Lentils, nutritional values ​​and recipes

Lentils are a good source of complex carbohydrates and protein. They are also rich in phosphorus, vitamins of group B and iron.

The iron contained in lentils, however, as with all foods of plant origin, needs help to be absorbed and it is therefore very important to learn how to cook them correctly and make the right combinations at the table.

Lentils are low in fat and high in fiber and are therefore perfect allies against sluggish intestines and cardiovascular diseases.


Calories of lentils and a light recipe

100 grams of boiled lentils contain less than 100 calories. Of course, the calories of the finished dish will depend on the ingredients that we will combine with the legumes.

A light but tasty idea may be to do them cook in water to which you will have added a clove of garlic, a carrot and two bay leaves.

When cooked, season with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil per person e serve with croutonsAnd. A very simple and light dish, which always has its why.

Lentils, nutritional values ​​and recipes


The minerals in lentils and a recipe for absorbing iron

How many minerals are there in 100 grams of lentils?


  • Magnesium 83 mg
  • Sodium 8 mg
  • Potassium 980 mg
  • Phosphorus 376 mg
  • Iron 8 mg
  • Calcium 57 mg
  • Zinc 2,9 mg
  • Copper 1 mg

To promote the absorption of iron contained in plant foods and, therefore, in lentils it is important take substances that facilitate it and limit those that inhibit it.

The substances that favor the absorption of iron contained in plant foods are vitamin C and some amino acids, for example cysteine.

Among the substances that, on the other hand, inhibit it there are, for example, tannins, contained in coffee and tea; polyphenols, contained in red wine; and cheeses.

Tomatoes are quite rich in vitamin C and therefore favor the absorption of iron. How to combine them with lentils? Try this one salad.

Ingredients for 4 people:
> 250 grams of lentils,
> a red onion from Tropea,
> 10 cherry tomatoes,
> chilli, salt and extra virgin olive oil

Preparation: cook the lentils in abundant salted water, drain and allow to cool. Sauté a Tropea onion in very thin strips in a pan or, for those who love it raw, you can skip this step.

Wash and quarter the cherry tomatoes. Combine all the ingredients and season with extra virgin olive oil, salt and a pinch of hot pepper.


Find out more about how to assimilate iron

Lentils, nutritional values ​​and recipes


Lentils with chicory, a revisited traditional recipe

One of the most typical dishes of Mediterranean cuisine, Especially pugliese, provides the combination of mashed beans and wild chicory. For a very nice variant of this recipe we can combine wild chicory with lentil purée instead of beans.

Ingredients for people 4:
> 400 grams of peeled lentils,
> half a kilo of wild chicory,
> extra virgin olive oil, salt.

Preparation: boil the peeled lentils in water with a clove of garlic; when cooked, remove the garlic, add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and blend with an immersion blender. Clean the chicory and boil it in salted water. Sauté them in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and combine them with lentil purée.

Lentils, nutritional values ​​and recipes


Lentils, some more recipes on how to cook them


To learn more:
> Lentils: how to choose them 
> Red lentils, properties and recipes

> Foods rich in iron, what they are

> Lentils, chickpeas, beans and iron intake



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