Beans and Lentils Nutrition
Beans and lentils provide an economical source of vegetable protein, complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber and vitamins.
Nutrients in 250ml of beans:
Dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas are low in fat and good sources of protein, starch, fiber, iron, calcium and minerals.
Most dried beans and pulses, unlike lentils and split peas, require soaking in cold water. As well as starting the rehydration process, this helps to eliminate any impurities that can make them difficult to digest. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packet.
Insoluble fiber is found in peas, beans and lentils, wheat bran, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and breads. Insoluble fiber speeds up the passage of food through the intestine and helps in improving regularity. Insoluble fiber is believed to have a role in the prevention of colon cancer. Lentils contain mostly insoluble fiber, while beans and peas contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Found in beans, peas, chickpeas, oat bran, fruits and lentils. Soluble fiber stays as a gel inside the digestive system and is thought to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood and delay entry of sugar into the blood stream.
Beans and lentils are rich in the B Vitamin, folic acid.
Folic acid is important at the time of conception and after conception by women and low amounts of folic acid could put the fetus at risk of Neural Tube Defects.
Pulses are an excellent source of potassium which contributes to a regular heart beat, regulates transfer of nutrients to cells, controls water balance and helps regulate blood pressure.
Super B Complex Tablets
Pulses are good sources of niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine, necessary for healthy brain and nerve cells, for normal functioning of the skin, nerves and digestive system in the chemical reactions of the amino acids and proteins.
Pulses are good sources of vegetable protein which must be combined with a complementary protein to become a complete protein containing the nine essential amino acids. Beans and Lentils, when combined with nuts, seeds, rice or grains fulfill the requirement of a complete protein. Protein is required by the body for enzymes, antibodies, transport vehicles, cellular pumps, tendons, ligaments, scars, cores of bone and teeth, filaments of hair, materials of nails and more.
Greek Lentil Salad
Mix 1/2 cup canned lentils, rinsed and drained, with 1/4 cup each chopped tomato, chopped cucumber and chopped red onion. Add 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon canola oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese and 2 teaspoons dried oregano. Total calories are 383.
Tidbit About Lentils
What occurs is, there is a single enzyme in ginger that attacks both muscle fiber and gelatin. This is why ginger is a tenderizer and why it prevents gelatin from setting. It was reasonable to think that ginger could have some effect on the proteins in the lentils. However, the spinach was a question cooking experts found a bit perplexing. Possibly, some oxalic acid in the spinach reacts with and removes any calcium in the water. Calcium, like sugar, allows fruits and vegetables to remain firmer when cooking because it prevents the pectin glue between the cells from changing to water-soluble pectin. Molasses in Boston Baked Beans contain both calcium and sugar to help them retain their shape even when cooked for days.
Next time you are cooking any kind of dried beans or lentils, throw in a little minced ginger and along with a few fresh spinach leaves. Go with your favorite recipe or try some of the following recipes.
Bean and Lentil Recipes
- Creamy Lentil Dip
- Slow Cooked Beans
- Fried Lentils
- Baked California Pea Beans
- Sweet 'n Sour Beans
- Vegetarian Chili Beans
- Warming Mexican Beans and Rice
- Red Bean Pesto
- Smoother Lentils
- Dijon Ham and Lentil Soup
- Middle Eastern Lentil Soup
- Mock Chopped Liver (2 Variations)
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