Lentils, where have you been hiding all my life?
Over the last six months, I’ve discovered how awesome lentils are and have begun including them as a big part of my healthy eating lifestyle.
They taste great, are very nutritious, and extremely versatile. If you aren’t a lentil eater, here are some reasons you might want to be.
There are several different types of lentils available, but the most common are brown lentils. The varieties just vary slightly nutritionally and it’s fun to experiment with the different types.
- Serving size: 1/4 cup dry
- Calories: 170
- Carbs: 29 grams
- Protein: 13 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Fiber: 15 grams
- GI Index: 21
Lentils also have some impressive micronutrient amounts including; folate, choline, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and are rich in potassium with 731mg. They are also high in beta-sitosterol which is a plant sterol noted for it’s ability to reduce bad cholesterol and inflammation.
Lentils are a great source of protein, but the protein isn’t complete. However, if you eat lentils with a nutritious grain like brown rice, the meal then contains all the amino acids needed to build tissues within the human body. The high fiber content of lentils also makes them a winner with even more fiber than oatmeal.
My favorite way to eat lentils is by making a simple, but tasty, Indian curry with them. Here’s the recipe. Also, lentils can be added to most soups and salads for added flavor and texture.
This lentil and roasted beet salad recipe is also great, but a little more time consuming to make. You could also add some lentils to marinara sauce for great vegetarian spaghetti or for use in other pasta dishes.
The possibilities are only limited by your creativity, but one thing that you’ll find is that lentils are not only healthy, but cheap. I can make a big pot of lentil curry and long grain brown rice for about 7 dollars or less, which usually lasts for at least 8 meals and keeps well in the fridge.
If you’re a lentil eater, how do you incorporate them into your healthy diet?