Food Focus – Lentils

Did You Know

Humans were eating lentils from the last part of the Stone Age and they were one of the first crops cultivated when we moved to become farmers.

With 26% of their calorific value from protein, lentils are an important staple in any vegetarian culture, providing the building blocks for strong skin, nails and hair.

Lentils also provide a good dose of insoluble fibre; the type that stays undigested in our digestive tract and works to clean out the pipes, absorbing and taking away ageing toxins that the liver has detoxified. It also keeps digestion regular and prevents the constipation that can lead to high cholesterol, poor hormone regulation and bloating. It has shown to lessen the risk of colon and rectal cancers. The other starchy fibres provide a great compact energy source and are slow release, so level out any blood sugar highs and lows that can lead to cravings and weight gain.

  • One of the best vegetable sources of iron, lentils keep youth-giving oxygen circulating round the body.
  • Antioxidant minerals zinc and selenium work in the liver to protect against ageing toxins.
  • B vitamins, folate and magnesium keep up youthful heart function.
  • Manganese helps calcium move into bone for strength and to prevent osteoporosis.
Practical Tip

For those who suffer digestive problems with lentils, soaking them overnight first and discarding the water can remove many of the starches that cause problems. They have a short cooking time and can be added to vegetable soups or stews for a protein boost and more filling meal.

KCalories353 kcal
Total fat1.06 g
Protein25.8 g
Carbohydrate60.08 g
Fibre30.5 g
Vitamin B10.87 mg
Vitamin B20.21 mg
Vitamin B32.61 mg
Vitamin B52.14 mg
Vitamin B60.54 mg
Folate479 mcg
Magnesium122 mg
Iron7.54 mg
Manganese1.33 mg
Selenium8.3 mcg


4.78 mg


See details on Charlotte’s book, Good Mood Food, here.

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