood sugar-regulating effect.

What are lentils?

Lentils are legumes from the legume family.

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Written by Elizabeth Bailey

As a seasoned recipe developer and nutritionist, I offer creative and healthy recipe development. My recipes and photographs have been published in best selling cookbooks, blogs, and more. I specialize in creating, testing, and editing recipes until they perfectly provide a seamless, user-friendly experience for a variety of skill levels. I draw inspiration from all types of cuisines with a focus on healthy, well-rounded meals, baked goods and snacks. I have experience in all types of diets, with a specialty in restricted diets like paleo, keto, dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. There is nothing I enjoy more than conceptualizing, preparing, and photographing beautiful, delicious, and healthy food.

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