Lentils Sometimes it seems that many people neglect lentils, preferring other legumes such as peas, beans, beans. And this seems strange, since lentils are not only an affordable and tasty product, but also very useful. This, for example, is never forgotten by the Czechs, for whom this culture symbolizes wealth and prosperity (these beans resemble small coins). And for the New Year in this country it is customary to cook lentil soup - delicious, healthy and very appetizing.

What are lentils

Lentils are an annual leguminous plant native to Central Asia, where, according to historians, people have consumed these fruits since prehistoric times. During archaeological excavations in the Middle East, lentil seeds were found that are more than 8,000 years old. For millennia, barley, wheat and lentils were the three main crops grown by different peoples.

  • What are lentils
  • Varieties
  • The nutritional value
  • Benefits for the human body
  • Who is lentil good for?
  • Possible side effects
  • Cooking use
  • How to cook lentils
  • Culinary ideas
  • Lentils for beauty

Today lentils are indispensable in Indian cuisine. This culture is consumed in many Catholic countries during the fasting period. In the modern era, the main world exporters of these amazing beans are India, Turkey, Canada, China, Syria [1]


Lentils are small beans that vary in size and shape depending on the variety. It is eaten all over the world as a rich source of phosphorus, calcium, iron, B vitamins. There are many types of this culture, but the most delicious are brown, green and red and lentils [2]

Green and brown beans are suitable for warm salads, casseroles; as a rule, they retain their shape perfectly after boiling.

Red lentils are ideal for mashed potatoes, soups and casseroles (as a thickening ingredient), often used in Indian cuisine.

Yellow beans are similar in quality to the red appearance and are used to brighten up winter dishes.

The nutritional value

Lentils are low-glycemic and low-fat foods [3]

Among the valuable components of this culture, fiber is called, which in the product is presented in soluble and insoluble forms. As for the vitamins and minerals contained in this plant, one cannot fail to note the extremely high reserves of molybdenum. In addition, lentils contain nearly daily amounts of folate, and can also meet 50% of the daily requirements for phosphorus, copper and manganese. This food is also rich in B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium.

The table shows the nutrient content per 100 g of product [4]

Calorie content 295 kcal
Carbohydrates 46.3 g
Squirrels 24 g
Fats 1.5 g
Vitamin A 5 mcg
Vitamin C 4.4 mg
Vitamin E 0.5 mg
Vitamin K 5 mcg
Vitamin B1 0.5 mg
Vitamin B2 0.2 mg
Vitamin B3 5.5 mg
Vitamin B5 1.2 mg
Vitamin B6 0.5 mg
Vitamin B9 90 mcg
Choline 96.4 mg
Calcium 83 mg
Iron 11.8 mg
Magnesium 80 mg
Phosphorus 390 mg
Potassium 672 mg
Sodium 55 mg
Zinc 2.4 mg
Copper 0.66 mg
Manganese 1.19 mg
Selenium 19.6 mcg
Water 14 g
Ash 2.7 g

Benefits for the human body

Lentils are an extremely nutritious member of the legume family with many beneficial properties for the human body.

 Benefits of lentils for the body Digestion

Like other legumes, lentils are one of the top fiber foods, both soluble and insoluble. Both types of fiber are beneficial for the digestive system. Insoluble fiber absorbs fluid, swells and, when it enters the intestines, promotes the rapid elimination of processed waste products. Soluble fiber in the body turns into a jelly-like substance, thanks to which the feeling of satiety remains for a long time [5]

Concentration of sugar and cholesterol

Lentils are able to stabilize two important blood parameters - glucose and cholesterol. For individuals with insulin resistance, diabetes or hypoglycemia, this culture is useful as a glucose-insulin balance stabilizer. The researchers compared the health of two groups of people with type 2 diabetes. They took 24 and 50 grams of fiber daily. It turned out that those who took more dietary fiber had lower blood glucose levels [6]

Cell metabolism and health

B vitamins, which are found in abundance in lentils, are involved in the metabolism of amino acids and carbohydrates. Manganese, one of the powerful antioxidants, also contributes to this process. And magnesium, by activating certain enzymes, improves tissue regeneration. Potassium contained in legumes maintains acid-base balance, regulates growth and pressure inside cells.

The cardiovascular system

 Benefits of lentils for the heart Scientists conducted an experiment to determine how diet affects the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). As a result of the experience, which was attended by over 16 thousand middle-aged people, it was found the following: persons whose diet is dominated by cereals, legumes and vegetables are almost 80% less at risk of developing coronary artery disease.

