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Read about the nutrition facts, health benefits, nutritional value and calories found in Lentils


Indian Recipes : Nutrition : Legumes & Beans : Lentils Nutrition Facts

If you have ever had a meal in an Indian restaurant, you must have been surely served with a spicy dish, commonly known as ‘dal’. This spicy dish is made of lentils which are actually legumes. They normally grow in pods that contain either one or two lentil seeds. Lentils are one of the earliest foods mankind has been consuming. Lentils have a distinct earthy flavor and are very commonly used throughout South Asia, the Mediterranean regions, and the Middle East. It is very often combined with rice to make delicious dishes. You must have heard of another delicacy ‘khichdi’, a very popular Indian dish made up of lentils and rice. These small legumes are exceptionally nutritious and carry numerous health benefits. Lentils are rich in proteins and they meet a major part of the protein demands of the body. If you are a vegetarian and are concerned about your protein intake, you can ideally incorporate lentils in your regular diet as they offer the third highest level of proteins from plant-based foods, after soybeans and hemp.  Glance through the sections below to know what other healthy advantages lentils add to your palate and body.

History

Lentils have been consumed since prehistoric times and they have been believed to have originated in central Asia. Traces of the earliest use of lentil seeds can be trailed back to 8000 years at the archeological sites in the Middle East. Lentils have been mentioned in the Bible at many instances, one as an item Jacob traded to Esau for his birthright, and another as a part of the bread made during the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people. For thousands of years, lentils have been traditionally consumed with barley and wheat. These three foodstuffs are believed to have originated in the same regions and spread throughout Africa and Europe during similar migrations and explorations of cultural tribes. Lentils were introduced to India some time before 1st century AD. It is now one of the most important constituents of traditional Indian cuisines. In many catholic countries, lentils form the staple food during the period of Lent. The current top producers of lentils are Canada, India, Nepal, and the United States.

 

Health Benefits of Masoor dal (Lentils)

 

  • Lentils are extremely rich in soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, thereby helping in removing bile from the body. It further helps in eliminating and reducing blood cholesterol levels.

  • The higher fiber content of lentils helps in increasing the size of stool; hence, speeding the journey of waste products through the gut. In short, lentils are useful for alleviating constipation. The fiber content also reduces the risk and the symptoms of diverticulosis, a condition in which small pouches form in the colon wall.

  • The soluble fiber in lentils has the property of trapping carbohydrates. It slows down the digestion and absorption process, hence preventing major changes in blood sugar level throughout the day. This helps diabetic patients.

  • The insoluble fiber in lentils leads to the feeling of early satiation; hence, people eat less and gain fewer pounds. Besides, insoluble fiber is indigestible, which passes through the body adding just a few calories.

  • Lentils are rich in flavones, a class of antioxidants with antioxidant properties. Studies have proved that regular consumption of lentils can reduce the risk of breast cancer.

  • Lentils prove to be significant for a healthy heart as they prevent heart coronary problems. Fiber in the lentils reduces blood cholesterol levels and plaque forming on the walls of the arteries, thereby eliminating the risk of stroke or other cardiovascular diseases.

  • Apart from providing low burning complex carbohydrates, lentils increase energy levels by replenishing iron stores. This is particularly very important for menstruating women, who are at a higher risk of iron deficiency.

  • Besides fiber which contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system, lentils contain folic acid and magnesium, significant for reducing the level of homocysteine, a compound known to be dangerous for the heart and artery walls. Also, lentils promote better blood flow and passage of oxygen and nutrients to the organs.

  • Rich in the antioxidant, molybdenum, lentils assist the body in breaking down harmful substances hence reducing allergy symptoms. This antioxidant is also essential for preventing impotency, particularly in older men, and avoiding anemia.

  • Researches indicate that the vitamin E found in lentils helps prevent the risk of Parkinson’s disease, though the exact connection is not yet determined.

 

Nutritional Value & Calories In Lentils 

Amount: 1 cup

Weight: 192 g

 
Nutrients
Amount
Basic Components
 
Proteins

50 g

Water

20 g

Ash

5.1 g

 
 
Calories
 

Total Calories

678

Calories From Carbohydrates

461

Calories From Fats

18.3

Calories From Proteins

198
 
 
Carbohydrates
 

Total Carbohydrates

115 g

Dietary Fiber

59 g

Sugar

3.9 g

 
 
Fats & Fatty Acids
 

Total Fat

2 g

Saturated Fat

300 mg

Monounsaturated Fat

363 mg

Polyunsaturated Fat

0.99 g

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

209 mg

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

776 mg

 
 
Vitamins
 

Vitamin A

75 IU

Vitamin C

8.4 mg

Vitamin E

941 mcg

Vitamin K

9.6 mcg

Thiamin

1.7 mg

Riboflavin

405 mcg

Niacin

5 mg

Vitamin B6

1 mg

Folate

920 mcg

Pantothenic Acid

4.1 mg

Choline

185 mg

 
 
Minerals
 
Calcium

108 mg

Iron

14 mg

Magnesium

234 mg

Phosphorus

866 mg

Potassium

1.8 g

Sodium

12 mg

Zinc

9.2 mg

Copper

1 mg

Manganese

2.6 mg

Selenium

16 mcg

 

How many calories in lentils (per 100 gm)

Lentils have about 353 calories per 100 g of weight.

 

How to Buy Lentils

 

  • Lentils can be found in prepackaged containers as well as in bulk bins. If you are purchasing lentils in bulk bins, make sure that the bins are properly covered.

  • Always buy lentils from a store with a good product turnover to ensure its maximum freshness.

  • While buying lentils, check for the moisture or insect damage. Never buy lentils that are not whole or are cracked.

  • While buying canned lentils, avoid those containing extra salt and additives.

 

Lentils Storage Tips

 

  • Lentils a longer shelf life. You can store lentils in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place. This way they can be stored for up to twelve months.

  • Lentils purchased at different times contain varying stages of dryness and hence, should be stored separately as they will require different cooking times.

  • Cooked lentils have a relatively shorter life. If kept in a covered container in the refrigerator, they can remain fresh for about three days.





More About Lentils
Quantity: 100 grams
Calories: 353 Calories in 100 grams
Bio-Logical name: Lens culinaris
Lentils in other languages:
Hindi Masoor Dal
Tamil Mysore Paruppu
Malayalam Masur Parippu
Telugu Misur Pappu
Gujarati Masur Dal
Marathi Masur Dal
Bengali Masoor
Oriya Masura
Punjabi Masoor Dal
Urdu Masoor Dal



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