The healing power of lentils

Lentils are rich in iron, fiber and protein. Lentils have long been called a hippie vegetable. Hippies moved to India where they were fed many tasty and cheap lentil meals. Once back in the US or Europe, they also started making lentil soup at home, which did not always lead to culinary delights. Lentils have now been completely integrated into Western cuisine. It is a beloved legume that you can season to your own liking. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.


  • Legumes
  • Multicolored legume
  • Lentils, the fiber champion
  • Good for the intestines
  • Lentils, good for the heart
  • Lentils and diabetes
  • Iron from lentils
  • Lentil cooking time
  • Lentil eating tips



Lentils are not a vegetable but legumes. They belong to the legume family. The edible parts are the seeds and sometimes the shells of the seeds. Their growth habit is completely different from that of vegetables. From a culinary point of view, they are considered vegetables.

Multicolored legume

Lentils come in many colors. White, brown, green, red, yellow, orange and brown and white speckled lentils fill the shelves of many Asian stores. There are also coral lentils and flageolets. Lentils can be pre-soaked, but that is not absolutely necessary. Lentils cook quite quickly. Yellow lentils can be done after just 10-15 minutes of cooking.

Lentils, the fiber champion

Like all legumes, lentils are rich in fiber and protein. That is their greatest contribution to health. Lentils also contain many healthy minerals. 100 grams of lentils contains twice as much as the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the mineral molybdenum. An ounce of lentils contains 90% of the RDA of folic acid. 100 Grams accounts for half of the RDA for the amino acid tryptophan and the mineral manganese. An ounce of lentils also provides 36% of the RDI for iron, protein and phosphorus. Furthermore, the lentil contains plenty of copper and vitamin B1.

Good for the intestines

The high fiber content ensures that the lentil eater does not suffer from constipation. In addition, it significantly reduces the risk of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diverticulosis; that is suffering from diverticula, bulges in the large intestine or esophagus. Lentils ensure good digestion due to their high fiber content.

Lentils, good for the heart

A 25-year study among men in the Netherlands, Japan, the US, Greece, the former Yugoslavia and Finland showed that eating lentils reduced the risk of heart disease by 82%. Not only the fibers are responsible for this, but also the magnesium and folic acid from the lentil. Magnesium ensures that the blood vessels remain nice and clean. It removes unwanted calcium deposits in the blood vessels. This allows the blood to flow better, absorb more oxygen and transport more nutrients.

Lentils and diabetes

People with insulin resistance or hypoglycemia benefit greatly from eating lentils. Lentils provide a lot of energy while being digested slowly and evenly. Foods high in fiber ensure that blood sugar levels do not rise very quickly after a meal. This is because fiber ensures that food is digested evenly. A study was conducted in America between people with type 2 diabetes who both received fiber in their diet. One group received the standard recommended 24 grams of fiber and the other group received 50 grams of fiber. The group that ate more fiber had much less blood sugar and insulin in the blood. It is actually a must for people with diabetes to include some kind of legume on the menu every day. That doesn’t hurt because a legume never gets boring; there are very many. There are at least 10 types of lentils for sale in the Netherlands alone.

Iron from lentils

Lentils are an excellent source of iron, even better than red meat because it increases the risk of cancer. Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen cells in the blood. An iron deficiency can lead to fatigue. Eating lentils can provide extra energy. Lentils can help prevent and cure anemia.

Lentil cooking time

The cooking time for lentils actually varies depending on what you want to do with them. If you want to add lentils to a salad, it is very nice to let them retain a bit of bite. They are then cooked 5-10 minutes less than their stated cooking time on the package. The maximum cooking time is 25 minutes. Red lentils are overcooked after 20 minutes. It is best to taste a lentil while cooking to determine whether it is cooked enough.

Lentil eating tips

When you buy lentils, it doesn’t hurt to save some extra lentils for the next meal to use in a salad. Already cooked lentils can easily be fried with potatoes. Then first fry the potatoes and add the cooked lentils to fry for two minutes. Lentils are great to cook with brown rice. This rice takes a little longer than lentils to cook. You first put the rice in the pan and five minutes later the lentils, so that they are cooked at the same time. This way you add some extra protein to the base of the meal. You can then fry this base in a pan in which an onion and garlic have been fried. To make it nice and spicy you can supplement this with fresh hot pepper. It is also nice to add some turmeric. You can also make a vegetable mix and a salad.

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