useful properties, composition and contraindications (+ 17 photos), Calories, benefits and harms, Useful properties

Lentils have developed a very strange status. It seems to be for us
the product is not at all exotic (southern Europe is considered its homeland
and Western Asia), but not every inhabitant of our country regularly
it eats, and many have never even tried it. It turns out that in vain!
In the article, we will consider in detail the useful and medicinal properties of lentils,
as well as contraindications to its use.

Useful properties of lentils

Composition and calorie content

Raw red lentils (per 100 g): .

Calories 358 Kcal

B3 1,5 Potassium, K 668 Vitamin
B1 0,51 Phosphorus,
P 294 Vitamin
B6 0,4 Magnesium, Mg 59 Vitamin B5 0,35 Calcium, Ca 48 Vitamin
B2 0,11 Iron,
Fe 7,39

On store shelves today, lentils are presented in a whole color
palette. Depending on the variety, the composition of the seed coat and
cotyledon lentil grains can be yellow, orange, red,
green, brown or black.

The color of the shelled seeds is mainly related to the color of the cotyledons. Such
lentils are yellow, red, or green. Whole (unpeeled) color
seeds range from green and gray to brown and black.
Since the seed coat contains a number of biologically active
substances, chemical compositions of the same peeled and whole
lentils will vary. It also differs to a certain extent
the chemical composition of different varieties of lentils or grains grown
in different conditions.

In the table below, we have provided data for raw red lentils,
because it is cooked more often in the kitchens of our country. She is not like that
coarse as whole, easier to digest and absorb, although
in some respects, unshelled lentils are a little more useful.

In whole lentils (as a percentage of the same mass
seeds) more fiber,
potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and usually a little more
vitamins B6 and B2. At the same time, whole lentils are lower in carbohydrates.
and calories. But in general, the calorie indicators are not so strong.
differ in order to change the culinary strategy for the sake of this.

However, lentils with green and gray shells contain more
the amount of flavan-3-ols (catechins), proanthocyanidins and some
flavonols, which largely determines the potential of lentil seeds
in a healthy diet.

Regardless of the presence or absence of a shell, lentils are
to foods rich in vegetable proteins, including
predominantly secrete globulin (more than 45% of the total
seed proteins) and albumin. Among two dozen leguminous crops
lentils are in the “top 3” in terms of starch content
(more than 47%), insoluble dietary fiber, as well as phenols, ahead of
last indicator green
peas, chickpeas
and mung beans (mash). .

The seeds of this crop are considered a good source of prebiotics.
– they contain prebiotic carbohydrates (12-14 g / 100 g dry
lentils), which help maintain the gut microbial environment
and prevent gastrointestinal diseases.

In addition, lentils are relatively low in fat and sodium, but high in
potassium (sodium to potassium ratio about 1:30). .
This makes lentils an excellent dietary product for patients.
and cardiovascular disease. Also safe for patients
with cardiovascular diseases used in treatment
anticoagulants, makes lentils low in phylloquinone
– vitamin K (5 μg / 100 g with a daily requirement in adults
about 80 mcg).

Among other vitamins, thiamine (B1), riboflavin are found in lentils
(B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6),
folic acid (B9), α, β and γ tocopherols (E). Among the minerals
– zinc, copper, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and boron.

Plate of lentils

Medicinal properties

Ancient doctors believed that eating lentils regularly helped
a person to get rid of nervous disorders, to become more calm.
But already in the early Middle Ages, the famous Persian healer Avicenna,
in fact, he refuted the opinion of his ancient Roman colleagues. He claimed
that lentils can cause nightmares, which, in their
turn lead to the appearance of circles under the eyes. Moreover,
he attributed to lentils the ability, by thickening the blood, effectively
stop bleeding and lower blood pressure.

Current research data shows other therapeutic
properties of lentils. According to them, the consumption of the seeds of this legume
culture is directly associated with a reduced risk of diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, cancer.

Of course, lentils cannot be viewed as a substitute for drugs.
But as an adjuvant, it can help treat
these and other diseases, showing antioxidant, antibacterial,
antifungal, antiviral, cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory,
nephroprotective, antidiabetic, antitumor properties.

Antidiabetic activity of lentils

According to scientists, regular consumption of sprouted lentils is beneficial
for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. . The seeds of this bean
plants have the ability to improve the metabolism of glucose, lipids
and lipoproteins in the blood in patients with type 2 diabetes with excessive
body weight and obesity. .

