Basic morphological characteristics of the lentils
Lentil (Lens esculenta) is a hardy herbaceous plant of the legume family, which include beans, peas, and other plants that have the external membrane in the form of legume.
Across the world grows more than 60 different types of lentils, which are different in color and size, so that the most commonly used types of lentils are in the following colors - green, red, black, and yellow.
Country of origin of the lentils is Middle East, where it was used in the human diet even during the Stone Age. Today the lentils most grown on the soil of Canada, followed by India, Turkey, America and Australia.
What is the nutritional value of the lentils?
The lentil is a legume with high biological and nutritional value, which is primarily provided by high-quality plant proteins. Characteristic of plant proteins in the lentils is that contain plenty of amino acids known as leucine, isoleucine, and lysine while unlike grains, lentils contain small amounts of amino acids - methionine, cysteine and tryptophan. Therefore, it is recommended to combine the lentils with cereals in the diet, in order to obtain all the important amino acids necessary for normal functioning of the body.
Due to the high content of protein, lentil is the ideal food in a vegetarian diet as a protein replaces. It is believed that only soy excels in the quantity of plant proteins among other legumes.
Nutritional composition of the lentils looks like this:
The lentil in a 100 g has:
- 60 g carbohydrates
- 31 g fiber
- 26 g of protein
- 1 g of fats
- 10 g water
Mineral composition of the lentils looks like this:
Vitamin share of lentils for the most part consists of vitamin B group - vitamin B1 and vitamin B9. There is also a high content of beta carotene and vitamin A.
What are the Health Benefits of lentils?
1. Regulation of Cholesterol
The high content of complex oiled hydrate in the lens contributes to a longer digestion and a slower release into the bloodstream, resulting in a longer feeling of satiety. While lens does not contain saturated fats, it is very important to be used in diets for weight loss and for people who suffer from high cholesterol levels. In addition to the presence of carbohydrates, fibers are those which maintain a normal level of cholesterol because it allows weaker absorption in the intestine.
2. Regulation of glucose
The lentil is the food, which is excellent for maintaining normal blood sugar levels, which is extremely important for diabetics. Soluble vegetable fibers reduce the level of glucose in the blood and regulate the secretion of insulin.
3. The regulation of digestion
Vegetable fibers of lentils are important for maintenance normal motoric functions as a regular bowel emptying and cleaning. Consuming lentils helps with constipation and hemorrhoids situation, and it is considered that a regular diet which incorporates lentils can prevent the occurrence of colon cancer.
4. Effects on the nervous system
Important amino acids and vitamin B complex in lentils give it the importance in the preservation of health of nervous system.
5. Prevents anemia
High concentration of iron, copper and zinc in lentils prevents anemia, or it can be used in the treatment of already present anemia.
6. Impact on Blood Pressure
Wealth of potassium contributes to the regulation of heart rate and circulation in the body, controlling water balance, and hence blood pressure.
How to correctly store lentils?
In order to preserve all the valuable ingredients of these foods, it should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place, but not longer than six months. Cooked lentils in the fridge can stand up to three days.
How to prepare lentil?
The lentil is a legume that has to be pre-soak in the water, as is the case with beans or broad beans. However, as known to cause bloating in people with sensitive stomach, it is recommended that the night before cooking, soak the lentils in water and then put in new water for cooking.
Lentils need to be cook in the three times larger amount of water and cook about 40 minutes. Lentils are well combined with root vegetables, carrots, celery, parsley, as well as rice, cereals and meat.