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Turkish lentils have a milder flavor than regular lentils. They are more digestive, low in fat and have a very good supply of essential nutrients, especially for vegetarians.
The size is similar to the brown lentil but its color is red or dark orange. Its cooking is much faster, in any case it is always recommended a few hours of soaking to activate any seed.
The raw lentils offer a great contribution of proteins of vegetal origin of high nutritional value.
According to data from the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN), they contain carbohydrates, fiber, proteins, and minerals such as iron (not heme), magnesium, selenium, zinc and, in addition, vitamin B1. They are also a good source of phosphorus and folic acid.
Experts point out that “its fiber content —soluble and insoluble— (although in a lower concentration than in other legumes) which favors intestinal transit and helps fight constipation“.
On the other hand, these lentils are low in fat and only provide 360 kilocalories per 100 grams.
1. Contribute to nutrition during pregnancy
- Thanks to their contribution of iron, they can help prevent anemia during the gestation period. They are a great complement to the supplements that some women take during these months.
- Due to its fiber content, it helps relieve constipation that frequently occurs during pregnancy. Being a natural product, it is a healthier alternative to traditional laxatives.
- Finally, the folate they provide could help prevent defects or malformations in the fetal nervous system and avoid the possibility of premature birth.
2. They improve digestive health
Another of the properties of red lentils is that, being rich in starches, they improve digestion and give a feeling of satiety with less quantity and for a longer time.
As they do not have skin, they are easier to digest than common lentils, that is why they are recommended for people with intestinal and gastric problems, slow digestions and excess gas.
Ideally, consume a cup of cooked red lentils at least once a week.
3. They help maintain intestinal transit
Due to their fiber content, red lentils contribute to intestinal transit and help prevent constipation. Be careful, they must be consumed within a balanced diet so that it can provide this benefit, otherwise, it will be more difficult to appreciate it.
4. Improve intellectual performance
The carbohydrates, vitamins, vegetable proteins and minerals that red lentils provide are vital for the proper functioning of the nerves and the brain. If you have noticed that your memory is failing you, and your mental abilities are not the same as before, it might be advisable to add lentils to your diet.
How to prepare red lentils?
One of the advantages of red lentils is that they do not need soaking, although it is recommended to activate them and they cook quickly. They are usually prepared faster than traditional lentils.
For one serving you need:
- 1 cup of raw red lentils (200 g).
- 2 cups of water or broth (500 ml).
- Rinse the lentils under running tap water.
- In a pot, place the broth and the lentils, and cook for 20 minutes.
- If the broth needs a little seasoning, you can add a touch of salt and pepper. When cooked, lentils tend to vary slightly in color and become lighter.
- Once the lentils are cooked they can be eaten alone or used to prepare other dishes, such as soups and salads.