Lentils are one of the world’s oldest health foods. Grown for their lens-shaped seeds, lentils come in multiple colors, including green, brown, red, and black. Thanks to their rich nutrient content and ease of cooking, they have been a staple in the diets of many cultures across Europe, Asia, and Africa for millennia.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: A 1-cup serving of cooked lentils (198 grams)

Calories: 230 kcal
Protein: 17.9 g
Fiber: 15.6 g
Fats: 0.8 g
Iron: 6.6 mg (37% of the DV)
Folate: 358 mcg (90% of the DV)

Where to Buy Lentils:

Lentils are available in nearly every grocery store worldwide. They can be purchased dried or precooked in cans. They are often found in the bulk section, allowing you to buy exactly the amount you need.

Foods Made with Lentils:

  • Soups and Stews: Lentils are famous for their role in hearty, comforting dishes.
  • Salads: Cooked lentils add a protein-packed punch to salads.
  • Vegetarian Burgers: Ground lentils can serve as a meat substitute in patties.
  • Side Dishes: Simply seasoned lentils can stand alone as a nutritious side.

Flavor Profile:

Lentils have an earthy, slightly peppery flavor. Their texture can range from firm and meaty to soft and mushy, depending on the variety and cooking method.

Health Benefits of Lentils:

  • High in Protein: Lentils are an excellent protein source, making them a key food for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Rich in Fiber: Promotes digestive health and helps in managing blood sugar levels.
  • Packed with Nutrients: A great source of iron, folate, manganese, and potassium.
  • Heart Health: The fiber and compounds found in lentils can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Conclusion:

Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse that can enrich any meal with flavor, texture, and health benefits. Whether you’re using them as a main ingredient in a vegan dish or as a nutritious side, lentils offer a versatile and delicious way to enhance your diet. Their ease of preparation and wide availability make them an accessible choice for healthy eating.