Why: I forgot to bring my lunch today, so I am eating Spinach Lentil Soup from Trimana. I am not sure whether "lentil" is a catch-all term for many types of small legume or if all lentils come from a specific type of plant. This is because the lentils I see in pictures or soups always seem to be a variety of different colors, shapes, and sizes.
Answer: The "lentils" you eat - always cooked - are the seeds of the lens culinaris or lens esculenta plant!
They come in hundreds of different varieties that may be round, oval, or heart-shaped. The most common types are green and brown, but others range in color from white to red-orange, yellow to black. Lentils are sold with or without skins, whole or split.
Source: WHFoods, Wikipedia, CookThink, Elements4Health
The More You Know: Here are some good reasons why you should eat some lentils today!
- Lentils are high in protein - about 26%!
- Lentils have almost no fat!
- Lentils are high in fiber - both the soluble and the insoluble type! Ew!
- The soluble fiber in lentils can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease!
- The soluble fiber in lentils can also help prevent wide swings in blood sugar levels!
- A whole cup of lentils is only 230 calories!
- Lentils contain folate!
- Lentils have magnesium!
- Lentils have not 1, but TWO B-vitamins!
- Lentils can help increase your energy by replenishing your iron stores!
- Lentils contain high levels of flavones, which have been associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer!