Give Lentils a Try
If you’ve never tried lentils, you are missing out on the ultimate super food. With the exception of their relatively low price, there is nothing small about the impact their seeds provide. From health benefits to sustainable agriculture, choosing lentils over conventional grains not only will benefit your body, but will change the world for the better. Now you might wonder if something is so healthy, can you like eating it? Absolutely, as lentils are extremely versatile and are enjoyed in many dishes.
For anyone looking to improve their diet, lentils are a powerful addition to the pantry. Lentils are among the most efficient foods that exist from a health perspective. Dave Oien, CEO of Timeless Natural Foods, perfectly defines the small legumes as a nutrient powerhouse. With one cup of lentils packing sixty three percent of the daily value of fiber and eighteen grams of protein, they truly are a mighty health food. They are also an excellent source of iron, folate, and potassium (Carlisle 101). Many people are lacking in some of these key minerals, so eating lentils often is a great way to supplement your diet, especially if you’re a vegan or vegetarian. Studies show that lentils are one of the best sources of soluble fiber, which makes them very beneficial for lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease. (Hanson). Additionally, the high level of soluble fiber found in lentils can help steady blood sugar levels, which is essential for people with conditions such as diabetes (Lin). If this doesn’t spark your interest in trying lentils, you may also consider that although they are a very filling food, lentils are low in calories and may help you lose weight (Babcock). We all can benefit from increasing our intake of nutrients, feeling more energetic and developing a healthier heart.
Importantly, a bite into a lentil promotes health far beyond the body. Adding lentils to your diet is a vote of support for sustainable agriculture. What we eat not only has an impact on our body, but on the world. As population continues to grow and the environment changes, our food choices are becoming even more important. Unlike conventional grain farming, which depletes the soil of nutrients, lentils fix nitrogen into the earth and enrich the soil as they grow. As they improve soil naturally, lentils prepare the earth for the next crop and allow farmers to eliminate their need for fertilizers. Cultivating lentils facilitates the microbial health of the soil thus improving water retention, preventing soil erosion and naturally boosting yields in drought years without negatively impacting the environment (Shusterman). By choosing to eat lentils you are supporting not only a healthier body, but a better, more sustainable world.
Making the case for lentils so much stronger is the fact that you do not have to sacrifice enjoyment to reap the many rewards of lentils. Have you ever heard of lentil fudge pie or mint lentil cupcakes? They are absolutely delicious, and you should give them a try! Beyond desserts, lentils are so versatile that there is a recipe for everyone. They can be eaten hot or cold, and used in anything from bread to soup and salads. They can even be formed into burgers and used in granola. In addition, lentils absorb spices and accompany many foods incredibly well. As a result, you can find a flavor match for any palate.
Adding to the appeal of lentils is the fact that all this flexibility and goodness can be attained without a great deal of effort. Lentils are found in most grocery stores, so they are easy to purchase and are available year-round. In addition, the low cost of lentils makes them easy to afford. Lentils are also relatively easy to prepare. Unlike many other legumes, lentils do not need to be soaked before they are prepared. They can be enjoyed without spending an enormous amount of time incorporating them into meals or snacks. From scratch, lentils are added to countless dishes in no more than 20-40 minutes. That makes for a quick lunch or dinner option for working people, busy families or students!
Bringing tremendous versatility to your cupboard, lentils offer so much and are deserving of a taste test. Lentils are packed with nutritional value and the health benefits are expansive. You are sure to find a new favorite dish, spread, soup, salad or dessert that features lentils. From a family perspective, the recipes can be prepared quickly and affordably. When these benefits are combined with the environmental benefits of sustainably farming lentils, the case for adding them to your diet is that much stronger. It is not often that we can try something new, at a relatively low cost that provides tremendous benefits to both personal health and global environmental health.
Babcock, Jillian. “Lentils Nutrition Facts, Benefits and Recipes.” Dr. Axe, 1 Aug. 2017,
Carlisle, Liz. Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America.
Avery Pub Group, 2016.
Hanson, M G, et al. “Lentil-Based Diets Attenuate Hypertension and Large-Artery Remodelling
in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.” The British Journal of Nutrition., U.S. National
Library of Medicine, Feb. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24063808.
Lin, H C, et al. “Sustained Slowing Effect of Lentils on Gastric Emptying of Solids in Humans
and Dogs.” Gastroenterology., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 1992,
Matelajan, George. “Lentils.” Lentils, 6 Nov. 2017,
Shusterman, Alexis. “Lentil Underground.” The Berkeley Science Review, 21 Nov. 2015,