EN on Foods

February 2013 Issue

Fiber-Rich, Nutrition-Packed Lentils

Lentils (Lens enscuenta) are in the legume (or pulse) category, along with beans and peas; they grow in pods with one to two lentil seeds. The seeds are round or oval disks and are usually quite small. Classified by size—either large or small—they are sold whole or split. There are many varieties—more than 50 are grown in India alone—available in a rainbow of earthy hues from red, orange and yellow to black; but brown, green and red are most common in the U.S. because they retain their shape and texture best when cooked. One cup of cooked lentils packs 63 percent of the Daily Value (% DV) of dietary fiber, 90% DV of folate, and 36% DV of protein.

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