In another study, it became known that people whose diet is rich in fiber, which is present in large quantities in lentils, are less susceptible to diseases of the cardiac system [7] amino acids. Which researchers name among the main risk factors for the development of cardio-diseases. Magnesium in adequate doses improves the quality of blood flow and also affects the availability of essential oxygen and nutrients in the blood. A deficiency of this element can lead to a heart attack.

Who is lentil good for?

As a nutrient-dense food, lentils are beneficial. [8]

  •  Who benefits from lentils people with diabetes;
  • with high cholesterol;
  • persons prone to anemia;
  • pregnant and planning pregnancy;
  • with excess weight;
  • persons with digestive disorders;
  • to restore the condition of the epidermis and hair.

In addition, in alternative medicine, this plant is used as a medicine for dermatitis, burns, inflammation and allergic itching. This legume is capable of crushing and removing stones from the urinary system, preventing breast cancer, relieving fatigue, and even treating stomach ulcers. Lentils are useful for vitamin deficiency. For colds, dishes made from it have a warming effect.

Possible side effects

Lentils are a healthy ingredient for humans. But excessive food cravings can cause flatulence, and frequent consumption of these beans without sufficient replenishment of the water balance can cause constipation. It is undesirable to get too carried away with beans and people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract in an aggravated form. Lentils contain extremely high concentrations of molybdenum. And this substance, used regularly and in large doses, sometimes causes arthritis [8]

Do not feed lentils and pets. This product can cause fermentation and increased gas formation, and in some cases it can even provoke their death.

Cooking use

 Lentils in cooking It’s so hard to list right off the bat for which dishes you can use lentils. It is good as an ingredient in soups and stewed vegetables, and can serve as a base for vegetarian cutlets. Lentil puree mixed with olive oil, garlic and lemon turns into a delicious vegetable pate. Some varieties of this legume are suitable for making stuffed cabbage rolls, croquettes, pies, pancakes, dumplings and even a variety of salads.

Remember the benefits of sprouted wheat? A similar "trick" can be done with lentils. To do this, dry seeds must be soaked in cold water and wait for sprouts to appear. They are also rich in vitamins and are widely used in Indian cuisine.

How to cook lentils

According to the rules, lentils should be boiled in a large amount of water (in a 1: 2 ratio). During the cooking process, it is important to avoid sour spices (they make the product hard and tasteless). The cooking time depends on the type of lentil. Green and brown beans take the longest to cook - 20 to 45 minutes. Red and yellow varieties of lentils will reach the required consistency in 10-15 minutes [9]

It is advisable to salt the product at the end of cooking, otherwise the beans will remain firm. Tomatoes or other acidic foods can extend the cooking time.

If you want the grains to retain their shape after cooking, then you should give preference to brown varieties that do not flake. If you love the sweet aftertaste of finished lentils, then look for red and yellow beans. By the way, they are the easiest to bring to a puree consistency.

Culinary ideas

Vegetarian dinner

Fry curry, chopped garlic, onion and ginger in a saucepan (about 2-3 minutes). Add raw lentils, turmeric, some sugar and stir. Then add pumpkin, courgette, diced bell peppers and broth with a little coconut milk. Add the chopped tomato 15 minutes before the end of cooking. Simmer until ingredients are tender. Sprinkle the finished dish with coriander. Recommended to be served with rice.

 Lentil meatballs Lentil meatballs

Fry the onions in olive oil and add to the boiled lentils. Stir, season with salt and pepper. Form meatballs from the resulting mass, which should be fried in well-heated oil. Put onion, chopped garlic and chili in a separate skillet. Add the diced zucchini or courgettes, then the chopped and peeled tomatoes. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Serve the meatballs with the sauce, sprinkle with coriander as desired.

Fake pate

Fry chopped onions in oil, add garlic, carrots, sliced ​​and a little ginger. Put out everything together for 10 minutes. Then add lentils and millet (1 cup of lentils and 1/3 cup of millet) to the mixture, fry over high heat for 2 minutes. Pour in vegetable stock (about 650 ml), add a little salt and simmer for about 15 minutes (until the excess liquid evaporates and all ingredients are tender). Add ginger, hot pepper, some almonds, 2 raw eggs to the cooled mass and mix everything. Put in a mold, bake in the oven at 180 degrees for about an hour.

