Lentils might be some of the world’s most perfect foods: they’re affordable, healthy and delicious. Here are the benefits of lentils, and a few recipes!
Lentils are a powerhouse food! Not only are these legumes delicious, they’re healthy, affordable, and a shelf-stable plant-based protein. Want to learn more about what makes lentils so great? Here are the main benefits of lentils!
Top benefits of lentils! Lentils…
1. Are packed with plant-based protein.
Lentils have a large amount of plant-based protein. 1 cup of cooked lentils has about 24 grams of protein.
2. Are a good source of fiber.
Lentils are are also a good source of fiber. 1 cup of cooked lentils also has 10 grams of fiber.
3. Are low in fat.
Lentils have virtually no saturated fat. In 1 cup of cooked lentils, there’s 1 gram of fat.
4. May protect against heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.
According to Harvard Medical School, legumes have lots of additional health benefits. Scientific studies have linked a diet high in legumes with a lower risk of developing diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and strokes.
5. Are affordable.
Lentils are a seriously affordable protein. Depending on the store and region, 1 pound of lentils costs about $1 to $3.
6. Are shelf-stable—for years.
A nice feature to lentils is that you can stock up on them for years! Stored at room temperature in a closed container, lentils can last 2 to 3 years!
7. Are better for the environment than meat.
What do lentils have to do with the planet? More than you may think. A recent New York Times article covered Food and Climate Change and indicated that the world’s food system is responsible for about 1/4 of the planet-warming greenhouse gases. The chart in the article shows the difference between beef and lentils (grouped under Beans). Beef accounts for 40 times more greenhouse gases than lentils.
8. Are delicious!
There are so many ways to eat lentils that are delicious and satisfying! Here are a few of our top picks:
- Best Damn Lentil Soup (or Instant Pot Lentil Soup)
- Lentil Salad with Feta
- Vegan Sloppy Joes
- Quick Coconut Lentil Curry
- Creamy Red Lentil Soup
- Easy Vegan Lentil Tacos
- Seasoned Brown Lentils (or Instant Pot Lentils)
- Seasoned Black Lentils
- Easy French Lentils
- Masoor Dal (Indian Red Lentils)
- Baked Sweet Potato with Moroccan Lentils
- 15 Best Lentil Recipes
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.