Lentils (Lens culinaris, masoor) are a type of the pulse withlens-shaped seeds. The color of the lentils may vary, from white and orange, togreen, brown and black. Red lentils have the most distinctive flavor and aremost easily cooked of all lentils. They originated in near East and have been used in cookingfor centuries, since the neolith. Lentils are still the important in the Indiansubcontinent and in vegetarian cooking.
Many nutritionists recommend lentils as an excellent sourceof proteins, especially to vegetarians and vegans. Almost 26% of the caloriesin lentils come from proteins, which is close to soybeans and hemp and just 1cup of lentils provide 40% of the proteins daily need for your body. It is goodfor your diet, too, because it has just 230 calories.
Lentils are known to fill the iron stores in your body, thusbeing the great source of iron for vegetarians and vegans. Pregnant or menstruatingwomen, breastfeeding moms and children also benefit from this pulse. Iron fromthe lentils is not carrying the extra fat or cholesterol, like the iron formthe red meat.
Beans and lentils are a great source of dietary fibers. Solublefibers make a gel which incorporates cholesterol and help to excrete it, andinsoluble fibers prevent constipation and other digestive problems.
Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Lentils’ fibers also help in stabilizing your blood sugarlevels and provide a constant and steady energy to your body. This isespecially important to hypoglycemia and diabetes patients. Studied have shownthat lentil also have decreasing effect to the cholesterol in the blood.
Red lentils contain antioxidant properties. These are thetypes of antioxidants present in tea or red wine, and some other food.
Minerals and Vitamins
Lentils provide important minerals and vitamins (folate andthiamine). They contain molybdenum, manganese, iron, phosphorus, copper andpotassium.
Legumes (and lentils are in the legumes family) are provento be connected to the significant decrease of heart problem risk; it has beenestimated that the risks are decreased for 82%. Fibers, folate (vitamin B6) and magnesium are responsiblefor this heart related effect.