The curved lens form that lentils, also known as lens culinaris, have contributed to its naming. One of the first crops to be farmed, evidence of its usage can be found dating all the way back to the Bronze Age, as well as in ancient Rome and Egypt.
Lentils are a legume. The Fabaceae family, sometimes referred to as the Leguminosae family, is the family that contains plants with edible components called legumes.
In addition to this, lentils are also considered to be a kind of pulse. Pulses are a kind of dry legume that are derived from the seed of plants in the family Fabaceae.
Isn’t that confusing? It is common for people to get legumes, pulses, beans, and peas mixed up with one another.
We are pleased to assist in providing clarity on this matter, so allow me to further.
Consider legumes to be a complete food category in and of itself.
They may be found on any part of a plant belonging to the Fabaceae family, including the stalks, leaves, pods, and vines.
Included in the category of legumes are all types of beans and peas, as well as, perhaps most unexpectedly, peanuts! Although they seem like nuts, these fake nuts are really legumes that grow underground.
Pulses are the dried seeds that are produced by plants of the Fabaceae family.
Beans, peas, and lentils are all examples of common pulses, which are also classified as legumes.
Pulses come in a variety of forms, and beans and peas are also examples of this category of food.
Better? Even though they are classified as a sort of pulse, lentils are still considered to be a form of legume.
In the region that is now northern Syria, their use has been documented as long back as 8,000 BC.
In those days, lentils were considered a staple for the working class in Greece. On the other hand, things were quite different in Egypt.
The presence of lentils in the ruins of royal tombs is evidence that they were consumed by members of the ruling class.
Lentils have gained widespread popularity and are now considered a “superfood” in many parts of the globe. There are several varieties of lentils, including the following:
Brown lentils, which are the most popular kind, have an earthy taste and are often used in cooking dishes like soups and stews.
Additionally, they may be formed into the patties of a vegetarian burger using this method. Green — Comparable in appearance to brown lentils, green lentils have a taste that is noticeably heartier and may range in tone from very light to mottled green.
They are widely used in salads and other types of side dishes. These lentils are split and their hues may vary from yellow to orange to red. They are known as the red / yellow variety.
They are often used in the cooking of Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines.
Due to the fact that they are “split,” they cook more quickly and are often used as a puree to thicken sauces, stews, and soups.
These dark-colored lentils have a glossy appearance and are more compact than their brown and green counterparts.
They have a taste that is rather robust and are often used in salads. Le Puy is the name of a particular location in the middle of France that is home to a kind of lentils with a distinctive bluish-green color and a robust taste. Surprise!
- Are Lentils Considered A Grain Or Protein?
- Why Lentils Are Bad For You?
- Is It OK To Eat Lentils Every Day?
- How Many Times A Week Should You Eat Lentils?
Are Lentils Considered A Grain Or Protein?
Neither. The term “pulse” refers to a certain kind of dry legume, and lentils are a form of legume known as a “pulse.”
On the other hand, they have an astonishingly high percentage of protein in their bodies.
About 28 percent of protein may be found in each lentil seed.
Because of the great amount of protein that they contain, they are a favorite among vegans, vegetarians, and anybody else who follows a plant-based diet.
Some individuals who rely on beans as their major source of protein classify them as members of the “protein food category.”
In addition to this, they contain a large volume of dietary fiber, which encourages the development and survival of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract known as probiotics.
These little superfoods are filled to the brim with fiber, protein, and carbs, in addition to a wide variety of other advantageous components.
The following is the nutritional breakdown of 100 grams, or about half a cup, of lentils:
- Calories: 115
- Carbohydrates: 20g
- Protein: 9g
- Fat: 0.4g
- Fiber: 7.8g
- Vitamin B6: 9% of Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
- Thiamine: 11% RDI
- Folate: 45% RDI
- Iron: 18% RDI
- Magnesium: 9% RDI
- Potassium: 10% RDI
- Phosphorous: 18% RDI
- Manganese: 25% RDI
- Copper: 12.5% RDI
- Zinc: 8.5% RDI
Polyphenols, an important class of phytochemicals, may be found in high concentrations in lentils.
The presence of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, as well as the ability to halt the proliferation of cancer cells, have been attributed to polyphenols.
In addition to everything else that is wonderful:
- Their low GI (Glycemic Index) make them suitable for diabetics
- High potassium levels help lower blood pressure
- High fiber content lowers cholesterol
- High folate and magnesium help protect the heart from disease
- High iron content promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails
It is no surprise that they are considered a superfood.
Cooking lentils may be done in many different ways, including the following:
- Pureed into soups and stews to add texture
- Adding to sauces instead of meat
- Adding to salads
- Adding to dipping sauces like salsa
- Toasted and added to cereal or oatmeal
- Making a vegetarian burger patty
- Used as filling for burritos or tacos
- Used in Indian dal or curries
Why Lentils Are Bad For You?
Lentils are not an exception to this rule; nothing is flawless. Even if the benefits of eating lentils on a daily basis greatly exceed the possible drawbacks, there are still some risks involved.
Legumes, including lentils, are known to contain a kind of protein known as lectins.
It is well knowledge that active lectins may irritate the gastrointestinal tract and impede the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Some people have mild side effects such as bloating and flatulence.
