Hidden Healthy Superstars

Information from Gloria Tsang, RD, author of Go UnDiet: 50 Small Actions for Lasting Weight Loss and the founder of HealthCastle.com

Exotic, foreign foods are sometimes perceived as healthier for us. But you really don’t need to look far to find healthy options. Locally grown in Canada, Canadian Lentils are budget-friendly, nutritious staples that offer an array of health benefits.

Nutrition Overview

Everyone can benefit from eating lentils. Lentils are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, while low in fat and calories. They are naturally gluten-free, making them a delicious staple in a gluten-free kitchen. Their exceptionally low glycemic index (low GI) values and resistant starch content make them suitable for a diabetic diet. Even better, the high protein content makes lentils a perfect option for vegetarians or active people who would like to boost their protein intake.

Hidden HealthyTM Lentils Nutrition

Canadian Lentils pack a powerful nutrition punch!

Click here for nutritional information for 100 grams of dry lentils.

Fibre

Did you know? Just 100 grams of green lentils (uncooked) packs in a whole day’s worth of the fibre you need!

Lentils are an excellent source of fibre. In addition to gut motility, dietary fibre is well known for many health benefits. Notably, high intake of fibre is associated with lower blood cholesterol levels and protection against developing colon cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

Potassium

Did you know? Just 100 grams of split red lentils (uncooked) has more potassium than a large banana!

We are so driven to reduce salt that sometimes we forget to look at the other half of the equation: getting enough potassium. Potassium can counteract the damaging effect of sodium and has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Folate

Did you know? Out of all plant-based foods, lentils contain the most folate!

Lentils are an excellent source of folate. A type of B-vitamin, folate helps support red blood cell formation and proper nerve functions. Folate also plays an important role in lowering artery-damaging homocysteine. In addition, this water-soluble vitamin may help prevent anemia and protect against developing heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Folate is particularly important for women of childbearing age, as it is needed to support increasing maternal blood volume and to decrease the risk of neural tube defects (NTD) in newborn babies.

Protein

Did you know? A serving of lentils contains more protein than a serving of yogurt!

Lentils are a good source of protein. A ¾ cup serving of lentils provides about 13 grams of protein. With such a high protein content, no wonder lentils are regarded as a meat alternative in Canada’s Food Guide!

Iron

Did you know? Just 100 grams of lentils provides 50% of your daily iron needs!

Iron plays an integral role in the formation of hemoglobin in blood and myoglobin in muscles, both of which carry oxygen to the cells. That’s why fatigue and tiredness are usually the first symptoms people notice when they are low in iron. Average adult women require double the daily amount of iron than men. For vegetarians, getting enough iron is particularly challenging. Regularly including lentils in your diet can help boost your iron intake.

Manganese

Did you know? Just 100 grams of red lentils provides 100% of your daily manganese needs!

Lentils are a very good source of manganese. This mineral is stored mainly in our bones and in major organs including the liver, kidney, and pancreas. Manganese plays a role in maintaining normal blood sugar level, and helps protect against free-radical damage.

Lentils are truly Hidden HealthyTM superstars. Preparing lentils is as easy as 1-2-3: just rinse, boil, and season. Unlike beans, lentils do not require soaking at all.

Check out our Super-Easy Guide to Cooking Canadian Lentils for more cooking tips.

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