Where do Lentils come from?
Lentils are a type of dry vegetable (or legume) that belongs to the starch family. It's a Mediterranean plant that was one of the earliest vegetables to be produced by humans. It is an annual herbaceous plant with delicate stems that develops in a tiny bushy plant of 30 to 40 cm. The pods are small and only carry one to two seeds. Lentils come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and they are regarded a national institution in India.
The name “lens,” derived from the Latin lenticula, a diminutive of lens, first occurs in english in the 12th century. By analogy of shape, the meal will be named after the glass items used in the production of optical equipment, followed by glasses and contact lenses.
The lentil originated from the fertile crescent of the Near East and was one of the first legumes to be domesticated 9,000 or 10,000 years ago, perhaps at the same time as wheat. Remains from this period have been discovered in northern Syria, on the banks of the Euphrates. It is rarely encountered in the wild, save from cultural escapes. With the development of Neolithic agriculture, it moved through Greece and southern Bulgaria, eventually reaching Crete around 6,000 BC. It was known in the Bronze Age in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Germany, and France.
The Pharaohs' Egypt held a high regard for the lentil. Lentil soup has been unearthed in graves going back to 2,400 BC in Thebes, and we know that it was consumed in Egypt because to paintings from the period of Ramses II. It was also known to the Assyrians, who cultivated it in Babylon's famed Hanging Gardens in the 8th century BCE, according to archives.
It was considered poor people's diet in ancient Greece. It was euphemistically remarked of a nouveau riche of the period that he no longer enjoyed lentils.
The green lentil is the most prevalent in Europe. Her gown is a deep green to steel blue. The green lentil from Puy en Velay, as well as the famous green lentil from Berry, with tiny grains, have a regulated designation of origin (AOC).
The red lentil, with its tiny and spherical grain, is less prevalent. The latter is grown in Champagne and is known as “lentillon de Champagne.”
The bigger and less flavorful blonde lentil, which is yellow-green in color, is not grown in France. Neither does the brown lens. Pink or “coral” lentils are still marketed shelled in India, North Africa, and the Middle East.
The coral lentil is a lovely salmon pink tint that adds a pop of color to your food. It has a really lovely flavor. It is made in both North Africa and the Middle East.
What Are The Nutritional and caloric values of Lentils ?
Lentils, which are high in complex carbs, are an intriguing source of slow-distribution energy. Its high fiber content makes it an excellent ally for sluggish intestines. One of the lentils' additional advantages is their high grade vegetable protein content. People who eat little or no animal protein can combine beans with grain products or nuts to obtain full protein (which contains all the essential amino acids). It is not required for adults to seek this complementarity inside the same meal because acquiring it on the same day is generally adequate.
Antioxidants are chemicals found in lentils that protect the body's cells from free radical damage. The latter are highly reactive compounds that are thought to have a role in the development of cardiovascular illnesses, malignancies such as colorectal cancer1, and other aging-related disorders. Although a few research have looked at the presence of certain antioxidants in lentils, nothing is known about their potential impacts.
Nutritional and caloric values of fresh common bean
For 100 g of cooked green beans:
|Name of constituents||Unity||Average content|
|Saturated FA(fat acid)||g||0.07|
|Vitamin E activity (alpha-tocopherol)||mg||0.26|
|Vitamin B1 or Thiamine||mg||0.12|
|Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin||mg||0.06|
|Vitamin B3 or PP or Niacin||mg||0.66|
|Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acid||mg||0.47|
|Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine||mg||0.16|
|Vitamin B9 or Total Folate||µg||56.8|
Why should you eat Lentils?
Since prehistoric times, the lentil has been a staple of the human diet. Lentils, as one of the smallest legumes, have the benefit of taking less time to cook than most legumes. We are more familiar with the green or brown lentil, which is occasionally used in soups, but we can also find the coral lentil (also known as red lentil) on the shelves.
Source of antioxidants; prevents the onset of cardiovascular illnesses; high in fiber; high in iron; zinc source
Lentils are high in starch, which accounts for their high energy content (127 calories per 100 grams). Other notable features include a high content of vegetable proteins and a high fiber content.