Lentils for beauty

Lentils are the "queen" not only in the kitchen. This plant is often used as a beauty restoring ingredient. Thus, the consumption of these legumes improves the quality of the hair and the condition of the skin. Thanks to its beneficial chemical composition, this culture treats dermatosis, rashes, makes the skin silky, smooth, and toned. Clinical experiments have confirmed that lentils activate the growth of new cells, which means they are useful for the regeneration of the epidermis and hair. In addition, this member of the legume family is suitable as an ingredient in weight loss diets. To do this, you can arrange fasting days for yourself on lentils, or during the week, you can add dishes from this product to the menu every day.

Lentils have been known since prehistoric times. This crop is one of the healthiest legumes. The ancient Greeks considered it to be the food of the poor, the ancient Egyptians considered it the food of the pharaohs, and some peoples used lentil grain as feed for livestock. Today it is one of the favorite foods of vegetarians and, being an extremely rich source of protein, can replace meat. But for meat-eaters, lentils are also useful, especially for athletes, expectant mothers and those whose work is associated with mental stress.

Things to know (Q&A)

Are lentils carbs or protein?

Legumes, which include beans, peas and lentils, are an inexpensive, healthy source of protein, potassium, and complex carbohydrates , including dietary fiber. On average, legumes contain about 20-25% protein by weight on a dry basis, which is 2-3 times more protein than wheat and rice.

Do lentils make you gain weight?

Beans and Lentils for Healthy Carbohydrates. Incorporating beans and lentils into your diet is a fast way to gain weight .

Are lentils good for you?

Lentils are high in protein and fiber and low in fat , which makes them a healthy substitute for meat. They're also packed with folate, iron, phosphorus, potassium and fiber.

Is lentil good for diabetes?

Chickpeas, as well as beans and lentils, are well-known foods with a low glycemic index, making them good choices for diabetes , but new research suggests that eating legumes may actually have a therapeutic effect.

Is lentils considered a carb?

Carb content of lentils

Lentils are a type of legume , a category that also includes beans, soy, and chickpeas. Due to their high carb content, legumes are generally avoided on a strict keto diet. In fact, 1 cup (180 grams) of cooked lentils provides 36 grams of carbs.

Are lentils good for weight loss?

Eating more lentils may help people maintain a healthy weight or lose weight . Replacing energy-dense (or high calorie) foods with legumes such as lentils can help people prevent or manage obesity and lose weight. Research suggests that regularly eating lentils may help with the management and prevention of diabetes.

Do lentils have more protein than carbs?

In every 100 grams of lentils, there are over 20 grams of carbs. However, the good news is that almost half (9 grams) of this carbohydrate is fibre. So, it is as much carbs as it is protein , only slightly more.

What is bad about lentils?

Raw lentils, like other legumes, contain a protein called lectin that binds to your digestive tract and can result in several toxic reactions, such as diarrhea and vomiting .

Do red lentils make you gain weight?

Basic Nutrition

Like most other beans and legumes, lentils are relatively low-calorie, making them a good choice for losing weight . A half-cup of cooked lentils contains just 115 calories and less than a gram of fat.

What happens if you eat only lentils everyday?

A single serving meets 32% of the fiber you need each day. It can lower cholesterol and protect against diabetes and colon cancer. A daily dose of fiber pushes waste through your digestive system and prevents constipation, too. The potassium, folate, and iron in lentils also provide lots of benefits.

Do lentils raise blood sugar levels?

Pulses, such as lentils, can slow digestion and the release of sugars found in starch into the bloodstream, ultimately reducing blood glucose levels , said Duncan. "This slower absorption means you don't experience a spike in glucos

Can diabetics eat beans and lentils?

The bottom line is that beans should be a staple in your diet , especially if you have diabetes. A study published in the journal JAMA found that eating more beans, lentils, and other legumes helped people with type 2 diabetes gain better glycemic control and lower their risk of heart diseas

What happens if you eat lentils everyday?

A single serving meets 32% of the fiber you need each day . It can lower cholesterol and protect against diabetes and colon cancer. A daily dose of fiber pushes waste through your digestive system and prevents constipation, too. The potassium, folate, and iron in lentils also provide lots of benefits.

Is lentil soup good for blood sugar?

That said, beans and lentils make an excellent choice for carbohydrates. This is because they're very high in fiber, slow to digest, and have a mild impact on blood sugar compared to other carbohydrates.

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