Animal studies have shown that flavonoids and fiber
in lentils play a significant role in intestinal motility and prevent
violation of metabolic control in diabetic rats. Per person
it is too early to transfer the obtained data, but the scientists themselves call
these results are promising for the use of lentil flavonoids
in the treatment of patients with diabetes.

With regard to research involving humans, some scientific
projects have been shown how regular consumption of cooked lentils
(50 g) among patients with diabetes resulted in a significant reduction in
fasting blood sugar.

A decrease in the glycemic index in a lentil diet is associated with the presence of
in seeds of polyphenols, which influence metabolic disorders.
In addition, in vitro (“in vitro”) and in vivo (on
living organisms) also demonstrated that lentils in the diet
regulates starch digestibility, glycemic load and
glycemic index, which reduces complications of diabetes.

Lentils are good for the heart

The cardioprotective effect of lentils

Eating phenol-rich lentil seeds reduces the risk of
cardiovascular disease. Lentil polyphenols reduce
blood pressure and generally prevent the development of hypertension
and coronary artery disease.

In experiments conducted on animals with hypertension, the introduction
lentils significantly reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides and
low density lipoproteins (“bad” cholesterol). In one more
research, lentils significantly increased lipoprotein levels
high density (“good” cholesterol) and lowered glucose levels
in the blood of diabetic rats.

Antimicrobial Activity of Lentils

Lentils Containing Flavonoids and Lectins are Non-toxic and Safe
for use in medical diagnostic kits. Biologically
active “protective” peptide isolated from germinated lentil seeds,
exhibits antibacterial and antifungal activity (in particular
– inhibits the growth of Aspergillus niger).

These peptides of the immune system (defensins) are probably capable of interrupting
the work of viral digestive enzymes, ultimately interfering with
replication of the virus. In addition, defensins block ion channels
and inhibit translation of the protein. Therefore, the “protective” peptides
lentil seeds, together with phenolic compounds, acts as
a potential inhibitor of microbial growth.

Sprouted lentils

The anti-cancer potential of lentils

Some studies suggest that eating
lentil seeds can reduce the incidence of various types of
cancers, including colon, thyroid, liver, breast cancer
and prostate.

A large prospective epidemiological study involving
9,6 thousand women, in which, among other products, “tested”
lentils rich in polyphenols have shown an inverse relationship between
consumption of this legume and the risk of
breast cancer. . That is, in those populations where it was traditionally
lentils are accepted, the number of cases of breast cancer
was smaller.

First, lentil seed polyphenols are thought to absorb
carcinogens, provide detoxification and promote accuracy
DNA recovery. And, secondly, lentil lectins together with phenolic
compounds have also proven themselves as therapeutic agents.
They have shown the ability to bind to membranes and receptors
cancer cells, inhibiting protein synthesis, causing cancer cell death.

At least in rat experiments, lentil seeds are already
demonstrated chemopreventive potential against
colorectal carcinogenesis and significantly reduced the number
neoplasms in the colon of rats. .
It is believed that the effectiveness of such chemoprophylaxis is responsible
flavones, flavonols, anthocyanidins, tannins
and other biologically active compounds found in lentils
significantly more than, for example, in green and yellow peas.

Finally, a number of in vitro studies have shown that
lentils also have a higher overall antioxidant capacity than chickpeas,
beans or
soybeans. Lentil extracts have been shown to
absorb oxygen radicals with an efficiency equivalent to
antioxidant capacity of Trolox (a water-soluble vitamin analog
E from Hoffman-LaRoche). Also on this indicator, lentils surpassed
parallel tested bow,
wheat, blueberries,

At the same time, despite a wide range of potential medicinal properties,
in medicine, lentils are still not used, and they remember
it, mainly when due to nutrition it is necessary to increase
the amount of easily digestible vegetable protein in the diet.

Boiled lentils

In folk medicine

In folk medicine, lentils are used both independently and
and in combination with other green pharmacy medicines. In both
in cases, lentils are usually taken in the form of decoctions or infusions,
although there are also recipes with crushed seeds.

In ancient herbalists, lentil infusion is referred to as
remedies for treating smallpox.
In modern collections of traditional medicine with lentil preparations
correct the work of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, liver, accelerate wound healing,
treat eye diseases (external compresses).

