Lentils, Scientifically called lens culinaris, are edible seeds of the legume family. They come in a variety of colours — red, green, brown, yellow and black.
Just like other legumes, lentils are highly fibre-rich and nutritious. They offer protein, vitamins, fibre and numerous minerals in rich quantities for the human body.
Studies demonstrate that regularly eating lentils reduces your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease. Lentils are highly easy to cook and are a healthy inclusion to a balanced diet.
Here are 4 reasons why elderly people are highly-advised towards lentils in their everyday diet
- Reduces risk of certain chronic diseases
Lentils are rich in Phenols and are amongst the top-ranked legumes for phenolic content. Phenols make lentils very much cardio-protective and act to boost Antibacterial, Antiviral and Anti-inflammatory effects.
- Supports the digestive system
Lentils are very much instant in making up a smooth digestive function. They are rich in prebiotic fibre which promotes gut bacteria that enables digestion. As lentils are rich in fibre, they also contribute towards the risk of fighting colorectal cancer.
- Wealthy for heart
Fibre, folate and potassium are lavishly available in Lentils. They are crucial for good heart health and managing relative heart functions, alongside cholesterol levels. In addition, Lentils also house Iron deposits for bones and Vitamin B1 which helps for a steady heartbeat.
- Helps in Blood Sugar Management
Glycaemic Index is the rate at which the energy is released into the bloodstream. Lentils provide a healthy and low glycaemic index (GI) which slows the rate of energy released into the bloodstream. This helps in maintaining good blood sugar levels, while its fibre contains help in appetite control.
Recipe for Lentil Soup – Easy to eat and Easy to make for elders
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced small
- Sea salt
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
- 2 celery stalks, diced small
- 1 cup finely diced parsnips
- 8 ounces mushrooms (button or cremini), sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup red wine (optional…if you do not use add one additional cup of broth)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed well
- 7 cups chicken or vegetable broth/stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 1/2 cups stemmed and chopped Swiss chard or kale, in bite-size pieces
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes.
- Add the carrot, celery, parsnips, mushrooms, and another pinch of salt and sauté until all of the vegetables are tender and becoming deep golden brown, about 12 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then stir in the thyme, oregano, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Pour in the wine to deglaze the skillet, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pan.
- Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, and lentils.
- Add the broth and the bay leaf. Increase the heat to high and bring it to a boil.
- Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender about 20 minutes.
- Taste — you may want to add a spritz of lemon juice or a pinch of salt.
- Stir in the Swiss chard or kale and cook until it’s tender about 3 minutes.