Lentils are an excellent source of six important minerals, two B vitamins, and virtually fat-free protein. The high folate content in lentils helps reduce the amino acid homocysteine, which is known to damage artery walls and is considered a serious risk factor for heart disease. The magnesium in lentils also provides cardiovascular benefits, as magnesium improves the flow of blood, nutrients, and oxygen throughout the body. Studies show that magnesium deficiencies are associated with a heart attack and immediately after a heart attack, a lack of sufficient magnesium promotes free radical damage to the heart.
Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps bulk up stool and prevent constipation, but it also helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. A study involving 10,000 Americans and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high-fiber foods, such as lentils, helps prevent heart disease. The high fiber content in lentils prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal and helps lower cholesterol. If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, or diabetes, legumes like lentils can really help you balance blood sugar levels while giving you steady, slow-burning energy.
Lentils are also a great source of iron, which is particularly important for menstruating, pregnant or nursing women, and growing children and teens. Boosting iron stores with lentils is a good idea because, unlike other sources of iron like red meat, lentils are not high in fat and calories. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to all cells in the body, and is also part of the key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.
We can’t think of any reason not to consume this superfood. Check out our favorite recipes!
1 cup brown or green lentils, washed
4 cups + 1 tablespoon vegetable broth
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 medium celery stalks, diced
2 cups finely chopped kale
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
3 tablespoons minced fresh coriander
Salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper to taste.
Complements recommended by Urban Clinic:
Potato (1 large baking potato cut into small squares)
1. Rinse the lentils in a colander and sort, removing debris.
2. Chop the onion and garlic and let it rest for 5 minutes.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the broth in a medium soup pot. Healthy Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent.
4. Add garlic, carrots, and celery. Keep jumping for a couple more minutes. Add the curry powder and mix to bring out its flavor.
5. Add the rinsed and drained lentils, 4 cups of the broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer uncovered until lentils and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the kale and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe is perfect for a slow cooker. Try our additions and serve them over brown rice.
Lentil and Ginger Stew
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 leek, diced
2 carrots, diced
250g (9oz) Puy lentils
2½ pints (1.4 liters) hot vegetable broth
7 oz (200 g) cherry vine tomatoes
1 inch (2.5 cm) chunk of fresh ginger, grated
1 oz (25 g) almonds, chopped
100 g (3½ oz) spinach leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 200 ° C (180 ° C fan) mark 6. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in an ovenproof skillet. Add the leek and carrots; fry for 6-8 minutes.
2. Add the lentils, cover with the mixture, and then pour in the broth. Season, cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat.
3. Transfer to the oven for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender with a light bite.
4. After the lentils have cooked for 10 minutes, place the tomatoes in a roasting pan, drizzle with the remaining oil, and grill for 8-10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the oranges with a sharp knife and slice them, reserving the juice.
6. When the lentils are cooked, add the orange slices, the juice and the remaining ingredients. Pour into bowls with the tomatoes.
Spiced Pumpkin and Lentil Salad
¾ cup of French green lentils
6 cups sugared squash, seeded or peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon of salt
4 cups baby arugula
11 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup thinly sliced mint leaves
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375F / 190C.
2. Mix the pumpkin with 2 tablespoons of oil, cumin, paprika and salt until all the cubes are well coated with the marinade. Then place in a single layer in a baking dish and roast for 20 minutes. Turn each piece so all sides have a chance to become nice and crisp, and grill for another 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Let cool.
3. While the squash / zucchini are in the oven, prepare the lentils. Soak them in cold water for about 10 minutes, then drain and boil in salted water for about 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
4. To make the salad, combine the lentils, pumpkin cubes, and oil from the roasting pan with arugula, half the goat cheese, mint, vinegar, and enough oil to cover each ingredient. Divide into plates and sprinkle with the rest of the goat cheese.