  • For the treatment of urolithiasis
    disease lentil seeds (1 tbsp. l.) pour water (350 ml)
    and cook for about 30 minutes. The liquid is not drained, but
    drink 50 ml three times a day.
  • To relieve constipation
    prepare a liquid broth of lentils, often reinforcing its action
    adding prunes. To get rid of diarrhea – on the contrary
    – use thick lentil porridge, boiled in vinegar.
  • Gargling with a decoction of lentils eliminates perspiration, cough
    and inflammation of the oral mucosa.
  • Eye puffiness is treated with a rose oil-based mixture prepared
    from lentil seed powder mixed with melilot.
  • A lentil compress is applied to the site of breast inflammation.
    flour mixed with cabbage
  • Deep wounds on the body, in the absence of antiseptics, are recommended
    cover with flour of lentils mixed with honey.
    And small cracks, redness and rashes – with lentil flour,
    mixed with egg white. Against skin rashes in folk
    medicine make compresses from lentils cooked with peel and
    juice of unripe grapes or vinegar.

Also in modern folk medicine, increase the use of
lentils are recommended for pregnant women, explaining this by the abundance of folic
acid necessary for the normal development of the fetus.

The method of strengthening the gums is also practiced.
and teeth with the help of lentil infusion, which rinse the mouth

Young lentil bush

In oriental medicine

A detailed description of the properties of lentils was given by the recognized classic of the medieval
Persian medicine Ibn Sina (Avicenna). According to his ideas,
lentils – a food that requires moderation, food that can
there is not any combination. So, lentils will not harm if
eat it with fatty meat, almonds,
vinegar. But in combination with salted fish, sugar and other sweet
ingredients of lentils can provoke an exacerbation of hemorrhoids,
cause dropsy, worsen urination. Lentil abuse
can cause melancholy, lead to blurred vision and even
create the prerequisites for infection with leprosy.

Representatives of modern Tibetan medicine also consider it harmful
combining lentils with some sweet foods, especially
– with brown

In traditional Chinese medicine, lentils are responsible for the circulation channels.
Qi energies, correlated with the stomach and spleen, on which the lentils
has a healing effect. Plant grains are recommended
there is to get rid of edema
and cessation of diarrhea, as well as more actively introduce into the diet with a lack of
Yin energy.

As a preventive measure, lentils are eaten to reduce
the risk of oncological diseases and to prevent
the appearance of helminths.

In scientific research

We have already mentioned the numerous scientific studies of lentils,
which studied the role of this legume in improving the condition
patients with diabetes, as well as cardioprotective, anticancer, antimicrobial
seed potential. But in this section we want to tell you more.
about how these studies are carried out, using the example of scientific work,
in which the chemopreventive effect of exposure was assessed
raw and boiled lentils on foci of colorectal cancer. .

Lentil research in the laboratory

To study the hypothesis that the grains of this legume crop
in the diet can suppress early carcinogenesis and that culinary
heat treatment can affect chemopreventive
potential of the product, 4 types of lentils were used: raw whole,
raw peeled, boiled whole and boiled peeled. Moreover,
the comparison involved previously well-studied soybeans.

Sixty male rat pups, 4 to 5 weeks old
were randomly divided into 6 groups (10 animals per
group). After acclimatization for 1 week (from the age of
5 to 6 weeks), all animals were transferred to control and treatment
diet for 5 weeks. At the end of the 5th week of feeding, all rats received
2 subcutaneous injections of a carcinogen at the rate of 15 mg / kg of rat weight
per dose once a week for 2 consecutive weeks. After 17 weeks
after the last injection, all animals were euthanized, and the condition
their colon was analyzed for a variety of parameters.

According to the results of the analysis, scientists concluded that consumption
lentils may protect against colon carcinogenesis and that hydrothermal
treatment even resulted in improved chemopreventive potential
whole lentils.

For losing weight

The calorie content of whole green and brown lentils is estimated
at about 300 kcal / 100 g dry product. Boiled
after an increase in moisture content by 6-7 times, calorie content is 100 grams
boiled lentils will be about 100-105 kcal / 100 g. For dry
shelled red lentils, these indicators are 315-320 kcal /
100 g before cooking and 100 kcal / 100 g after boiling. Then
there is, lentils in dishes are not a very high-calorie product and already
by this alone it attracts the attention of people who want to get rid of
from excess weight.

The girl recommends lentils for weight loss

The grains of the plant also contain several anti-nutrients that,
supposed to play a role in energy regulation. The seeds of this
cultures are rich in fiber,
have a relatively low energy density (about 1,3 kcal
/ g or 5,3 kJ / g) and are considered a good source of assimilable
squirrel. The carbohydrates in lentils are digested slowly,
providing long-term satiety, and exhibiting one of the most
low glycemic index among carbohydrate-containing
products. According to Harvard Medical School, glycemic
lentil index is 32 ± 5. .

