Lentils have been a part of human diet since the neolithic times. They are third highest in terms of protein content, after soybeans and hemp. Here's a look into the number of calories in lentils.
Lentils are said to be the first domesticated crops. They are said to have their origin in the Near East. Of the total calories in them, about 26% come from proteins. It is an important part of diet in many parts of the world.
Lentils are a major part of Indian cuisine, as the Indian continent has a large vegetarian population. Let's take a look at how many calories they contain, along with their nutrition facts and the varieties that they are available in.
Half a cup of boiled lentils contains approximately 115 calories. On the other hand, ¼ cup of dry lentils, that is about 32 g, contains 120 calories. Lentils are recommended for people who are on restricted diets, as they contains only 70 calories per serving.
Lentils are found in various colors, ranging from yellow and red-orange to green, black, and brown. The skin of red, white, and yellow lentils is usually removed. They are also available in various sizes.
Some varieties are sold with the skin, while some are sold without it. There are some that are sold whole, while others are sold split. In some cultures, beans and peas are also termed as lentils; however, in reality, they are pulses.
Some of the varieties of lentils are Spanish Pardina, yellow lentils, eston green lentils, brown skinned-red lentils, big Mexican yellow lentils, etc.
Lentils are easy to cook and are also easily available. They can be given to children, sick, and old people as well.
There is no cholesterol content in lentils. At the same time, they are also very low in saturated fat.
The sugar content in them is also very low.
They are rich in dietary soluble fiber.
They are high in iron, and hence are an important part of a vegetarian diet. About 60% of recommended dietary allowance of iron can be got from 100 g of lentils.
They are also rich sources of phosphorous.
The other important nutrient that they are rich in is thiamin. 100 g of lentils contains 67% of the recommended dietary allowance of thiamin.
Very few people are aware that they are also rich in Vitamin C.
Along with the aforementioned nutrients, lentils are also high in folic acid. They provide Vitamin B to the body as well.
They are also packed with antioxidants necessary for the body.
They do not provide all the essential amino acids, therefore, they have to be combined with cereals to satisfy the amino acid requirements of the body. Due to the nutritional value of lentils, they are suitable for weight loss and for maintaining optimum health.
Nutrients and their Amount* in Lentils:
Protein - 49.5 g
Dietary Fiber - 58.6 g
Sugar - 3.9 g
Water - 20 g
Calcium - 108 mg
Iron - 14.5 mg
Magnesium - 234 mg
Phosphorus - 866 mg
Potassium - 1833 mg
Sodium - 11.5 mg
Manganese - 2.6 mg
Copper - 1 mg
Zinc - 9.2 mg
Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids - 209 mg
Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids - 776 mg
Note: These contents are for 1 cup raw lentils with a weight of approximately 192 grams.
Along with all the high nutritional value of and the low calorie content of lentils, they are also high in purines. These organic compounds cause uric acid salt deposition in the joints. Hence, people who suffer from inflammation of joints should have a restricted consumption of lentils.