Lentils are a nutritionally dense food with incredible properties, since they benefit practically all physiological systems. Discover why it is advisable to increase the consumption of recipes with lentils.
The lentils used to be known as the food of the poor. How ugly that saying: “there are lentils, if you don”t want them, leave them.” What reason would there be for not wanting her? Lentils are back in a big way, they are the true super food.
Lentils are very healthy and easy to cook. They are Mediterranean, but they are also part of international cuisines around the world, from India or Nepal to Mexico and France. With them they prepare everything from stews and soups to creams, salads and even vegetable burgers.
Among its nutrients, proteins stand out above all, for which they are practically essential in vegetarian menus. They also provide B vitamins, minerals such as iron and a lot of fiber. Its carbohydrates are slowly absorbed, that is, the best as a long-lasting source of energy.
8 REASONS WHY LENTILS ARE SO HEALTHY
1. THEY HELP BUILD MUSCLE
The essential nutrients that our body needs to build muscle are proteins. It is also found in meat, dairy products, eggs and fish, but the proteins in lentils (and other legumes) are the only ones that are accompanied by fiber and slow carbohydrates.
Strengthening muscles is not just a cosmetic issue. Among other things its tone and volume is essential to support the skeletal structure and to increase the metabolic rate that helps to keep weight under control.
About 250 g of cooked lentils provide all the protein you need in a balanced meal, about 24 g. Remember that throughout the day you have to make two other similar protein intakes.
2. THEY FAVOR THAT THE KILOS DIMINISH FAST
Every 100 g of cooked lentils provide only 116 kilocalories. Therefore, lentils can be part of a light diet, since they are very satiating thanks to complex carbohydrates and fiber. Legumes are ideal as a supplement for healthy weight loss.
A Canadian study confirms its potential as an ingredient in low-calorie weight loss diets. According to this study, participants who ate 200 g of lentils a day, for example, in salad or soup, were able to lose abdominal fat and lose weight.
3. THEY STRENGTHEN THE HEART AND VASCULAR SYSTEM
A study with regular consumers of lentils found that their levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and heart rate were in much better ranges than those who did not consume them.
Enjoying cardiovascular health is the best guarantee to prevent the first cause of death in our country.
4. THEY ARE VERY RICH IN MINERALS AND VITAMINS
200 g of cooked lentils provide you with a good part of the daily needs of numerous vitamins and minerals in one go:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 22% of the Recommended Daily Intake
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): 10% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 18% of the RDI
- Folic acid: 90% of the RDI
- Iron: 37% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 18% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 36% of the RDI
- Potassium: 21% of the RDI
- Zinc: 17% of the RDI
- Copper: 25% of the RDI
- Manganese: 49% of the RDI
5. BALANCE THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Legumes are pure food for the nerves: 100 g contain an average of 130 mg of magnesium. Our body needs this mineral for a healthy nervous system. Magnesium is also responsible for many metabolic processes.
In addition to magnesium, they are very rich in various B vitamins, also essential for nervous balance.
6. HELP WITH THE SUPPLY OF IRON
Lentils contain an extraordinary amount of iron, the essential mineral whose deficiency is most common, especially among women of childbearing age.
100 g of lentils provide about 8 mg of iron. To promote its absorption, it is essential that the dessert is rich in vitamin C. It can be an orange or a kiwi. You can also add red pepper and parsley to the salad.
7. THEY ARE A SUSTAINABLE FOOD
Sustainable foods are nutritionally dense, require little water, and are grown nearby. It is the definition of lentil, a much more sustainable source of protein than red meat or fish.
In Spain, the area under cultivation of lentils grew from the 1940s to 1987, reaching 94,000 hectares. Since that year it has dropped to 36,000 hectares in 2018. Most of the lentils consumed in Spain come from the United States and Canada.
The American lentil cooks faster but is not as rich as the Spanish lentil. If you can, choose locally produced lentils. The largest production area is Castillo-La Mancha, followed by Castillo y León, with autochthonous varieties such as “Castilian blonde”, “La Armuña blonde”, “pardina” and “verdina”.
8. THEY PROMOTE DIGESTION
Lentils are rich in fiber, which is very useful for a correct digestive transit. Fiber prevents constipation or eliminates it gradually.
An adult should consume more than 35 g of fiber a day; 100 g of lentils already contain about 17 grams.
Although lentils promote transit, it is also true that they cause digestive discomfort in some people.
HOW TO BETTER DIGEST LENTILS
Lentils are very healthy, but beware, not everyone can digest legumes in large quantities. Flatulence and bloating can be unpleasant side effects. Lack of habit is one of the main causes of these symptoms. If you are not used to consuming lentils, start with small servings and gradually increase the frequency and quantity.
- Peeled lentils, available primarily as red lentils and yellow lentils, do not contain stachyose, one of the three indigestible carbohydrates that are the cause of unpleasant flatulence.
- In the case of cooking very large or hard lentils, it may be helpful to rinse and soak them. Then wash them with fresh water before cooking.
- A splash of vinegar or aromatic plants or seeds like marjoram, anise, and caraway seeds make lentils easier to digest.
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