It is also believed that lectins prevent the absorption of nutrients such as zinc, iron, calcium, and phosphorus.
They have the potential to adhere to the digestive system and produce difficulties, particularly in those who already suffer from gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Lectins, on the other hand, are susceptible to heat and will lose their activity if they are subjected to high temperatures or cooked in a pressure cooker.
Additionally, lectins may be dissolved in water. It is possible to eliminate lectins from lentils by first soaking them in water before cooking them. It is essential to keep in mind that lectins can only be found in their raw legume form.
Eating beans that have been undercooked or that are eaten uncooked is likely to produce a negative response to the lectins in the legume.
Some people experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or an upset stomach as one of their symptoms.
You should at least prepare yourself for the possibility of bloating and gas.
Consuming meals that contain significant amounts of lectins is an unusual occurrence.
Cooking is required before consuming the vast majority of foods that contain lectins, such as beans and lentils.
Is It OK To Eat Lentils Every Day?
A daily serving of lentils is not only acceptable but also highly recommended, provided that they are prepared properly by being either well boiled or pre-soaked.
The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association are just two of the many organizations that have said that lentils, along with all other types of legumes, are a kind of superfood that has an incredible number of positive effects on one’s health.
A research that was conducted at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and published in 2014 found that eating one serving per day of beans, peas, chickpeas, or lentils may greatly lower the risk of developing heart disease.
About 647,000 people in the United States lose their lives each year due to coronary heart disease, making it the top cause of mortality in the country.
That accounts for one death in every four. Yikes. A little less than half of all the lentils that are eaten on a global scale are consumed in India.
Since 2,500 BC, they have been farming and regularly eating lentils ever since that time.
It would be quite unusual to encounter an Indian supper that did not include at least one dish that used lentils.
India is the second largest producer of lentils in the world, after Canada.
The well-known Indian soup known as dal (or daal) is made by combining a variety of spices with lentils.
There are other instances when other kinds of legumes, such chickpeas, are used.
The term “dal” comes from a Sanskrit word that literally means “to divide,” which is where the phrase originated.
The word “dal” may be used to refer to any and all split pulses, and it is also the name of a well-known soup dish that is created using these split pulses.
According to the findings of a research conducted at Harvard University, which followed over 90,000 women for eight years, those who consumed beans or lentils at least twice per week had a 34% lower chance of getting breast cancer.
Consuming as little as a half cup of beans on a daily basis has been shown to reduce the chance of developing heart disease by 16%.
How Many Times A Week Should You Eat Lentils?
In order to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest consuming a half cup of lentils or any other kind of legume between two and three times a week.
The legume family is one of a kind since members of this group place it in both the vegetable and the protein categories.
According to the amount of nutrients that they contain, they belong to one of the five categories of vegetables.
The others are as follows:
Broccoli, bok choy, collard greens, and spinach are examples of dark green vegetables.
Vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes, and bell peppers are red and orange.
Starchy foods such as maize and potatoes
Avocados, bean sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, and onions are some of the other veggies.
Women should consume two to three cups of vegetables per day, while males should consume three to four cups of vegetables per day, according to the USDA.
Some advocates of a vegan or vegetarian diet have incorporated legumes in their diet as a key source of protein, and they consume them on a regular basis in order to fulfill the necessary daily consumption.
According to factors such as age, lifestyle, and the amount of muscle mass, the majority of health experts advise consuming between 0.8 and 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.
For the typical individual who leads a sedentary lifestyle, this is approximately equivalent to between 40 and 60 grams of protein per day.
Muscles, cells, and tissues may all be built up and repaired with the aid of protein.
As a result, sportsmen and bodybuilders consume a much greater amount of protein.
Do lentils count as grains?
Lentils are technically classified as a kind of grain legume known as a pulse, which indicates that they are picked for their seeds rather than their whole plant. Lentils are tiny seeds that are shaped like miniature lenses and may be found in a wide variety of hues.
What is the difference between legumes and lentils?
Lentils are lens shaped legumes. Pulses are the dried seeds of the plants of the legume family. Plants that are classified within the Fabaceae family are known as legumes. Lentils in brown, green, yellow, and red colors.
Are legumes considered grains?
“Grains” refers to cereal grains, while “legumes” refers to pulse crops such as lupins, peanuts, soybeans, and other types of dry beans, as well as peas, lentils, and chickpeas. Both terms are used by consumers.
Are lentils a grain or pulse?
Pulses are simple to cook, affordable, and include many different nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Lentils are classified as pulses since they are the edible seed that comes from legume pods.
Are lentils inflammatory?
According to a number of anti-inflammatory diets, eating whole grains and pulses (which include beans, peas, and lentils) will increase inflammation. However, evidence indicates that this is not the case. Pulses have been demonstrated to have a beneficial effect on inflammation reduction due to their high fiber and magnesium content.
Lentils are packed with nutrients and are unquestionably nutritious. This is true regardless of whether you are interested in a plant-based diet or you are a meat eater trying to complement your diet with more fiber and protein.
They have been providing for our nutritional needs for tens of thousands of years, and they will continue to be an important component of our diet.
The myriad health advantages of these small nutritional powerhouses may be enjoyed by including them in dishes such as salads and stews.