Lentils are a lovely legume that comes in many colors. Beyond being beautiful they are little nutritional powerhouses. They are a favorite among vegetarians because of their high protein. They are actually one of the most protein rich legumes. They are also high in fiber and whole carbohydrates. Protein, fiber, and fat make us feel full and keep you full for a longer period of time because they are harder for our body to break down. Whole carbohydrates unlike refined carbohydrates are also good for slowing down our digestion. Lentils have both soluble and insoluble fiber both of which are important for our gut health. By slowing down your digestive process, lentils are able to stabilize your blood sugar and are considered heart healthy. They are also a great source of folate, magnesium, and iron. I have been particularly drawn to lentils as a replacement for red meat. Red meat is a wonderful source of bioavailable iron. It is my go-to recommendation for people suffering from iron deficiency anemia. However, there are many people that don’t want to eat red meat for a myriad. Lentils are a great alternative for those of us that need more iron.
1 Cup boiled Lentils (only 230 calories)
Protein: 18 g (36% of daily value)
Fiber: 16 g (64% of daily value)
Folate (vitamin B9): 90% of daily value*
Vitamin B6: 20% of daily value
Magnesium: 17% of daily value
Iron: 36% of daily value
*I had to calculate this one out myself using a few different references so if it is off from the number you find, I apologize.