Lentils provide a plethora of health advantages.
Antioxidants can help you avoid certain malignancies.
Antioxidants are chemicals found in lentils that protect cells in the body from free radical damage. These are highly reactive compounds that are thought to have a role in the beginning of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other age-related disorders.
Anthocyanins, which are found in lentils, are antioxidants that inhibit the development of human cancer cells.
Lentils are one of the most protein-dense plant diets available. However, unlike animal protein, legumes have a low methionine level (an necessary amino acid for the body), making their protein incomplete. People who eat little or no animal protein, on the other hand, can combine beans with grain products or nuts to have a complete protein (which contains all of the essential amino acids). Adults do not need to pursue this complementarity inside the same meal because acquiring it within the same day is typically sufficient.
On the other hand, it is better to achieve protein complementarity in the same meal in children, adolescents, and pregnant women.
Fiber content is really high.
Lentils, which are high in fiber, aid in stimulating intestinal transit, lowering the incidence of colon cancer, and increasing satiety.
Soluble fiber also helps to prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering bile acid absorption, which helps to balance blood cholesterol levels. They can also help treat type 2 diabetes by reducing the digestion of glucose from meals, among other things.
Phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium sources
Phosphorus is found in lentils and has an important function in the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
Magnesium is found in lentils and is important for bone formation, protein synthesis, enzyme activity, muscular contraction, dental health, and immune system function.
Lentils are high in potassium, which is used to help digestion by balancing blood pH and stimulating the generation of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
A source of iron .
Lentils have a lot of iron in them. Iron is found in every cell in the body. The transfer of oxygen and the production of red blood cells in the blood are both dependent on this mineral.
Selenium is abundant in this food.
The lens contains selenium. This mineral interacts with one of the most important antioxidant enzymes, reducing free radical production in the body. It also aids in the conversion of thyroid hormones to their active form.
B vitamins (B2, B3, and B9) in significant amounts
Vitamin B2 is found in lentils. Riboflavin is another name for this vitamin. It, like vitamin B1, plays a part in all cells' energy metabolism. It also helps with tissue development and repair, hormone synthesis, and red blood cell creation.
Vitamin B3 is found in lentils. Vitamin B3, often known as niacin, is involved in a variety of metabolic processes, including the creation of energy from carbs, lipids, proteins, and alcohol. It also aids in the synthesis of DNA, allowing for appropriate growth and development.
Lentils are high in vitamin B9, which is necessary for the synthesis of all body cells, including red blood cells. This vitamin is necessary for the creation of genetic material (DNA, RNA), the proper functioning of the neurological and immunological systems, as well as wound and wound healing.
How to choose the best Lentils and keep Them fresh ?
When the food is harvested, the skin and meat make up the food. They are picked before they reach full maturity.
The lens should be smooth and complete, with a gleaming skin and a bright hue. It should not begin to germinate.
The legumes get tougher and less digestible with time. Although this appears to be less of a problem with lenses, it is still best not to retain them for more than a year. They're maintained in a container that's airtight.
There are several types of lenses, each of which is categorized according to its color:
Green lentils are the most widely grown in Europe and North America, and are classified into three sizes: large, medium, and tiny; their skin is thin but does not break when cooked;
The most frequent and biggest lentil is the blond lentil, which is grown in Argentina, Canada, Chile, the United States, and Turkey but not in France;
Brown lentils are mostly seen in canned foods.
The coral or pink lentil is a mildly spicy lentil that is grown in India, the Middle East, and North Africa.
This is a pretty uncommon kind of red lentil. It is only grown in Champagne and is known as “lentillon” in France; Canada is also a grower.
The black beluga lentil is a smooth, spherical, and black lentil endemic to Canada.
How to Prepare Lentils ?
Rinse the lentils thoroughly before cooking, eliminating any floating ones as well as any stones if required. They are normally not soaked before cooking, with the exception of blondes, who are tougher and have thicker skin and benefit from soaking in lukewarm water for two hours. Cooking times vary according on the type, provenance, and presentation (peeled or not). For red lentils, this can take anything from a few minutes to 40 or 45 minutes. To prevent them from hardening, add salt towards the conclusion of the cooking process.
