Small, lens-shaped dried
lentils are one of the beans
richest in cancer-blocking
fibers called isoflavones and
lignan, and are low in fat and

Lentils come in a variety of colors and include green, brown, and red. The green and brown tend to contain the highest levels of nutrients and fiber. Lentils are a very rich source of fiber, both insoluble and soluble, which helps protect us against cancer and cardiovascular disease. They also contain plant chemicals called isoflavones, which may offer protection from cancer and coronary heart disease, and lignan, which has a mild estrogen-like effect that may lower the risk of cancer, minimize premenstrual syndrome, and protect against osteoporosis. Lentils are also rich in B vitamins, folate, and all major minerals, particularly iron and zinc.

  • Rich in fiber for protection from cardiovascular disease and cancers.

  • High iron content for healthy blood and energy levels.

  • Contain plant chemicals to help premenstrual syndrome and bone health.

  • High zinc content to boost the immune system.

Practical tips:

Lentils are one of the few beans that don’t need soaking before cooking. They are also quick to cook by simmering in water for about 30 minutes. Dried lentils cooked in stock with carrots, celery, and onion makes a quick soup. Canned lentils contain almost as many nutrients as dried ones.

Lentils are thought to be one of the earliest foods to have been cultivated, with 8,000- year-old seeds found at sites in the Middle East.

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