Red Split Lentils are by far the quickest to cook of the lentil family. They need no pre-soaking unlike many legumes and as they are split (the skins removed so they split naturally into two halves), they cook very quickly. With about 30% of their calories from protein, lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut, after soybeans and hemp. Proteins include the essential amino acids isoleucine and lysine. Red Lentils also contain folate, vitamin B1, minerals and dietary fibre.
Lentils are high in fibre, and complex carbohydrates, while low in fat and calories. Their high protein content makes lentils a perfect option for those looking to boost their protein intake. They are naturally gluten-free, making them a delicious staple in a gluten-free kitchen. Their exceptionally low glycemic index (low GI) values and resistant starch content make them suitable for a diabetic diet.
Did you know? When combined with a whole grain, lentils provide the same quality protein as meat!
Lentils are good source of protein. A ½ cup serving of cooked lentils provides about 12 grams of protein. With such high protein content, you are sure to be fuelled up all day long.
Did you know? Just 1/2 cup of cooked green lentils packs in 32% of your days’ worth of fibre!
Lentils are an excellent source of fibre. In addition to gut mobility, dietary fibre is well known for many health benefits. Notably, high intake of fibre is associated with lower blood cholesterol levels and protection against developing colon cancer and Type 2 diabetes.
Did you know? Just 1/2 cup of cooked split red lentils has 273 mg of potassium!
We are so driven to reduce salt that sometimes we forget to look at the other half of the equation: getting enough potassium. Potassium can counteract the damaging effect of sodium and has been shown to lower blood pressure.
Did you know? Out of all plant-based foods, lentils contain the most folate!
Lentils are an excellent source of folate. A type of B-vitamin, folate helps support red blood cell formation and proper nerve functions. Folate also plays an important role in lowering artery-damaging homocysteine. In addition, the water-soluble vitamin may help prevent anemia and protect against developing heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Folate is particularly important for women of childbearing age, as it is needed to support increasing maternal blood volume.
Did you know? Just 1/2 cup of cooked lentils provides 15% of your daily iron needs!
Iron plays an integral role in the formation of hemoglobin in blood and myoglobin in the muscles, both of which carry oxygen to the cells. That is why fatigue and tiredness are usually the first symptoms people notice when they are low in iron. For vegetarians, getting enough iron particularly challenging. Regularly including lentils in your diet can help boost your iron intake.
Lentils are a very good source of manganese. This mineral is stored mainly in our bones and in major organs including the liver, kidney, and pancreas. Manganese plays a role in maintaining normal blood sugar level, and helps protect against free-radical damage.