Aug 08 4 Reasons Why (and How) Lentils Should Be Your New Favorite Superfood
You’re familiar with superfoods, those nutritionally-packed ingredients that make their way into hot food trends. Blueberries, acai, chia seeds, and nutritional yeast are just a few that easily come to mind. But there’s one versatile superfood that has been hiding in plain sight: Lentils! They’re simple to cook—just rinse, simmer, and serve—are great for any season, and work well with an endless number of flavor combinations. If that’s not enough reason to make lentils your new superfood staple, here are four more, complete with recipes!
1. They’re perfect for a gluten-free lifestyle.
There are tons of gluten-free options on the market now, but many of them lack the nutritional value of whole wheat flour. Adding lentils to recipes where whole wheat flours are typically the main source of nutrition is a great way to keep your protein, fiber, iron, potassium, and folate intake on track. Try using red lentils (they’re more neutral in taste) for breakfast in pancakes and granola.
2. They’re a heart-smart food.
Foods that are naturally high in fiber, like lentils, play a big part in helping to lower cholesterol. But unlike other foods that are high in fiber, lentils won’t leave you hungry, which makes them an especially great foundation for flavorful salads.
3. They’re a healthy source of iron.
Tiredness and fatigue are some of the first symptoms of an iron deficiency, but just 100 g of lentils provides 45% of your daily iron needs. Pair that with the lean protein in these super-quick Southwest Sloppy Joes, add them to your weeknight meal routine and those symptoms don’t stand a chance!
4. They’re a meat-free source of protein.
Vegetarian or not, there’s no doubt that lentils are a great source of protein. A ½ cup serving of dry lentils provides a bout 26 grams of protein, making them a great meat-free staple. Want to make them the star of your dinner table? Try Lentil Feta Fritters with Fresh Mint Slaw and Coriander Yogurt.
Hungry for more ways to make lentils a part of your healthy diet? Get inspired with recipes and learn even more about their nutritional benefits at Canadian Lentils.