This is one of the oldest legumes whose seeds are found during archaeological excavations. Lentil beans were used by the poor as a staple food, they replaced meat and bread, and the healing properties of lentils were successfully used in the treatment of various diseases. In this work, we will describe the unique composition and caloric content of the product, indicate what the harm and benefit of lentils is, and also consider the most common varieties of lentils.
Composition and nutritional value of lentils
This legume is represented by a rich composition containing the following components:
- Minerals (magnesium, copper, manganese, iron, and a number of others);
- Vitamins (Riboflavin, Pantothenic acid, B groups, and others);
- Carbohydrates (53.5 g);
- Water (14 g);
- Dietary fiber (3.7 g);
- Fat (1.1 g);
- Ash (2.5 g);
- Proteins (24 g).
As you can see, the grains of this culture contain almost all the necessary compounds for the body, the most valuable product is the presence of protein and a number of amino acids, irreplaceable (histidine, valine, isoleucine, and others) almost 12 types and interchangeable (alanine, aspartic acid, tyrosine, and others) about eight.
Interesting fact: lentils are in the first place among products in terms of fiber content and in the second place in the presence of folic acid.
This legume contains more than 20 minerals, for example, the presence of silicon in 100 g of lentils is twice the daily norm, this also applies to molybdenum and cobalt.
A small amount of the product is enough to get enough, and you will get a significant percentage of easily digested protein and carbohydrates, which will slowly disintegrate and, consequently, the body will retain a feeling of satiety.
Calorie content of lentils (red, brown, green)
Despite the high content of nutritional compounds (fiber, micro-and macronutrients, protein, and vitamins), lentils have a relatively low glycemic index, few calories, and almost no fat. The average energy value of a raw product is 310 kcal, while the calorie content of cooked lentil beans without additives is 116 kcal, so they are excellent for dietary nutrition.
The energy value of legumes differs slightly in different types of lentils:
- Green – 323 kcal;
- Red – 314 kcal;
- Brown – 116 kcal;
- Yellow – 105 kcal.
Next, let’s look at what is the benefit and harm of lentils for health, as well as find out what kind of product is most useful.
Benefits of lentils for women and men
- Due to the following positive qualities, lentils are a valuable product:
- Regular use of the product has a beneficial effect on the muscles, after physical activity contributes to their rapid recovery due to the content of a large amount of protein;
- The presence of magnesium in the composition of the plant helps to improve blood circulation, the systematic use of lentils is an excellent prevention of heart attacks;
- Adding legumes to your diet has a positive effect on the heart and blood vessels, because it contains potassium, fiber, which reduces the formation of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels, and folic acid, which strengthens the vascular walls;
- The product does not contain simple carbohydrates, but has complex ones, which helps to slow down the absorption of sugar by the body, while insulin manages to send glucose to muscle cells and the liver, as well as transform it into energy, and not convert it into fat;
- As a result of the presence of b vitamins in the plant, the functioning of the brain is normalized, memory, attention, and concentration are improved;
- Due to the presence of iron, the benefits of lentils for the body of women during pregnancy and during natural feeding, when the need for it is especially increased, and folic acid, located in the legume culture, prevents the formation of defects in the development of the neural tube in the fetus and prevents the likelihood of premature birth;
- The product is rich in fiber, which improves metabolism, regulates the functioning of the intestine, relieves constipation, the use of this culture serves as a prevention of malignant tumors of the colon;
- The combination of vitamins and minerals in the composition of the plant effectively affects the skin, protects against ultraviolet radiation, relieves dryness;
- Legume culture is an excellent means of preventing the development of tumors due to the content of selenium in the composition, which reduces the speed of tumor growth and activates the production of cells that destroy metastases;
- For men, the beneficial properties of lentils are manifested in improving sexual life, the use of the product contributes to the performance of important male hormones (progesterone, testosterone and estrogen);
- The plant is considered a wonderful tool for relieving depressive States, because the substances present in it contribute to the production of serotonin, which positively affects the mood;
- This medicinal and environmentally friendly culture does not accumulate toxins and other harmful compounds;
- Undoubtedly, the positive effect of cereals on the female body, its use facilitates the course of the menopause and pre-menstrual symptoms, and the presence of isoflavones in the structure of the plant helps to reduce the likelihood of pathological formations in the uterus and breast.
Which lentils are more useful-red, green or brown?
There are several varieties of this legume, especially available and common green, red and brown culture. All types of culture are almost similar in taste and saturate the body with identical nutrients, you can easily alternate its varieties.
Green or French lentils are not fully ripe. they are more used for preparing various salads and meat dishes due to their ability to maintain their shape and not to boil, and they should be cooked for a little longer (about 25 minutes) than other types. It contains more dietary fiber, which makes it useful for hypertension, hepatitis, and rheumatism.
Brown beans are as ripe as possible, cook faster and have a slightly nutty smell. But during cooking, it is advisable to watch that the product is not digested, otherwise you will get a shapeless porridge as a result. This lentil is used for casseroles, soups, it is added to salads and combined with stewed meat. Doctors recommend this type of cereal for lung pathology and tuberculosis.
The red type of this crop or the Egyptian type is not covered with a shell and it is used to make purees, soups, and is used as an additional ingredient in vegetable stews. This variety is rich in protein and iron, so it is recommended during anemia and various blood diseases, that’s what red lentils are useful for.
Did you know that in America, only 8% of the population uses lentils?
Harm of lentils and contraindications to use
As with any product, this legume also has drawbacks. We do not recommend frequent use of lentils in your diet, just a few times a week is enough, and before that it is desirable to soak the grains in water.
There are also some restrictions for the use of the product:
- Pathologies of the digestive system (especially ulcerative processes), which can cause increased gas formation, overload the intestines and stomach;
- Kidney diseases, lentils can contribute to the formation of stones as a result of the presence of lysine in the composition;
- Gout, due to the presence of purine in the composition, which is able to accumulate excess amounts of uric acid.
People who have a history of diabetes, even despite the benefits of cereals for them, are also not recommended to abuse it, this can lead to a failure of the natural metabolism, the product will be absorbed differently, which will affect the level of cholesterol and pressure.
Thus, if you do not get carried away with excessive consumption of the product, then there will be no negative consequences for the body, but on the contrary, its use will diversify Your diet, so you can confidently give a positive answer to the question whether lentils are useful.