Benefit from the use of lentils in the fight against obesity
some human studies also say ., in which
the effects of lentils have been compared to those of other legumes (chickpea,
purple beans, yellow peas). In ongoing experiments
lentils showed the strongest satiating properties and, in general,
helped to reduce the amount of food consumed. And although the percentage
this decline was relatively low – only 8% – that’s all
equally helped to reduce body weight and waist circumference, although
not radically.

Indirectly, the benefits of lentils in the fight against extra pounds are said
and animal experiments. In particular, it was found that lentil
diet affects the gut microbiome and markers of obesity in animals,
reducing body weight and body fat in animals. .

But, despite this, data on the effect of lentils directly
body weight and waist measurements remain controversial. Sometimes this
beans are credited with effects that cannot be attributed to lentils
the specificity of the diet, but the general way of life and nutrition. Moreover,
all studies conducted in humans included only participants
are initially overweight or obese, so people with normal
weight, wanting to lose a few more kilograms with the help of lentils,
may not achieve the desired result.

At the same time, lentils can be considered as a product that helps
control the existing body weight, fill up faster and do
longer intervals between meals.

Cooked Lentils with Herbs

In cooking

Judging by the biblical texts, once upon a time for lentil stew it was
received the birthright, and the brother was ready to quarrel with his brother.
And even if in this case, it is not so much about the taste of the stew,
how much about the symbol of food as such, it only emphasizes that
the fact that there were times when lentils were very prized and occupied
central place on the dining table, often replacing others

Today, lentil soup and mashed potatoes are prepared from it, lentils are served
with meat, fish and vegetables, steamed in the oven and cooked in a slow cooker.
In Spanish and Italian cuisines where seeds are preferred
whole, coarse-grained beans are more common (for example, varieties
white Provencal, Geller lentil). And in the eastern culinary
traditions not only willingly prepare small-grain varieties, but also their
even at the stage of preparing the dish, they are often ground into flour.

Despite the variety of culinary approaches, it is believed that lentils
easy to prepare, and almost everyone can make on
it is based on a delicious and nutritious lunch. You just need to take into account that
Whole husk seeds require pre-soaking
and take longer to cook, and refined grains (such as red lentils)
cook faster.

But in fact, there are a little more secrets to making lentils.
For example, professional chefs tend to use
cooking lentil seeds from last year’s harvest, considering what is
raw materials have a more expressive taste. But this also sets a certain
addiction: the longer the seeds were stored before the dish was created,
the longer they need to be soaked. Those that have lain for up to six months
usually soaked for 6-8 hours, and those that have been stored for about a year,
can be left in water even for a day. At the same time, the seeds are saturated
water and approximately double in size.

It is not recommended to speed up the soaking process by adding soda –
it will spoil the taste.

However, at home, impatient housewives soak time
usually significantly reduced to 1-2 hours for greens and browns
seeds. And red and yellow grains, as a rule, are not soaked at all.
– such varieties are already well boiled, so they are taken
for thick lentil soups and mashed potatoes. However, in any case, the grains are preliminarily
wash thoroughly.

Lentil porridge

How to cook lentils

  1. 1 Washed lentils are poured with water. There should be so much water
    so that on top it covers the seeds with a two-centimeter layer. In proportional
    in relation to one share of lentils take about 2-3 shares of water.
  2. 2 Aromatic spices and salt are added to the water. More often
    they will use laurel
    leaf, sage, rosemary, garlic,
    parsley, star anise. And so that the surface of the seeds becomes velvety,
    add olive oil to the water
    butter. Salting the dish is advised already at the end of cooking.
  3. 3 The saucepan is immediately placed on high heat to quickly bring
    water until boiling, and then tighten the fire and on “medium” or
    “Slow” heat, stirring, cook lentils until cooked, which
    determined by testing the grains for softness. For green lentils
    average cooking time – 20-30 minutes, for red – 10-15
  4. 4 The cooked lentils are thrown into a colander, and after
    return the pan add a slice of creamy
    oil that should emphasize the taste of the dish.

Lentil soup

Lentil soup

Lentil soup from Chef Giuseppe Todisco for 4 people from
dried lentils are prepared like this:

  1. 1 Lentils (120 g) are soaked for 10-12 hours and boiled
    (salt is added at the end of cooking) and then divided into 2 parts:
    one will be milled and the other will keep the shape of the grain.
  2. 2 Finely chopped carrots,
    (30 g each), as well as tomatoes
    (100-120 g) are poured into the pan, in which
    heated olive oil. After that, about
    50 ml water and add black pepper, thyme
    and rosemary. Vegetables are aged in a pan until evaporated.
  3. 3 The finished vegetables are mixed with half the lentils and ground
    in mashed potatoes with a blender.
  4. 4 The shell-shaped pasta is first boiled separately, and then
    mixed with the second half of the lentils and vegetable puree. Before
    serving the dish is poured with olive oil.

