Lentils Nutrition Facts and How to Cook Them

Lentils Nutrition and Health Benefits (Image Via Unsplash/Frédéric Dupont)
Lentils Nutrition and Health Benefits (Image Via Unsplash/Frédéric Dupont)

Lentils nutrition facts make them an amazing food to include in your diet. They are seeds from the legume family and have a characteristic lens shape and can be consumed with or without the husk.

They are a staple food in countries such as Turkey, Syria, India, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia. They are an amazing source of vegan protein and contain several vitamins and minerals.

This article brings you lentils nutrition facts and some recipes to include these legumes in your diet.


Lentils Nutrition Profile

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 cup (approximately 198 grams) of cooked lentils generally provides:

  • Calories: 230 kcal
  • Carbs: 39.9 grams
  • Protein: 17.9 grams
  • Fat: 0.8 grams
  • Fiber: 15.6 grams
  • Thiamine: 28% of the DV
  • Niacin: 13% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 21% of the DV
  • Folate: 90% of the DV
  • Pantothenic acid: 25% of the DV
  • Iron: 37% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 17% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the DV
  • Potassium: 16% of the DV
  • Zinc: 23% of the DV
  • Copper: 55% of the DV
  • Manganese: 43% of the DV

Lentils are made up of more than 25 percent protein, which makes them an amazing food for vegans and vegetarians. Being a source of non-heme iron, they can be considered a good source for vegans. However, the bioavailability of this protein is low.

Lentils are protein-rich food (Image via Unsplash/César Hernández)
Lentils are protein-rich food (Image via Unsplash/César Hernández)

Learn more about the categories of nutrients and their importance.


Lentils Nutrition: Are Lentils Good for You?

Lentils are among the fiber-rich foods that can help prevent constipation and flatulence. Dietary fiber promotes the growth of gut-friendly bacteria and adds bulk to the diet. High-fiber foods can also be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Some of the evidence-based benefits are:

1) May help control blood sugar level

One important aspect of lentils nutrition is the management of blood glucose levels. Lentils have a low glycemic index, which is essential in the regulation of blood sugar and insulin.

Research conducted by the Nutrition and Dietetics Group, School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the Charles Perkins Center, University of Sydney has indicated that lentils and legumes play important roles in glycemic control.


2) Weight loss benefits

Research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism conducted a cross-sectional study of 246 women and concluded that the consumption of legumes can be beneficial in reducing waist and hip circumference.

An important aspect of lentils nutrition is that these legumes can boost your protein intake, appetite, and satiety, and decrease unnecessary cravings for junk food.

Read about whether pulses and legumes are good sources of protein.


3) May improve heart health

Another important aspect of lentils nutrition is their fiber content. Soluble fibers can be beneficial in reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body.

Antioxidants are good for heart health and lentils are considered a good source of naturally occurring antioxidants. These legumes can also reduce the risk of high blood pressure and inflammation. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative damage to cells.

Check out the reasons why antioxidants are good for your health.


Lentils Nutrition: How to Make Lentils?

Try out this easy and simple recipe at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of black lentils
  • Purified water

Lemon-Herb Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Parsely
  • Paprika, optional

Instructions:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils and water and bring to a boil.
  • Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally until tender.
  • Drain any excess water and let it cool.
  • Pour the cooked lentils into a medium bowl.
  • Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, mustard, and pepper. Mix well.
  • Add the parsley and red pepper flakes before serving.
Lentils can be cooked in amazing ways (Image via Unsplash/Mario Raj)
Lentils can be cooked in amazing ways (Image via Unsplash/Mario Raj)

Lentils Nutrition: Can I Consume Them Daily?

You can include lentils in your regular diet along with other protein foods. However, it has to be kept in mind that plant-based proteins have low bioavailability and must be included along with other highly bioavailable protein foods. Try to choose organic ones to get all the benefits of lentils nutrition.

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