Lentils - one of the legumes: appearance, characteristics
Until recently, undeservedly forgotten lentils are returning to our tables and receive only positive reviews. This type of bean is rich in useful elements and is an indispensable ingredient in European and Asian cuisine. What is useful for this culture, as well as what species are, will be described further.
Lentil crops have an important property - they do not accumulate nitrates and radionuclides. That is what explains their popularity.
What does lentil look like?
This is an ordinary grassy representative of the flora. Bushes are formed small, 30–75 cm in height. On short petioles, paranoid oval leaves are attached.
Did you know? The French queen Maria Leshchinsky was a big fan of lentil dishes. She accustomed her courtiers to this plain food. Since then, in France, lentils have been called royal food.
After flowering, a small rhomboid bean forms on the stalk. Each contains 1-3 flattened grains with sharp edges. Color and size vary by grade.
Family, country of origin, growing conditions
Lentils are a bean representative. Mention of this plant is found since the Neolithic. It was grown in ancient Rome and Greece, and the fruits were found in the ancient pyramids of Egypt. The product is also mentioned in the Bible - the Old Testament speaks of lentil stew.
The birthplace of culture is considered to be Southern Europe and the western regions of Asia. The largest areas for growing plants are allocated in Turkey, Canada, India and Iraq. The remaining countries are not engaged in industrial cultivation.
Important! Only one variety of lentils is cultivated - food.
The main secret of the beneficial properties of this culture lies in its composition. It is based on a large amount of vegetable protein, which is well absorbed by the body.. Complement its positive effect. amino acids and tryptophan. This product is valuable and great. iron and folic acid.
Like any cereal, lentils contain plant fiber (4.9–9 g), which beneficially affects the body, improving the digestion process.
Adding lentil groats to the food, we get the following elements (composition in 100 g):
- calcium - 41–71 mg;
- zinc - 3.9 mg;
- manganese - 1.4 mg;
- selenium - 8.2 mcg;
- potassium - 578–940 mg;
- phosphorus - 294-350 mg;
- copper - 1.3 mg;
- magnesium - 72 mg;
- sodium - 7 mg;
- iron - 7.6–11.8 mg.
All these components have a beneficial effect on the condition of the skin and the basic vital systems of the body.
In the context of fatty acids, 100 g of lentils look like this:
- unsaturated fatty - 0.4 g;
- monounsaturated - 0.5 g;
- polyunsaturated - 1.1 g;
- Omega-3 groups - 250 mg;
- Omega-6 groups - 886 mg.
The nutritional properties of lentil groats allow it to replace products such as meat and bread.
Like the whole bean genus, lentils have a rich vitamin composition. 100 g contains such a complex of vitamins:
- A - 0.03 mg;
- B1 - 0.5 mg;
- B2 - 0.2 mg;
- B3 - 1.5 mg;
- B6 - 0.5 mg;
- B9 - 204 mcg;
- B5 - 0.3 mg.
The energy value of cereals looks like this (100 g):
- water - 15 g;
- proteins - 23.8–35 g;
- carbohydrates - 46.5–56.3 g;
- fats - 1.3–2 g.
This composition is sufficient for the normal functioning of the human body for 24 hours. It is the energy composition that explains where the strength of a person sitting on a lentil diet comes from.
Important! A serving of beans contains 90% of the daily intake of folic acid.
Despite the rich variety of lentil culture, any dish made from this cereal has a nutty flavor.
Benefit and harm
A delicious product has a rich composition and is only beneficial. First of all, they prefer to grow and consume it because of its absolute environmental friendliness - the plant does not accumulate toxins and is absolutely harmless.
Besides, lentils - a unique herbal doctor who helps with such ailments:
- nervous disorders;
- urolithiasis disease;
- diabetes mellitus (with regular use of croup helps to lower blood sugar);
- diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- problems in the digestive tract (the plant also helps with ulcers and colitis).
Did you know? The most expensive variety of lentils, Encluvis, is grown in Greece on the island of Lefkada. Such a product is quite expensive - 25 € per 1 kg.
- It performs the following functions:
- normalizes blood formation (lentils - a rich source of iron);
- prevents the development of oncological diseases of the rectum and mammary gland (due to the high fiber content and isoflavone);
- positively affects the development of the fetus (this useful product is recommended to be included in the diet of pregnant women).
Be that as it may, you can treat lentils in different ways, but the fact that its regular use strengthens the immune system and improves vitality is undeniable.
- Lentils also have specific properties that negatively affect the body, and, therefore, cause such undesirable consequences:
- Bloating and discomfort in the intestines. With a sensitive gastrointestinal tract, eating lentils, like peas, is recommended with caution.
- Heavily digested by the intestines. A person suffering from gout, arthritis or arthrosis should not eat this product.
- Reduced digestibility of beneficial elements.
- Impaired kidney function. The whole legume family contains an excess of protein (30–35%), so prolonged and excessive consumption of beans causes great harm to the kidneys, negatively affecting their work, causing nephritis and urolithiasis. Oxalates play an important role in this.
Types of Lentils
Different lentil species have a different taste, texture and nutritional composition. Let's consider each of them in more detail.
This species differs from the others in that the fruits do not have a shell, and their preparation is faster (about 10 minutes).
Such a variety is obtained by grinding a green species. The aroma of yellow lentils is pleasant, the taste is delicate, reminiscent of mushrooms.
The yellow variety can be used to prepare such dishes:
- mashed potatoes;
This product is also suitable for fillings - the taste of dishes is extraordinary. All varieties of the yellow species have a high glycemic index - 28–32 units. In the free market is common. Moreover, you can buy this type in a supermarket or in a small store.
Did you know? In the Czech Republic there is such a tradition: in the case of the birth of the first-born, the father of the newborn is served with lentil soup, into which a raw egg is broken.
Fruits of a red (or pink) look are highly susceptible to peeling, since they are devoid of a shell. It is better to use them boiled, the readiness comes in 10-12 minutes.This feature allows the use of cereals in the preparation of soups and mashed potatoes. The main consumer of this type is Asia.
This food species is the most common and largest. Before cooking, brown cereal must be soaked for 30–40 minutes in ordinary cold water. Cooking time after soaking - 20-30 minutes.
From such a variety, you can prepare such dishes:
The recipe for the famous Pardin lentil soup includes this particular type of lentil.
The fruits of this species may look different, but most varieties are large-seeded. The green species is tall, grassy. Often prone to lodging. The most popular variety of this variety is French lentils de Puy.
On the territory of the Russian Federation grow such varieties of green species:
- New Moon;
This lentil species is used to prepare:
- rice dishes;
- meat dishes.
Before cooking, pre-soak cereals (like beans) should not be, because it is an unripe grain.
Varieties of this species contain 30–32% protein and can have all shades of green - from olive to bright green.
Did you know? It is customary for the Jewish people to use lentils during mourning for the deceased. The round shape of the grain symbolizes the life cycle.
Black (also called Beluga) is an elite variety. The grain is small (2-3 mm), reminiscent of fish caviar.
This species is characterized in that a substance such as protein is 35%. And the color is determined by the presence of a special pigment with antioxidant properties.
Beans do not boil and retain their shape during cooking. This quality allows the use of black cereal for:
- stewing meat;
- vegetable dishes.
In nutrition, it resembles mung bean (a plant of the legume family). As you can see, there are many varieties and varieties of lentils. But no matter what cereal you take for cooking, you will undoubtedly get a tasty and healthy dish that will bring tangible benefits to each body system.