Recently, Indian
bean soup with red lentils called Masoor Dal
(Russian Masurdal). To give it an original taste, add
Indian spices. Often these soups are very thick.
and more resemble lentil puree, as when cooking
dishes in a slow cooker.

Lentils in a slow cooker

Lentils in a slow cooker

Some of the techniques from the recipes described above are also used in cooking.
lentils in a slow cooker. For example, let’s give a cooking method
red lentils:

  1. 1 Grains of red lentils (200 g) are either not soaked at all,
    or soaked for 10-20 minutes.
  2. 2 Vegetable oil (3 tablespoons) is poured into the multicooker and poured
    pre-chopped onion and carrots. These ingredients
    fried with an open bowl in the “Roast / Bake” mode, until the onions
    will not become transparent.
  3. 3 Lentils are transferred to a slow cooker, evenly distributed
    along the bottom of the bowl and filled with water, so that the liquid is completely
    coverings of grain.
  4. 4 Lentils are cooked with the lid closed in the “Cereals / Rice” mode in
    within 15-20 minutes. 10 minutes after the start of the cycle into the dish
    add salt and a clove of chopped garlic. This is served
    mashed lentils with meat, vegetables, herbs.

In cosmetology

Lentils are included in the list of those foods, the use of which
in food leads to a noticeable change in the condition of the skin. Legume and vegetable
olive oil salad was even tested on volunteers
in one of the experiments of scientists at the University of Melbourne (The
University of Melbourne). As a result, the number of facial wrinkles
in people who switched to such a diet, it decreased by 32%.

But lentil components are capable of acting on the skin and directly,
which is widely used in home cosmetology in the manufacture of
moisturizing, healing and rejuvenating masks.

Lentil face mask

  • Lentil moisturizing mask. Shredded seeds
    plants (2 tbsp. l.) are poured with warm milk until lentils
    puree-like consistency. The resulting gruel is added
    olive oil (1 tsp), after which the mask is applied to the face
    for a quarter of an hour. Wash it off with warm water, rubbing the skin with a cube
  • Lentil mask for oily skin. Lentil seeds
    (2 tablespoons) are boiled, the water is drained, and the remaining grains
    grind in mashed potatoes, where honey is then added (1 tsp) and
    egg white. 15 minutes after application, the mask is washed off with water
    room temperature.
  • Lentil rejuvenating mask. Raw lentils
    crushed and mixed in equal parts with sour cream. For one
    masks will need about 1 tablespoon of ingredients.
    A quarter of an hour after application, such a mask is washed off with tea leaves
    green tea.

There is also a summer “life hack” associated with lentils: in case of receiving
sunburn, gruel from grated seeds will relieve inflammation
and will restore the regeneration of the skin.

We have collected the most important points about the benefits and possible dangers of lentils.
in this illustration and we will be very grateful if you share
a picture on social networks, with a link to our page:

When choosing lentils, they are most often guided by which dishes
it is supposed to be cooked from it.

When buying prepackaged lentils, you should pay attention to
the presence of condensation on the inside of the surface of the package. His
shouldn’t be. Also, there should be no mold, pests, dust and
foreign particles. The grains must be the same size and color,
smooth, with even edges, have a crumbly structure (do not stick together).
It is important to pay attention to the limitation on the expiration date indicated
on the package.

If lentils are sold by weight, then you can try to evaluate
her smell. Grains don’t smell very strong, but good lentils usually
manages to catch a nutty aroma. But the healthy appearance of the seeds is everything
remains the main criterion when choosing a product.

In addition, you can buy canned lentils in stores.
Here, first of all, you need to pay attention to the stamped
shelf life and no damage to the jar or lid. If a
lentils canned in a glass jar, then the number of grains
it must exceed the amount of liquid poured in.

It is better to store such jars as packed lentils in a dark
place at room temperature. For lentils poured into cloth
bag or plastic container, it is important that the storage space is maximized

The above data on the varietal and species diversity of lentils
its beneficial properties and roles in cooking are interesting in themselves.
But there are a few more interesting facts about this legume culture,
which are not included in the previous sections:

As you can see, there were times when lentils were one of the most important
components in the power supply system of people. And although completely she never
did not drop out of the list of valuable products, in our country its popularity
until recently it was not very high. However, hopefully with
increasing awareness of people about the beneficial properties of lentils, will
grow and share of lentil dishes in our menu.

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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