Loving Lentils - Culinary Therapy

Loving Lentils

Growing up, lentils were a staple in my home and for good reason. They’re a nutritional powerhouse and great for your digestion (if you can digest them!).

Lentils are a member of the bean family, also known as legumes. They’re an excellent plant-based source of protein and a staple food in many traditional cultures, offering grounding and strengthening properties that enhance endurance.

The incredible health benefits of lentils:

  • High in fiber to support digestion, alleviate constipation and promote regularity
  • They offer a highly usable, highly absorbable source of calcium
  • They slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream for good blood sugar regulation
  • They are extremely high in antioxidants
  • They are rich in minerals, particularly manganese, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium
  • Are rich in vitamin B – an excellent energy and mood booster

Lack of sexual energy is often due to overtaxed adrenal glands and kidneys. Beans are known for strengthening these organs (ever noticed the shape of a bean?) and can help restore vital energy as well as sexual energy.

Selecting and storing lentils:

Lentils come in a variety of colors including green, brown, yellow and pink. They’re available year-round.

Store lentils in an airtight container in a cool, dark and dry place and they will last up to 1 year.

Quick prep ideas:

  • Enjoy a Simple Red Lentil Soup
  • Prepare a traditional Indian dahl with lentils, onions, garlic, cumin and oil
  • Try a green lentil salad with chopped tomato, bell pepper, onion, mint and parsley
  • Top with yogurt, mint, and red pepper flakes
  • Or, add lentils to your favorite seasonal soup or stew

Lentils have a reputation for causing digestive distress, but this is usually because they have been undercooked or improperly prepared. To help reduce gas-forming properties, remove the foam once boiling, increase the cooking time or add spices like bay leaf, oregano or cumin. My favorite digestive aid is kombu, a sea vegetable. Just a one-inch piece added to your cooking water will have incredible gas-reducing benefits.

Your Simple Action Plan:
A very inexpensive source of high nutrition, beans can be rich, delicious and satisfying. Find out whether or not lentils are for you by experimenting with them this week. Your body is your best guide.

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