Of the entire group of legumes, lentils are certainly lighter, and is well-prepared can be a great companion and even a good principal.
Impressive benefits of lentils
This vegetable is a great meat substitute for those who lead a vegetarian diet, offering a good source of protein to our body, whiles its versatility (in stew, cold in salads and even as a main ingredient for burgers without meat), makes it the favorite of the vegetable lovers.
In particular, for example, it stands out for its high content of B vitamins (especially B1 and B2), as well as minerals such as copper, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, iron and zinc. In fact, for those people who follow a vegetarian diet, lentils are one of the most important and prominent sources of iron, since it is combined with amino acids.
In addition, its fat content is relatively low, and its contribution in complex carbohydrates help its consumption does not cause a rapid increase in blood glucose.
Information for lentils nutrition (per 100 grams of edible part):
- Energy: 310 kcal.
- Carbohydrates: 50.8 g
- Proteins: 23.5 g
- Total fat: 1.4 g
- Fiber: 10 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Vitamins: Vitamin A or retinol (10 ug), B1 (0.43 mg), B2 (0.26 mg), B3 (2.2 mg), B6 (0.60 mg), B9 (168 μg), C (3.40 mg).
- Minerals: Sodium (4 mg), potassium (810 mg), calcium (74 mg), phosphorus (412 mg), magnesium (77 mg), iron (6.9 ug) and zinc (5.0 mg).
High iron content, ideal in case of anemia
It is essential for people with anemia, since its abundance in iron is easily assimilable. However, although it is very nutritious, it is recommended not to consume certainly excessive amounts.
In this sense, we know that iron is essential for the production of red blood cells, in addition to actively participating in the proper functioning of our cells.
Ideal during pregnancy
Folic acid is an essential vitamin not only during pregnancy, but also before conception occurs, as it helps prevent possible deformations in the afterbirth that could cause the pregnancy to end in an abortion.
In addition, during pregnancy, it is essential for the prevention of birth defects in pregnancy and in the spine, specifically preventing the appearance of anencephaly and spina bifida.
In this sense, lentils are rich in folic acid, so regular consumption is very useful before and during pregnancy. In fact, 100 grams of lentils provide around 168 μg of folic acid.
Useful in case of diabetes
As with other legumes, consuming lentils regularly very useful when it comes to controlling blood sugar levels, being very appropriate in case of suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, thanks to this quality, they are also highly recommended to reduce the risks of suffering coronary or cardiovascular disease from these people.
Some research suggests that the properties of lentils may help prevent certain types of cancer such as bowel or colon, but people who suffer from irritable bowel precisely to regulate their consumption as it could cause discomfort.
How to cook lentils to make them more complete and more digestive?
The lentils can be complemented with rice, since they are the rest of the legumes; they constitute an important source of proteins.
This is to try to make the lentils more complete. If what we want is to make them more digestive, so that we can digest them much less, it is advisable to add to the water of cooking herbs like fennel, laurel or cumin, which besides being digestive will help us to provide an aroma and a lot of more interesting flavor.
Remember that you can really take advantage of all the benefits of lentils you must consume it as light as possible, avoid eating whenever possible accompanied by chorizo, pork or any other meat high in fat. There are many delicious ways to prepare this legume without win all those calories, stay healthy and beautiful.
How to consume them to absorb all the iron?
Sometimes it can happen that our body is not able to absorb all the iron that the food gives us (when it comes to “non-heme” iron).
In the case of lentils in particular, many nutritionists recommend consuming them with a glass of orange or grapefruit juice, as vitamin C helps and improves the absorption of “non-heme” iron.
It can also be very interesting to add a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
In this sense, it is advisable to avoid some foods that may hinder the adequate assimilation of iron, as is the case of oxalates (such as Swiss chard, spinach or beetroot) and phosphates (especially soy and dairy, such as cheese).
Main contraindications of lentils: when it is not appropriate to eat them
It is not advisable to eat lentils in case of digestive problems, intestinal affections or delicate stomach.
In addition, since they have uric acid and purines in their composition, excessive levels of lentils in case of gout, osteoarthritis and arthritis is not advisable.