Barb regularly writes on the topics of food, health and healing.
Lentils Should Be On Every Table
Lentils may not make it to the tables of the best and fanciest restaurants around the world but they certainly should be on your table. Lentils have long been a secret of the health conscious because of their powerhouse of health and nutritional properties along with the added ease of versatility in cooking.
To be honest I had taken a break from lentils many years ago. We had an unfortunate falling out during a morning sickness episode and I just had to steer clear. It didn’t matter how healthy I knew they were.
Fast forward about 30 years and I have had a change of heart. It happened as soon as I saw the red variety.
Just before the pandemic hit a friend and I were exploring the expanded remodel of a long favorite bulk food warehouse in our area. We’re both into just-in-case basic survival staples to keep on hand and this local establishment has always been great for that. An hour later we were just about done when we hit the bean aisle. Within minutes we were both squealing with glee at the new arrivals. The red lentils immediately stood out for me. I’d been wanting to try them instead for years, anxious to replace the nauseating memory of green lentil sprout casserole with something new, but the other varieties had been difficult to obtain.
It didn’t take me more than five seconds to decide to hoist the only 25 pound bag of red lentils left into the shopping cart. I also picked up a 25 pound bag of pinto beans too, but the real prize of the day for me were those red lentils. I didn’t give a second thought to the possibility of not liking them and being stuck with so many and it turned out to be a good call because I still don’t have any regrets and have enough to share for a little while yet.
Any Variety Of Lentils Is A Big Deal
Lentil Curry Recipe
Lentils: An Affordable Food Choice
At $.99 to two dollars or a bit more per pound on average, lentils are an affordable choice of healthy food for everyone. Considering the exceptional nutritional value you’re getting when you choose to buy lentils, you’re getting a great deal. If paired with some brown rice occasionally to get a complete protein on a low budget, every week one could do well if that’s all you had.
It should be helpful for you to know that lentils like all beans and legumes are gluten-free and can be safely included in or alongside all your meals a couple to a few times a week if you find them agreeable.
Cooks Up Fast
All lentils cook up fast, but red lentils cook up faster than the black, green or other varieties. One of the most convenient things about all lentils is that they don’t require any soaking, although you can if you want to further reduce the cooking time and lessen gas issues. You should always rinse them and discard any that look questionable.
Along with your own go to seasonings, all it takes is a good 15 to 30 minutes (depending on variety) of cooking time on low to medium heat and you’ve got yourself a hearty side dish. No excuse for not eating something. healthy at least once or twice a week.
How to Cook Lentils | Instant Pot & Stovetop
Lentil’s abundant fiber content makes it effective in lowering cholesterol as well as keeping blood sugar levels from spiking which is consistently common right after eating.
Lentils Are Good For The Gut
Lentil’s fiber helps to neutralize and tame the gut’s oftentimes acidic state making way for healthy bacterial growth and normal nutrient absorption.
Unfortunately when we neglect to consume adequate amounts of fiber our gut becomes a hostile environment that prevents vital bacterial. growth from occurring, precipitating additional problems like constipation, stomach upsets and varying intestinal discomforts
Lentils Are Heart Healthy
While lentil’s fiber can significantly lower. blood cholesterol, it’s high folate and magnesium content also pair together successfully to greatly reduce the risks of heart disease
Lentils Are Nutrient Rich
Besides being protein rich, lentils contain generous amounts of several important minerals including a few equally important B vitamins, all necessary building blocks to maintaining good health. Because of its nutrient rich quality, lentils make a suitable food choice to nurse those who are ill back to good health enabling them to regain their strength. You may find a cup or two after a difficult day to be just what you need to relax and recharge.
Lentils Have A Surprisingly Mild Flavor
Lentils have a surprisingly mild flavor. That quality makes it ideal for combining with other foods as it easily takes on the flavor of other ingredients, often enhancing whatever dish you’re preparing. They are a welcome addition to any soup or can stand on its own as a first course in any meal plan. It can be puréed and used in protein shakes, as a thickener in gravies, even hidden in cakes or other desserts to improve the nutrient or fiber content. Anything goes with lentils.
Lentils: A Powerful Ally In Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, lentils can be a powerful ally because they have virtually no fat but are extremely high in fiber, protein and other energy producing nutrients. And thanks to that fiber and nutrient density you won’t be feeling hungry if you include lentils in your daily menu planning.
A Review Of Lentils
For a small legume, lentils have much to offer. They’re amazingly affordable and pack more nutrition than the average meal, even an expensive one. Lentils are a safe alternative for anyone battling blood sugar irregularities or trying to lose weight sensibly. The convenience of being able to bypass pre-soaking and cook them quickly, makes them immediately welcome at dinner tables more often. To add that lentils are just what our gut needs, is gluten-free and heart healthy too seems excessive, but that’s exactly what you’ll get if you eat these little nutrient gems regularly. Enjoy!
© 2021 Barb Johnson
Barb Johnson (author) from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula on July 15, 2021:
Thank you. Glad you were able to get something out of it Bhattuc.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on July 15, 2021: