Useful Articles
For your health, we have gathered useful articles about food and good nutrition.
Read articles
Food preservation
Proper food preservation is necessary to keep food fresh and
fresh and nutritious food must be stored in the right way.
How to Store Food

Lentils (green, red): useful properties and contraindications.

Lentils are a useful product. Thanks to the high percentage of protein, it is able to replace meat products and bread, but it is absorbed by the body much faster, without disrupting the intestines and stomach, as well as not turning into extra pounds.

What are lentils and what do they look like?

Lentils are a plant of the legume family, with fruit in the form of flat seeds. It has many varieties, which vary according to the location and popularity of the plant, as well as the degree of purification and maturity of the kernels. But all of them, regardless of species, are endowed with high levels of protein, which makes lentils not only tasty but also very healthy.

The benefits and harms of lentils


  1. Brown - found more often than others. It is used in the preparation of soups. The only type that must be soaked a day before use. In this case, the boiling process takes up to 20 minutes.
  2. Red - this variety is already peeled, so it does not need pre-preparation, boiled in 15 minutes.
  3. Green - these are unripe seeds. They are mostly used to make salads. Also this variety is considered feminine because of the amount of amino acids, which are necessary in the treatment of gynecological diseases.
  4. Yellow is the main ingredient in most Indian dishes. It is used to make bread, main dishes and soups.
  5. Black is called de Puy or French green. It is considered the tastiest variety and needs no additional seasoning. Thanks to its thin skin it does not fall apart and keeps its shape during boiling. It goes excellently with fish dishes.

How they differ from peas

In addition to the external differences between lentils and peas, we can say that they differ in composition. For example, lentils are the leader among legumes in terms of protein and folic acid content. They are the only ones that contain high concentrations of fiber and iron. Lentils are also unique in their content of natural phytoestrogens, isoflavones, which fight and prevent cancer. In this, peas are inferior to lentils. They are not as fastidious in preparation and cooking and take much less time to boil than peas. The latter also has a greater number of contraindications.

How red lentils differ from green lentils

Lentils are great because they are always healthy, no matter how cooked, the variety or how often you eat them. It is the only plant that does not absorb nitrates: neither from the soil nor from the air. That is why lentils are considered the purest food for human consumption. If there are no contraindications, they can be eaten by anyone at any time. But each species has some special qualities, and in a certain period you need to know which one to include in the diet.

The most common are red and green lentils. The main differences are the appearance and degree of digestibility. For example, red lentils are best used for porridges and puree soups, while green lentils are more suitable for salads and casseroles. Therefore, both varieties can be combined in the daily diet.

Which one is healthier
Green lentils improve intestinal peristalsis, speed up the gastrointestinal tract and have a richer taste. It is indicated for hepatitis, rheumatism, stomach ulcers, hypertension and women's health problems.

Red contains more iron than the other types. It promotes blood vessel function and also improves hematopoiesis.

But both varieties are not inferior to each other in the amount of protein, as well as vitamins necessary for human health. So choose one of the options should be guided only by contraindications, taste preferences or a particular dish that uses a particular kind.

Composition and calories

Lentils are often called vegetable meat, as there are 25 g of protein, 1 g of fat and 50 g of healthy carbohydrates per 100 g of the product in its uncooked state. The energy value is 120 kcal.

The whole group of vitamins B is included in high concentrations:

  1. B1 - responsible for the heart, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.
  2. B2 - indispensable for women's health, as well as improves skin and hair.
  3. B3 - regulates metabolism.
  4. B6 - is essential for skin diseases, improves the digestibility of other foods, facilitates the stomach.

It also includes minerals such as copper, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, as well as vitamins A, C, PP.

How useful are lentils

The vitamin complex generally ensures the proper functioning of the body and the nervous system. Lentils should be included in the diet during the rehabilitation period after surgery, for people who are physically active and involved in sports, as well as those whose work is connected with intellectual activity.

What are lentils useful

For women

  1. It is the best remedy for the prevention of neoplasms in the uterus and ovaries.
  2. Reduces the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
  3. Used in case of mammary gland malfunction.
  4. Relieves symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
  5. Provides normal ovarian function.
  6. Recommended for diseases of the thyroid gland or their prevention.
  7. Fights skin rashes.
  8. Adjusts the hormonal background.
  9. Improves the condition of hair and nails.

For men

  • Prevents diseases of the genitourinary system;
  • Improves the quality of sperm;
  • Helps to combat infertility;
  • Enhances sexual function;
  • Increases the production of testosterone;
  • is necessary during sports to quickly build muscle mass;
  • It is indicated when working in harmful industries.

When pregnant.

During this period, along with pharmacy vitamins, lentils should be included in the diet. One serving of cooked lentils contains a daily allowance of folic acid, which is essential for the facilitation of pregnancy, as well as the prevention of fetal abnormalities.

Consistent consumption:

  • relieves symptoms of toxicosis;
  • cramps and pain;
  • Contributes to the normal proper development of the child;
  • Strengthens bone and muscle tissue;
  • stabilizes hormonal background;
  • fights depression;
  • improves bowel function;
  • keeps weight in balance;
  • Improves the immune system.
Video: How to eat right during pregnancy Expand

When breastfeeding.

Lentils, unlike other legumes, do not lead to serious gas in infants, which makes them a great food for the mother's diet. Nevertheless, if during the first breastfeeding after the mother's use of lentils the baby had colic and bloating, it should be excluded from the diet during this period.

It is also not recommended if the baby has bone, joint and kidney diseases, or if one of the components contained in the plant is intolerant.

If there are no problems or contraindications, then lentils should be present in small quantities in the diet, as they contain:

  • Potassium - strengthens the immune system and also acts as a sedative;
  • iron - supports hemoglobin levels;
  • folic acid - ensures proper functioning of the body in general;
  • lysine - fights viruses and infections;
  • Cellulose - helps the intestines work properly, removes toxins.

For children

As an additional food supplement lentils children should not be given before the execution of 1.5-2 years. The opinion of experts on this issue is unanimous. Despite the abundance of vitamins and useful elements in the product, it is very difficult for children unformed digestive system. Most often, lentils are taken out of the body in an undigested state, so children's bodies do not benefit from the product.

Begin to accustom the child to lentils with a teaspoon once every 3 days, carefully watching the reaction of the body. If there is any discomfort from the product should be abandoned.

The benefits and harms of sprouted lentils

Sprouts contain in their composition much more useful substances than mature fruits. In this form, sprouted lentils are more dietary because their carbohydrate content is much lower. At the same time, the percentage of useful components increases many times over.

Speaking of the benefits of sprouted lentils, it should be noted that it is in this state that doctors strongly recommend to include it in the diet. It is endowed with unique antioxidant properties and fights the emergence of malignant tumors. Lentil sprouts are capable of preventing polyps, hemorrhoids and fissures.

The benefits and harms of sprouted lentils

Thanks to the powerful vitamin composition, which increases in the sprouted state, daily use will help not only to avoid the occurrence, but also to fight the already existing diseases of the heart, liver, musculoskeletal system, respiratory system, blood vessels.

Lentils should be excluded from the menu only in case of stomach diseases and gout.

How to sprout

Most people refuse to sprout lentils because it seems like a complicated, time-consuming, and long-term manipulation. In fact, there are many options for sprouting, and they are all very easy to do.

The most optimal and best is germination in a container. For this you need a liter jar, water and large grains. Putting the beans at the bottom, you need to fill the container with water for ¾, leave them for 24 hours, then drain the remaining liquid, and leave the beans and put them in a cool place (no more than 15 ° C) for another 2 days. After this time the first sprouts will be noticed.

Another convenient way is to germinate in gauze. To do this, wash the beans, then put in a container, cover with gauze and pour water to 1 cm above the grains, leave for 24 hours. After this procedure should be repeated.

Store sprouted grains should be kept for 5-6 days in the refrigerator.

Such grains can be added to ready-made soups, salads, side dishes. They can become a complete meal for a few days, than will contribute to the recovery and purification of the body from harmful toxins.

Video: How to sprout lentils quickly and easily Expand

Is it possible to eat lentils while losing weight?

Lentils are one of the best foods used during a diet or proper nutrition. The low calorie content saturates the body with a lot of protein and macronutrients, which provide vitality. Thus, it is indispensable for getting rid of excess weight. This is achieved without much effort, but with enormous benefits when including lentils in the diet. They are endowed with the ability to saturate the body quickly and retain a sense of fullness for a long time.

The lentil dishes during the diet will help speed up the metabolic process and regulate the function of the intestinal muscles. Thanks to its low glycemic index, calories are consumed and are not deposited as extra pounds. At the same time, you should not ignore other vegetables, fruits and greens.

Lentils in medicine

Lentils are one of the few plants that do not absorb radionuclides. That's why, grown in any form or location, it has value for the body. For people who, for whatever reason, are not allowed to eat meat or fish, it is a clear favorite in the diet. In terms of protein and B vitamins, lentils can easily become a full-fledged substitute for these foods.

Lentils in medicine

In this case it can prevent, relieve and help in treatment of many chronic diseases.

For Diabetes

Such a serious disease as diabetes, primarily involves compliance with dietary regime, the constant maintenance of normal weight and the exclusion of all products that contain sugar in any form and animal fats. Very quickly the disease turns into a chronic condition than causes discomfort.

So, legumes, namely lentils, are primarily indicated for this disease, regardless of the type of disease (insulin-dependent or not). In a study involving 100 people, two hours after a meal that included lentil soup and sprouted grain salad, 82 people had lower blood sugar levels and improved vascular health. This is due to the fact that lentils contain only light carbohydrates, which do not provoke an increase in blood sugar.

Also the most important quality for diabetics is that it increases the body's endurance and improves the immune system's ability to resist various kinds of infectious diseases. The dietary features of the product help maintain normal weight without jumps and muscle tone when sick.

Important: The glycemic index of lentils is 28 units.

In pancreatitis

When entering the body, lentils speed up the metabolism and trigger intestinal motility, which causes intensification of the pancreas and the release of pancreatic elements, which is unacceptable in pancreatitis. It is this feature of lentils that makes it a prohibited product both in the presence and in the early stages of the disease.

With gastritis.

Lentils can be added to the diet in small quantities only after a doctor's permission. Otherwise, grains in any form can provoke an aggravation of the disease. This is due to the fact that legumes, contrary to their useful properties, have a number of qualities that are bad for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (with gastritis in the first place).

The safest dish is lentil puree, which should be eaten warm without additional hot spices and pepper.

For the intestines

In the absence of chronic diseases, lentils will be the best preventive measure to prevent serious diseases - from constipation to polyps and cancer manifestations. It improves intestinal muscle function, which is beneficial for peristalsis, strengthens intestinal walls, and removes toxins and impurities.

For constipation

If you include lentils in your diet at least 3 times a week in 100 gram portions, you can get rid of the disease, even those that have turned into a chronic stage. The only condition is the use of sprouted grains. It is them as a mild laxative beneficial effect on the digestive organs and intestines, shortening the muscles, thinning the stool mass and removing it.

With gout

Gout is a disorder of purine metabolism. All legumes, including lentils, in their composition contain a high percentage of them, than cause increased excretion of uric acid, which, getting into the joints, increases pain sensations and aggravates the disease. That is why their use should be excluded.

In colitis

Both in the acute form of inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, and in the chronic course of the disease, legumes should be treated with caution. And experts often advise to limit themselves in the food for people suffering from colitis. The thing is that this kind of food is full of vegetable proteins and heavy fibers, which are quite difficult for the intestines to digest and assimilate.

But if it is difficult or for some reason impossible to refuse to eat them, you just need to add turmeric, dill or parsley. They reduce flatulence and also speed up the dissolution of solids.

For the liver

The liver is the body's filter, which works on a par with the kidneys and skin. While eating harmful foods, the liver absorbs all negative substances, thus reducing the risk of their effects on other organs. That is why it is so necessary to take care of it and constantly take all measures to prevent diseases of the organ. Lentils are the best way to cleanse the liver from the negative effects of other products. The composition includes phytoestrogens, isoflavones, which neutralize the negative effects of harmful substances, keeping the organ in a healthy state. Of course, during the exacerbation of existing diseases from the use of lentils should be abandoned or reduce it to 1 time a week.

In cholecystitis

When cholelithiasis occurs, it is necessary to exclude fatty foods from the diet, and in this the best way lentils will help. It is able to saturate the body quickly without having a negative impact on the gallbladder. The only thing to remember is to stop using if you have gas.

For hemorrhoids

The diet for hemorrhoids includes red lentils. It is mostly full of vegetable protein, which helps to restore intestinal function. Along with berries, fruits and vegetables, lentils should be eaten more often during treatment.

Video: Diet for hemorrhoids Expand

Lentil-based folk medicine recipes

Lentils are often used in folk medicine as a remedy for many ailments due to their high vitamin content. They are used internally and externally.

Recipes of traditional medicine on the basis of lentils

Lentil broth

Helps with constipation, colitis and hemorrhoids, as well as diseases of the urogenital system, kidney and liver. To do this, you need to add 0.5 cup more water while cooking green lentils. When the porridge is boiled, pour off the excess liquid. Take it in the morning on an empty stomach and before going to bed with a teaspoon. It helps dissolve stones and remove sand from the kidneys.

Lentil flour.

It is used in the form of a supplemental powder for gastritis. You need to grind dry green lentils in a coffee grinder and drink it before each meal. This helps to settle the stomach and fight gastritis.

Lentil powder with butter

Mix the grinded grains in a coffee grinder with butter in a 1:1 ratio and use to heal wounds and burns as quickly as possible. B vitamins help regenerate skin tissues and also have an antiseptic effect.

Lentil flour tortillas

Essential for inclusion in the diet for heart disease, thinning of the walls of blood vessels and anemia. Scones are made by mixing water with crushed dry lentils and fried in a dry pan without adding vegetable oil.

Lentils in cosmetology

Lentil flour is recognized in cosmetology for its vitamin E, also called the vitamin of youth. Women began to use the grains not only as food, but also learned to make face and hair masks from it.

It should be noted that lentils have the following qualities:

  • Rejuvenates, nourishes and moisturizes the skin;
  • restores the water balance and tightens it;
  • protects against external pollution;
  • cleanses the pores of toxins.


  1. Mix flour with warm milk 1:2 and add a teaspoon of olive oil. Apply for 20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Such a mask will moisturize and nourish the skin with vitamins. The effect will be noticeable after the first treatment.
  2. Take two tablespoons each of these products: honey, flour and aloe pulp. Mix thoroughly and then with massaging movements apply on your face, paying special attention to wrinkled areas. Rinse off 20 minutes after application. Such a procedure will be an excellent way to combat age-related manifestations on the face.
  3. A mixture of flour and crystallized honey will be an excellent remedy against cellulite. To do this, you need to massage while taking a shower with this remedy. The procedure should be repeated once every two days for a month. In combination with sports and proper diet, such a scrub will help to get rid of the problem for a long time.

For hair, masks using lentils should be done, as they:

  • strengthen the bulbs;
  • promote hair growth;
  • Envelope the hair along the entire length, creating a protective film;
  • get rid of such problems as split ends.

Of the many recipes, the best are the following:

  1. Take crushed lentil grains, honey and egg yolk in a 1:1 ratio, mix, then massage on the scalp. The mask will help to reduce hair loss, as well as awaken the bulbs for further growth.
  2. Add flour to warm milk of high fat content, and apply to the curls for 30-40 minutes. The mask will help to get rid of dandruff in no time. If you use the mixture daily, applying it for a few minutes and washing it off with running water, it will help get rid of too greasy roots.
Video: 7 face masks from 2 ingredients Expand

Harms and contraindications

Major contraindications to the frequent use of lentils include:

  1. Gout. Legumes in high concentration contain purines, which increase the production of uric acid, which is fraught with worsening consequences during the course of the disease.
  2. Stomach ulcers. Plant proteins make the stomach work faster, which leads to additional juice production. The mucosa is destroyed faster, which aggravates the disease and leads to acute bouts of pain.
  3. Kidney disease, especially in the acute form. Lentils are a strong diuretic and can cause pain and exacerbation of the disease.
  4. Any chronic disease. This is not so much a contraindication as a warning. If you have an illness, you should consult your doctor about including lentils of a certain variety in your diet.

It is also worth listening to the body and in case of severe flatulence or pain in any organ to give up lentils.

How to choose and store lentils

The plant is available for sale in packaged form or by weight. When buying the product, important considerations include:

How to choose and store lentils

  • the integrity of the grains;
  • their hardness;
  • absence of moisture;
  • Absence of foreign elements.

If these conditions are preserved and the kernels are neat, of uniform color and the same shape, it is safe to buy lentils. You should also pay attention to the shelf life, which should not exceed 1 year.

After buying, the lentils should be placed in a cool, dry place with zero humidity and out of direct sunlight. A frosted plastic or glass container with a tightly closing lid will help preserve the quality of the grains for as long as possible. It should be kept in a cupboard away from the oven and water.

In finished form in the refrigerator lentil dish can be stored for up to 5 days. The useful properties are preserved, and the taste during this time remains the same.

What to cook with lentils

The variety of lentil dishes is astounding. They can be used to make vegetarian bread and a hearty soup with meat. It all depends on your preferences and goals.


The most famous dish made from lentils is a soup puree. It differs in the ease of preparation, but it has an incredible taste and the level of nourishment can replace a rich borscht.

To make it, you need to fry an onion, carrots, red bell peppers (1 piece each). When the vegetables are soft, add grated tomato, followed by finely chopped potatoes. Adding spices, simmer them in their own juice without adding water. After a few minutes, add red lentils (0.5 cup), leave for 2 minutes with vegetables. Then pour everything into a saucepan and add 0.7 l of boiling water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn it down until the lentils are cooked. At the end, puree them with a blender. Serve with a few drops of lemon juice.


Brown lentils (1.5 cups) can be used for these cutlets, which should be covered with water in the evening. Before cooking, drain the water and rinse the swollen grains again. Pour water again, put to boil for 10 minutes. In the meantime, fry and stew the onion and carrot (2 pieces each). Remove the liquid with a colander and leave to cool for 15 minutes. After that, mix the grains and vegetables and pass them through a meat grinder to obtain a homogeneous minced meat. It should be salted, peppered, spiced to taste and mixed thoroughly. Make cutlets of desired size, roll them in flour and fry on a hot pan.


This is the easiest and the most useful dish. You will need red lentils (1 cup), water (350 ml), spices and butter to taste. Cook the lentils for 15 minutes, then season and add butter.


This is a wonderful snack not only on weekdays but also on the holiday table. Cook red lentils (100g). Season with salt and add butter and mix with a blender. You need to chop walnuts (70g) until it becomes flour. Then fry the carrots grated on a fine grater. Add spices and leave to simmer for 1 minute on low heat. Then put the carrots, lentil puree and nuts in a blender and blend everything thoroughly. The finished pâté goes well with toasted or sandwich bread.


This dish will be a great vegetarian alternative to the usual pancakes because of the lack of eggs and milk.

Pour 100g of red lentils in water (250 ml). Cover them and leave for 2-3 hours. When infused, grind with a blender along with the rest of the water to puree. Add pepper, salt and any desired spices. Brush a pan with vegetable oil and heat it. Pour the mass and spread it in the pan until an even layer is formed. Fry on a medium heat for 2 minutes on each side.

Such pancakes are also suitable for freezing.

Video: Vegetarian lentil recipe with vegetables Expand

How to cook lentils as a side dish

This dish is ready in minutes, but you must use green lentils because of their ability to retain their appearance and the integrity of their grains.

How to cook lentils as a side dish

After boiling, cook the lentils for 10-15 minutes on low heat. In the meantime, fry the onions, bell peppers and carrots. Then put the cooked lentils in a pan with vegetables, mix them up, add spices and sprinkle with parsley. Let stand for a few minutes, serve as a side dish to any dish. Lentils go well with any meat or fish.

Do I need to soak lentils before cooking?

This depends entirely on the variety. Only brown lentils need to soak for a long time (12-24 hours). They are the only ripe, unrefined variety. That is why you should soak them in water to reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes.

The other varieties that can be found - red, green, black and yellow - do not need to be soaked in advance. The time to cook them is 10-20 minutes, depending on the amount.

How to eat lentils properly

Lentils are one of the most undemanding representatives of legumes. Unlike peas, chickpeas and beans, which need to be soaked in water and swell up, lentils only need to be washed with cold water and cleaned of excess dirt. They are easy to prepare and go perfectly with other meat and vegetable dishes.

You can eat them raw.

In raw form (soaked overnight) green lentil kernels can be eaten. In the absence of contraindications, vegetable salads with the addition of raw grains and olive oil are very useful for the body as a whole.

You can also eat sprouted grains, they are especially useful to add to the diet.

Can I Eat at Night?

You can, and regardless of the variety and in any form. Lentils have a beneficial effect on the intestinal function. It is known that its work is activated at night, so if you have problems with the digestive system, lentils will be useful 1 hour before bedtime.

How much you can eat per day

There is no clear limit on the amount of lentils in the diet. This applies to both the usual diet, as well as compliance with the dietary regime. In the absence of contraindications, the number of meals eaten should be adjusted for each person. Everything is good and useful in moderation. Therefore, the average is 100-150 grams of grains in uncooked form.

Can I give lentils to pets?

It is no secret that pets are fed by their owners with porridges and other foods that they eat themselves. In some cases this is right, because animals need to get vitamins from plants, vegetables and fruits. But regarding legumes, namely lentils, veterinarians unanimously state that this product will not benefit animals at all. They explain this by the fact that the digestive system of animals differs significantly from that of humans. Therefore, lentils are not digested by the pets' body, but come out in the original form, leading to pain, gas and diarrhea. In some cases, it can lead to fever.

Interesting facts about lentils

Interesting Facts about Lentils

  1. The oldest finds of lentils date back to 2400 BC.
  2. In ancient Egypt, it was mandatory to put lentil bread in the tomb of the deceased so that he would not have to starve.
  3. In Russia, lentils were cultivated in the 14th century and were called "tsarina lentil."
  4. The Russian Empire was the main supplier of lentils to countries around the world.
  5. In India, lentils are the 1st most consumed. As we know, the majority of the country's inhabitants are vegetarians, and lentils, rich in protein, are capable of replacing meat in its entirety.
  6. In Germany, they believe that if lentil dishes are on the holiday table, the host is in for a treat of prosperity.
  7. In Turkey, lentil soup is the main dish. Every housewife should be able to prepare it.

«It is important: All information on this site is provided for informational purposes only. for informational purposes. Please consult with a health care professional before using any of our recommendations. specialist. Neither the editors nor the authors shall be liable for any possible harm caused by materials."

Leave a Reply