**Soups, veloutés, and mashed potatoes are among the dishes we prepare. Add a shellfish-scented lentil purée and crème fraîche to make a wonderful soup.
**They're also good in salads, with shallots and bacon if you want it. If we add the vinaigrette – with mustard, which goes well with lentils – while the lentils are still hot or lukewarm, the salad will be better.
**They can be cooked with a piece of meat, such as veal or pig knuckle, sausages, ham or smoked ham, or fish, in the oven. The green lentil, according to amateurs, goes particularly well with meat, but the red lentil is better suited to fish.
**Several classic French dishes use game birds such as duck or partridge to cook them.
**You may make a particularly nutritious vegetarian dinner by combining them with rice in a vegetable stew, as is done in the Mediterranean region. We use flavors like lemon, turmeric, and saffron to keep in tune;
**In North America, we use lentils instead of ground beef to make a vegetarian shepherd's pie: a layer of lentil puree at the bottom of the dish, a layer of corn kernels, and finally a layer of mashed potatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes after baking.
**In India, lentils, also known as dhal, are in second place after rice as a staple diet. We cultivate a wide range of types, which we certainly cook in a thousand different ways. Coral lentils, a paste formed from crushed ginger and garlic, turmeric, fiery green peppers, cumin, garam masala, and chopped chives are used in one of these delicious dhal soups.
After rinsing and cleaning the lentils, they are boiled in water for half an hour with the garlic and ginger puree, turmeric, and green peppers. After that, they are mashed with a wooden spoon and baked for another ten minutes. In a skillet, we sauté the garlic, peppers, and cumin before adding the lentil purée and cooking for two or three minutes. Add the garam masala and chives right before serving.
10 benefits of lentils
1- They have a low calorie count.
Lentils are low in calories and hence make an excellent addition to a diet plan.
Lentils are legumes that are healthy for our diet, with an average of 115 calories per 100 grams of cooked lentils.
2- They are filling.
Lentils have a low glycemic index (GI) in addition to their low calorie content .
They avoid the blood sugar surges that cause cravings and give the energy the body requires until the next meal, limiting cracking.
3- They're high in protein.
Lentils have a significant quantity of vegetable protein (26 percent raw, 9 percent cooked) and can thus be used in place of animal proteins in the case of a vegetarian diet.
Proteins are required for healthy muscle function and rehabilitation.
4- They are iron-rich.
Lentils are a legume that is high in iron (3.3 mg/100 g). Despite the fact that it is vegetable iron, which is less efficiently absorbed by the body than iron from meat, it is nevertheless a fascinating source of iron.
Lentils should consequently be included in your diet if you are anemic.
5- They are beneficial to the heart.
Soluble fiber may be found in lentils. These help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
They're also high in trace minerals, including magnesium and folic acid.
These have a role in the heart's normal functioning.
6- They have a high concentration of vitamins and minerals.
Lentils have a high magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and calcium content.
They're also high in vitamins, particularly B vitamins. These are necessary for the body's optimal functioning.
7- They are fiber sources.
Lentils have a lot of fiber.
Fiber promotes proper digestion, aids in the operation of the gastrointestinal tract, and prevents constipation.
Furthermore, they have a positive effect on fat absorption.
8- They contain a lot of antioxidants.
Many antioxidants from the flavonoid family may be found in lentils. These aid in the battle against bad cholesterol and the reduction of blood triglyceride levels.
Furthermore, they protect the body's cells from free radical damage.
9- They support the battle against diabetes.
Because lentils have a low glycemic index, they allow for a more regulated supply of sugars in the body and are thus especially suggested for diabetics.
They also keep harmful cholesterol in check (LDL).
10- They help to prevent some malignancies.
Lentils aid in the prevention of chronic illnesses, including cancer.
A New York research found that eating legumes, especially lentils, on a daily basis lowered the chance of developing colon, breast, or prostate cancer by 32%.