Lately lentils have become a tasty staple in my diet. Low in calories and high in nutrition, lentils are the perfect legume to eat in the summer. Toss them into salads, make delicsious spreads with them for crudité and crackers, and use them as an item to complete a vegetarian dinner plate. I always gravitate towards foods that are easy to cook, and lentils are a hassle-free compliment to any meal. Nutty and earthy in flavor, lentils have a high nutritional value that anyone can benefit from by incorporating this healthy legume into their diet.
Eat lentils and reap their health benefits. If you are curious to know what the health benefits of lentils are other than the common knowledge that they are high in protein, read more about their awesome qualities here:
Lower Cholesterol – Lentils help to reduce blood cholesterol since it contains high levels of soluble fiber. Lowering your cholesterol levels reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke by keeping your arteries clean.
Heart Health – Several studies have shown that eating high fiber foods like lentils reduces your risk of heart disease. Lentils are also a great source of folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Low levels of magnesium have been directly associated with heart disease, so eating lentils will keep your heart happy!
Digestive Health – Insoluble dietary fiber found in lentils helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
Stabilized Blood Sugar – Adding to the many benefits of fiber, soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing down digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels. This can be especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
Good Protein – Of all legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third-highest levels of protein. 26% of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
Increases Energy – Lentils increase steady, slow-burning energy due its fiber and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are also a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism.
Weight Loss – Although lentils include all these beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, they are still low in calories and contain virtually no fat. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, but still leaves you feeling full and satisfied.
Lentil, Arugula, Beet, Avocado, and Walnut Salad
What You Need
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
How To Make
Soak your lentils for a few hours and then boil them until they are soft. Let the lentils cool. Sautee garlic in olive oil. Add garlic and olive oil to the lentils and gently mix. Place a handful of baby arugula onto a plate. Top with lentils, sliced avocado, sliced beets, and toasted walnuts. Drizzle olive oil over your salad and squeeze fresh lemon juice over it. Easy as that!
(Note you can soak your lentils over night and once cooked they stay well for a few days in the fridge.)
Watch this video below to learn how to make a favorite of my recipes, a lentil walnut pate!