Home Pulses Brown Lentils

Brown Lentils

 

(Pulses Sprout)

Lentils, one of the first crops cultivated by man, have been a food source for over 8000 years. Through much of that time they have been considered the food of the poor people.

In ancient Greece the wealthy would never think of serving lentils to their guests or themselves. One exception was Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who prescribed lentils for his patients with liver ailments.

Lentils gained more respect in Eighteenth Century France under the reign of Louis XV, whose wife Marie made them fashionable at the king's court. They were named "lentils of the queen."

Even into the Nineteenth Century they were called "the poor man's meat." The only time of year they found acceptance was during Lent as a substitute for those people who could not afford fish.

Lentils are gaining in popularity and are most important to the diets of people in the Middle East and in India. Many Indian dishes emphasize the more than 50 varieties grown in that country. The three varieties seen most often here are green, brown, and red. Small green lentils are often called brown and brown are often called black.

Nutritionists consider lentils a great substitute for meat because they are high in protein and loaded with minerals. One hundred grams of lentils has as much protein as 134 grams of beef. Of the dried vegetables the lentil is second only to the soybean in protein content. One cup of boiled brown lentils provides 38 mg. calcium, 356 mg. phosphorus, 72 mg. magnesium, 360 mcg folacin, 6.6 mg. iron, 731 mg. potassium, and 10 grams dietary fiber. Lentils sold as dhal have their outer skins removed and are lower in fiber than other varieties.

Lentils can be sprouted and added to salads for a great boost in nutrition. They can also be ground into a meal in the food processor, seasoned, and made into lentil patties in a dehydrator.

Lentil sprouts, like pea sprouts, are very tasty and can be eaten raw or cooked. Add them to salads, soups, casseroles or steam or stir fry them with other vegetables. Rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, the minerals iron, calcium and phosphorus. They contain 26% protein.

Lentils can be purchased in red, black or green varieties. Archeologists believe dry peas and lentils were some of the first food crops ever to be cultivated almost 9,000 years ago; lentils have been a staple in Mediterranean countries and India ever since. High in potassium, iron, vitamin A, folic acid and fiber, lentils are becoming increasingly popular in North America. Lentil sprouts are usually sold as part of a sprouted bean mix.

 

 

Lentils, sprouted, raw

Scientific Name: Lens culinaris

Nutrient Units Value per
100 grams of
edible portion
Sample
Count
Std.
Error
Proximates
Water g 67.34 9 2.389
Energy kcal 106 0
Energy kj 444 0
Protein g 8.96 9 0.605
Total lipid (fat) g 0.55 9 0.031
Ash g 1.00 9 0.075
Carbohydrate, by difference g 22.14 0
Minerals
Calcium, Ca mg 25 9 0.652
Iron, Fe mg 3.21 9 0.268
Magnesium, Mg mg 37 9 2.682
Phosphorus, P mg 173 9 11.944
Potassium, K mg 322 9 22.831
Sodium, Na mg 11 9 5.382
Zinc, Zn mg 1.51 9 0.120
Copper, Cu mg 0.352 9 0.020
Manganese, Mn mg 0.506 9 0.034
Selenium, Se mcg 0.6 0
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 16.5 9 1.709
Thiamin mg 0.228 9 0.020
Riboflavin mg 0.128 9 0.012
Niacin mg 1.128 9 0.073
Pantothenic acid mg 0.578 9 0.028
Vitamin B-6 mg 0.190 9 0.009
Folate, total mcg 100 9 9.967
Folic acid mcg 0 0
Folate, food mcg 100 9 9.967
Folate, DFE mcg_DFE 100 0
Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.00 0
Vitamin A, IU IU 45 9 8.159
Retinol mcg 0 0
Vitamin A, RAE mcg_RAE 2 9 0.408
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturated g 0.057 0
16:0 g 0.052 1
18:0 g 0.006 1
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated g 0.104 0
18:1 undifferentiated g 0.104 1
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated g 0.219 0
18:2 undifferentiated g 0.181 1
18:3 undifferentiated g 0.038 1
Cholesterol mg 0 0
Amino acids
Threonine g 0.328 1
Isoleucine g 0.326 1
Leucine g 0.628 1
Lysine g 0.712 1
Methionine g 0.105 1
Cystine g 0.334 1
Phenylalanine g 0.442 1
Tyrosine g 0.252 1
Valine g 0.399 1
Arginine g 0.611 1
Histidine g 0.257 1
Alanine g 0.356 1
Aspartic acid g 1.433 1
Glutamic acid g 1.258 1
Glycine g 0.319 1
Proline g 0.356 1
Serine g 0.495 1

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 15 (August 2002)