Lentils are legumes that grow like peas and beans in a pod, with two lentil seeds inside. They are fairly small and flat and when split into halves look like split peas. They never arrive fresh at the dinner table, but are cooked or boiled from dry and have an infinite shelf-life, one of the reason’s they were so popular with our ancestors.
There are hundreds of varieties of lentils, which range in color from yellow, orange, red, green, and brown to black and can be bought either with or without their skins.
Today, lentils are used throughout the world, particularly Eastern Europe and India. The famous Indian dish dhal utilizes the pulse with eight of the essential amino acids – with recipe variations the length and breadth of the country.
|Nutritional value per
100 g (3.5 oz)
|Energy||1,477 kJ (353 kcal)|
|* Carbohydrates||60 g|
|Dietary fiber||31 g|
|* Fat||1 g|
|* Protein||26 g|
|* Vitamin A equiv.|
|Thiamine (Vit. B1)||0.87 mg|
|* Folate (Vit. B9)||479 ?g|
|* Iron||7.5 mg|
A comprehensive breakdown of nutrients can be found in the Nutrition Database where this food can also be added to a meal planner.
The amounts of total oxalate in lentils exceed current recommendations for oxalate consumption by individuals who have a history of calcium oxalate kidney/urinary stones, and consumption should be limited.
1. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.
2. Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology.
3. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
4. Adebamowo CA, Cho E, Sampson L, Katan MB, Spiegelman D, Willett WC, Holmes MD. Int J Cancer. 2005 Apr 20;114(4):628-33. PMID: 15609322.
5. Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, Loria C, Vupputuri S, Myers L, Whelton PK. Legume consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women: NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. Arch Intern Med. 2001 Nov 26;161(21):2573-8. PMID: 11718588.
6. Massey LK, Palmer RG, Horner HT. Oxalate content of soybean seeds (Glycine max: Leguminosae), soyfoods, and other edible legumes. J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Sep;49(9):4262-6. PMID: 11559120.
7. Xu BJ, Yuan SH, Chang SK. Comparative studies on the antioxidant activities of nine common food legumes against copper-induced human low-density lipoprotein oxidation in vitro. J Food Sci. 2007 Sep;72(7):S522-7. PMID: 17995667.