Lentils are dietary staples for many cuisines and are sometimes overlooked. It is available in many varieties of colors ranging from black and many other shades of brown to orange, red, green, etc. you can have many health benefits from having an ample amount of lentils in your diet.
Health Benefits Of Lentils
A single cup of lentils can provide you with 18 grams of protein which is almost equivalent to the protein in a cup of beef. Among all the different types of legumes, lentils are the second-highest in protein, the first being soybeans. It is very easy to cook lentils and depending on the variety, it takes from 30 to 45 minutes to soften. In addition, lentils do not need hours of pre-soaking, unlike many other varieties of beans. This means that a healthy meal prep with lentils does not need much advance planning.
When compared to other plant-based protein sources, lentils are much cheaper and have only 3.5 grams of sugar per cup, making them low in sugar. Moreover, lentils have a low glycemic index. Apart from being a good source of protein and fiber, lentils are also a good source of vitamins and minerals that are necessary to ensure good health.
Endless Varieties Of Lentils
Lentils are usually available in four basic varieties, which are yellow, brown, green, and specialty lentils like black beluga, brown lentils like Spanish pardina, petite Castillo, and many others. Different varieties of lentils have different flavors and textures. However, all of them have similar nutritional profiles. Usually, green and brown lentils are used in most plant-based recipes that call for lentils. These varieties of lentils tend to retain their shape even after cooking. The orange, yellow and red lentils are split and they tend to disintegrate more easily when compared to the green and brown varieties. Therefore, these varieties are suitable for sopus, spreads, or stews.
You can find different varieties of lentils in grocery stores and online websites that sell plant-based products. If you like to have a different flavor with lentils, you can go for the slate green lentils that have a slight peppery flavor. If you have already tried the brown lentils, you can go for the yellow or red variety of lentils or have the exotic ones that you can buy online. However, if you are not at all familiar with lentils, you can start with the common black or brown varieties.