Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Food of the month - Lentils

January 2015

A new year - and that often means we rethink our lifestyle and make decisions to be fitter, healthier, drink less, eat better and altogether improve ourselves!

One easy way to step up a level is to include lentils in your diet. They are already often a key staple in vegetarian diets; but for the rest of us they are also equally good. Low in calories and high in nutrition, lentils are perfect for a big range of dishes.

Lentils, which come from a bushy plant, were one of the first crops domesticated in the near east and archeological evidence shows they were eaten around 10,000 years ago or even earlier.

They are classed as an edible pulse, and come in a range of colours from yellow to reddy orange to green brown, white and black. Brown are generally the most common and the least expensive, while French green lentils, called Puy lentils, can be some of the most expensive around. They are sold in different forms, sometimes split into halves.

Previous Health Foods of the Month...

Cranberries

Pork

Pheasant


 

Diet & Supplements Index

Waitrose Recipes

Lentils have an exceptionally high level of protein, about a third of the calories they supply are from proteins which include certain essential amino acids.

They also contain folate and magnesium, both of which play a part in keeping a heart healthy. Folate lowers homocysteine levels, which can be a risk factor for heart disease; while magnesium can help to improve blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Lentils also contain potassium and some vitamin Bs. Different colours have slightly different levels of certain aspects, for instance green lentils are higher in fibre than red lentils. But that said, all lentils are a good source of fibre. This includes soluble fibre which can help reduce blood cholesterol and also insoluble fibre which can help digestive health. Lentils are also a very good source of iron; a one cup serving can provide over half of a person’s daily iron allowance.

Despite all these nutrients, one cup of cooked lentils will only contain around 230 calories.

Sometimes there is concern about using lentils because of confusion about whether they need to be soaked first to make them “safe”. Lentils do not need to be pre-soaked also some people like to leave them in cold water for maybe 15 minutes or so to reduce cooking time and also to improve digestibility.

Lentils are also easy to keep; simply store them in a cool, dark place – you don’t need to keep them in a refrigerator – and they will keep for up to a year.

There are so many great recipes available now using lentils that really there is no reason why most of us don’t include them as a staple part of our normal diets.

 

Keep in touch with everything happening in LaterLife Today!

 


Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

 

Latest Articles:

Health food of the month: Gooseberries

gooseberries

Gooseberries have gone so far out of fashion that today some homes haven’t tasted this fabulous traditionally British fruit for years.

more

AXA Health
Health care at home

carer looking after patient

Receiving health care services at home may be the best option for many older people. This will enable you or your family member to remain in their home and maintain independence, dignity and confidence.

more

One in 20 may be suffering from fibromyalgia

wasp on a finger

Fibromyalgia syndrome has been estimated to affect up to one in 20 of our entire population. Even worse, while the condition has been medically researched, proven and recognised, the symptoms can be wide and varied so that even sufferers may not realise they have the problem.

more

Don’t let insect bites spoil your summer

wasp on a finger

Love or hate the heat, the UK is experiencing a hot summer. With a wet spring followed by this warmth, insects are especially prolific. Add to this the fact that many of us are spending more time outside than usual…and the inevitable consequence is more insect bites.

more

Back to LaterLife Health Section

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site

Bookmark


Advertise on laterlife.com



LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti