These lentils nutrition facts reveal that they’re highly nutritious and packed with many essential minerals. They’re also rich in protein and dietary fiber.
Their low cost makes them a cheap form of high quality protein that’s accessible to many people around the world. They’re commonly consumed in Asia and North Africa, but Canada is the world’s biggest producer of lentils.
Green Lentils: They have a nutty flavor and stay firm when cooked. They used in salads and as taco toppers. They vary in size and have a lower cost than Puy lentils.
Puy Lentils: They have a peppery taste and crunchy texture. They’re similar in color to green lentils, but one-third of their size. They originate from the French region – Le Puy. They’re used to make scrumptious salads.
Red Lentils: They’re commonly eaten in India and the Middle East. They have a milder taste and soften when cooked. They’re used to bulk out Indian dals and purees.
Yellow Lentils: These have a nutty and sweet flavor. They cook easily and they’re great for making dal.
Black Lentils: These are tiny in size and look similar to caviar, for this reason, they’re also called Beluga lentils. They’re the most expensive type and make a great base for warm salads.
Now, let’s take a look at these lentils nutrition facts and their health benefits.
Lentils Nutrition Facts – (1 Cup) – 198 g
The nutritional content of different types of lentils may vary slightly, but generally 1 cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils provide:
Lentils Calories: 230 cal
Carbs in Lentils: 39.9 grams
Lentils Protein: 17.9 grams
Fiber: 15.6 grams
Fat: 0.8 grams
Minerals and Vitamins
RDI – Reference Daily Intake – (1 Cup) – 198 g
Folate: 90% of the RDI
Manganese: 49% of the RDI
Phosphorous: 36% of the RDI
Iron: 37% of the RDI
Copper: 25% of the RDI
Thiamine: 22% of the RDI
Potassium: 21% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 18% of the RDI
Magnesium: 18% of the RDI
Zinc: 17% of the RDI
Pantothenic acid: 13% of the RDI
Niacin: 10% of the RDI
Lentils also contain:
Top 5 Health Benefits of Lentils
Good for Pregnancy
Lentils contain quite a high amount of folate. 1 Cup (198 grams) of lentils provides 90% of the recommended daily intake.
Folate is vital in preventing neural tube defects in newborns and also reduces the risk of gestational diabetes.
A study conducted on over 14,000 pregnant women, found that those who consumed more folate, were less likely to develop gestational diabetes.
It’s recommended that women of childbearing age should consume a minimum of 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid, each and every day.
Lentils are a rich source of iron, and iron deficiency is a common cause of fatigue. If your diet doesn’t include sufficient amounts of iron, you risk feeling tired and drained all the time, as the body won’t efficiently use the energy at its disposal.
Two types of iron exist – heme and nonheme. Meat and fish provide heme iron, while plants provide nonheme iron.
Nonheme iron is not easily absorbed by the body as well as heme iron. So if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you should combine it with foods rich in vitamin C, such as; citrus, tomatoes, berries and bell peppers – this will improve the body’s absorption of nonheme iron.
Promotes Heart Health
Lentils are rich in potassium, fiber and folic acid. All these nutrients are known to promote heart health.
Because lentils are a plant-based source of protein, they don’t contain the bad cholesterol and dangerous hormones that are in meat products, this decreases your risk of heart disease.
The magnesium and potassium in lentils help decrease blood pressure levels and the fiber helps reduce the levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol. This results in a more healthier heart.
Reduces Risk of Cancer
Lentils contains selenium. Selenium may reduce the growth rate of tumors.
It may also boost the immune system’s response to infections by increasing the production of T cells – T cells fight infections and diseases.
The fiber lentils contain is linked to a lowered risk of colon and rectal cancer.
Improves Digestion & Reduces Appetite
Lentils are a rich source of fiber, fiber promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Adequate fiber in your diet helps prevent constipation and diarrhea-like stool. It increases your stool weight and makes it more consistent, which promotes regular bowel movements and helps keep the digestive tract healthy.
Fiber also gives you that feeling of fullness and reduces your appetite – this in turn reduces your overall calorie intake.
These lentils nutrition facts no doubt prove that they’re a highly nutritious and healthy food, but if you’re new to consuming foods that are high in fiber, they can cause discomforting flatulence.
The secret to overcome this, is by slowing and gradually increasing your intake over a month or two. Start off consuming small amounts at first. This will help the body adjust to the fiber increase.
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