April 29, 2017

6 Health Benefits of Lentils | Nutritional Value

Basic Characteristics of the Lentils

Lentil (Lens esculenta) is a hardy herbaceous plant of the legume family, which include beans, peas, and other plants that have the external membrane in the form of legume. 

Across the world grow more than 60 different types of lentils, which are different in color and size, so most commonly, people use types of lentils in the following colors - green, red, black, and yellow.

Country of origin of the lentils is Middle East, where it was used in the human diet even during the Stone Age. 

Today the lentils most grown on the soil of Canada, followed by India, Turkey, America and Australia.

Nutritional Value of the Lentils

The lentil is a legume with high biological and nutritional value, which is primarily provided by high-quality plant proteins. 

Characteristic of plant proteins is presence of plenty of amino acids known as leucine, isoleucine, and lysine while unlike grains, lentils contain small amounts of amino acids - methionine, cysteine and tryptophan

Therefore, it is recommended to combine the lentils with cereals in the diet, in order to obtain all the important amino acids necessary for normal functioning of the body.

Due to the high content of protein, lentil is the ideal food for vegans in a manner as a protein replacement

Nutritional composition of the lentils looks like this:

The lentil in a 100 g contains :

- 60 g carbohydrates
- 31 g fiber
- 26 g of protein
- 1 g of fats
- 10 g water

Mineral composition of the lentils looks like this:

- Iron
- Magnesium
- Phosphorus
- Molybdenum
- Manganese
- Zinc
- Potassium
- Calcium
- Copper

Vitamin part of lentils - it consists of vitamin B group - vitamin B1 and vitamin B9. There is also a high content of beta carotene and vitamin A.

What are the Health Benefits of Lentils?

Vitamin part of lentils - for the most part consists of vitamin B group - vitamin B1 and vitamin B9. There is also a high content of beta carotene and vitamin A.

1. Regulation of Cholesterol

The high content of complex carbo hydrate in the lentils contributes to a longer digestion and a slower release into the bloodstream, resulting in a longer feeling of satiety. 

While lens does not contain saturated fats, it is very important to be used in diets for weight loss and for people who suffer from high cholesterol levels. 

In addition to the presence of carbohydrates, fibers are those which maintain a normal level of cholesterol because fibers allow slower absorption in the intestine.

2. Regulation of glucose

The lentil is the food, which is excellent for maintaining normal blood sugar levels, which is extremely important for diabetics. 

Soluble vegetable fibers reduce the level of glucose in the blood and regulate the secretion of insulin.

3. The regulation of digestion

Vegetable fibers of lentils are important for maintenance normal motoric functions in form of regular bowel emptying and gut cleaning. 

Consuming lentils, will help in presence constipation and hemorrhoids, and it is considered that a regular diet which incorporates lentils can prevent the occurrence of colon cancer.

4. Effects on the nervous system

Important amino acids and vitamin B complex in lentils give it the importance in the preservation of health of nervous system. 

5. Prevents anemia

High concentration of iron, copper and zinc in lentils prevents anemia, or it can be used in the treatment of already present anemia.

6. Impact on Blood Pressure

Wealth of potassium contributes to the regulation of heart rate and circulation in the body, controlling water balance, and hence blood pressure.

How to correctly store Lentils?

In order to preserve all the valuable ingredients in lentils, it should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place, but not longer than six months. 

Cooked lentils in the fridge can stand up to three days.

How to prepare lentils?

The lentil is a legume that has to be pre-soak in the water, as is the case with beans or broad beans. 

However, as known to cause bloating in people with sensitive stomach, it is recommended, to soak lentils in water the night before cooking, and then put in new water for cooking.

Lentils need to be cook in the three times larger amount of water and cook about 40 minutes. 

Lentils are well combined with root vegetables, carrots, celery, parsley, as well as rice, cereals and meat.