Diana Herrington May 18, 2011
One of the Top 5 Healthiest Foods On The Planet…
as selected by Health Magazine.
Lentils are good for so many parts of your life: your body, your blood, your pocketbook, your taste buds, and even the environment.
Most recipes with lentils are gluten-free and sugar-free.
9 Big Benefits of these Tiny Beans
1. Low Cost:
Just 20-30 cents will you buy one cup of lentils which can supply 1/3 of the daily protein requirement for a 150-pound adult, plus a truckload of other nutrients.
2. High Protein:
Lentils have the highest level of protein by weight of any plant-based food.
3. High Nutrition:
Lentils are the mightiest of the beans. If beans are good for you, then lentils — the smallest of the beans — are GREAT for you. In general the smaller the seed, the more nutrition a food has by weight or volume.
4. Low in Fat and Sodium
5. Most Alkaline of all Protein Sources
6. Easy to Digest and Cook:
Compared to many other beans they are much faster to cook and easier to digest. This is why they have been the mainstay of many cultures for centuries.
7. Healthy For the Soil and Environment:
Lentils increase nitrogen and other essential nutrient to the soil during growth. They require less moisture than most crops and prevent soil erosion. By eating lentils you are helping the earth and the environment!
8. High in Cholesterol-Lowering Fiber (both soluble and insoluble):
Numerous studies have shown high levels of fiber are associated with decreased degenerative diseases. In one study that examined food intake of 16,000 middle-aged men, researchers found that legumes were associated with a whopping 82 percent reduction in risk of death from coronary heart disease!
Some lentils, like brown lentils grown in North America, are so tasty that all you have to do is boil them and add a bit of salt. Other lentils are more bland so a bit of spice is needed. This is the dahl of many eastern countries. Either way, if you are interested in healthy cooking and have ever considered reducing meat consumption, it definitely worth it to find a few good lentil dishes you like.
The lentil is one of the oldest cultivated legume, dating back at least 8,000 years. Although the scientific name relates to the lens of the eye it is interesting that it is one of the foods used in the Christian Lent period, a time when one level of fasting is to abstain from any kind of meat.
Power Nutrients in Lentils: iron, protein, phosphorus, copper, vitamin B1, potassium
Power Plus Nutrients: fiber, tryptophan, manganese
Extreme Power Nutrients: folate, molybdenum
Caution: Lentils are high in so many nutrients, including natural substances called purines. If you have a physical condition which requires you to be on a low purine diet, this is to be considered. Recent research, though, indicates that the purines from vegetable sources do not have the same negative effect as the purines from meat and fish.