Green Kitchen Tips Brown, Green and Red Lentils

Published on September 15th, 2010 | by Rachel Fox, RD

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Top 5 Reasons to Eat Lentils

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We all have heard that lentils are a “superfood.”  This legume looks beautiful as a side dish but can also make a fantastic main course.  I believe they should be incorporated regularly to everyone’s diet. Here are my top five reasons why.

1. They are cheap!

Living on a tight budget is tough!  Lentils are one of the cheapest sources of good protein around. The last package I bought was less than $5.00 and contained more than 20 servings!  When I am in a pinch for good, filling food, I always go straight to lentils.

2. You don’t have to soak them overnight.

Beans and legumes are the top vegetarian protein sources. If you are on a busy schedule or have a very full refrigerator, it may be difficult to soak your beans all the time.  Well guess what? Lentils do not require soaking. After rinsing them off, they can go straight into the pot to be cooked.

3. Iron content is very high.

If you eliminate meat from you diet, iron is one of the hardest minerals to get enough of.  Lentils are great sources of iron. One half cup of cooked lentils has 3.3 mg iron, while 3 oz beef has only 2.6 mg.

4. Lentils are full of fiber.

Only plant foods contain fiber. Of all the plant foods, lentils are close to the top of the high fiber list.  In a half cup serving there is almost 8g!

5. Did I mention taste?

Not only are lentils great for your health, they also are great for your taste buds. Throw them into any soup or mix them with your favorite whole grain.  They are a versatile legume and go great with many different spices. What is your favorite lentil dish?

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons user photobunny



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About the Author

Rachel is a Registered Dietitian and food and nutrition enthusiast from southeast Michigan. She has her Bachelor's in Dietetics from Central Michigan University and completed her dietetic internship at Michigan State University. Rachel aspires to get a Master's of Public Health in the near future. Her passions include cooking, baking, and even grocery shopping. She supports local food, slow food, and good food! Rachel's spare time is devoted to attending local concerts and festivals, reading and playing tennis.



  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000423825071 Becca

    Lentils are very high in protein and very low in fat.
    According to the Harvard School of Public Health:
    “A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein, but under 1 gram of fat.”

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