4 great effects of lentils, pregnant women should eat regularly

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Beans are a variety of foods and are widely used in many countries around the world. Lentils are a member of the legume family that are rich in protein and fiber. Eating a lot of lentils is very good for health. However, how effective is lentils in supporting diseases such as cancer or heart disease? thucphamkho.vn hopes you will learn carefully about the types of lentils, nutritional value as well as the benefits of eating regularly.

What are lentils?

Lentils belong to the legume family, the scientific name is Lens culinaris. This is a perennial plant that is being grown a lot in West Asia. Currently, they are commonly grown in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Hindu Kush and some Mediterranean countries.

Nutritional composition of lentils

Lentils are rich in protein. During the second world war, lentils were used as a substitute for meat to supplement the required quality. In 100g of raw lentils contains up to 24.63g of protein, accounting for 25% of the total amount of beans. However, this protein content is only 9.02g after ripening. Different types of beans will have different nutritional content but not too big of a difference.

See more: American asparagus varieties in Hanoi

Classification of lentils

Brown lentils

Brown lentils are the most common and easy to find. They range in color from khaki brown to dark brown. Beans usually have to cook for 20-30 minutes. After ripening, the beans retain their original format and earthy aroma. Some popular varieties of brown lentils are: German brown, Spanish brown and Indian brown.

Puy lentils

Puy lentils originate from the Le Puy region of France. They are dark gray in color. The size of Puy lentils is only 1/3 of the size of normal green lentils. Because the soil in the Le Puy region is influenced by volcanoes, lentils in this region have a spicier taste.

Green lentils

Green lentils are light green in color and have a strong pepper-like flavor. These beans take longer to cook than other beans, typically up to 45 minutes. Green lentils are used to make salads and side dishes.

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Classification of lentils

Red lentils

Red lentils are commonly used to prepare Indian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. They are light red or yellow-orange, Red lentils ripen quickly and are soft. And has the sweetest flavor of any lentil.

Yellow lentils

Yellow lentils are quite similar to red lentils but have a beautiful bright yellow color, flat-shaped beans have a sweet taste, just need to cook for about 15 minutes to be able to eat.

Beluga lentils

Beluga lentils are a special and very popular bean. They have a small round shape, glossy black color. Looks like Beluga caviar. Other than their attractive appearance, Beluga lentils are very fragile when cooked. However, they are higher in protein than red, green or lentils.

See more: Buy cheap red lentils in Hanoi

Effects of lentils

Prevent cancer

Selenium is a rare mineral found in lentils. This substance is rarely found in other foods. Selenium has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces the rate of tumor growth, prevents damage to the DNA gene code, and improves the immune response to infections by stimulating the production of germ-killing T cells. In addition, selenium also plays a role in supporting the function of liver enzymes and detoxifying some cancer-causing compounds in the body.
Flavonoids and procyanidins are polyphenols found in lentils. It has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They promote health and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The fiber in lentils also helps reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Protect your heart health

Regular consumption of lentils reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A study on the uses of lentils. The study was performed on 48 overweight patients with type 2 diabetes and lasted for about 8 weeks. Eating 60g of lentils per day increases levels of good HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins), lowers levels of bad LDL (low-density lipoproteins) and triglycerides.
In addition, lentil sprouts contain a protein that inhibits the activity of ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme I). This is a stimulant that causes blood vessels to constrict, causing blood pressure to rise.
Another cause of increased heart disease risk is high homocysteine ​​levels. Lentils are rich in folate, which helps prevent excess homocysteine ​​in the body. Helps reduce the risk of disease.
Lentils are also great for people who are overweight or obese. It has the effect of helping to reduce the amount of food in the daily diet. Control blood sugar well and avoid cardiovascular complications.
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Lentils have cardioprotective effects


A common cause of fatigue and lack of energy is iron deficiency. In particular, women from 18 to 50 years old are more susceptible to iron deficiency than other groups. There are two types of iron needed by the body: heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is commonly found in red meats. Non-heme iron is commonly found in plants, especially legumes.
Lentils are rich in non-heme iron that is easily absorbed. Therefore, they are very suitable for people who need to abstain from meat for health or other reasons.

Good for pregnant women

Among the effects of lentils, the ability to enhance nutrition and support immunity for pregnant women is highly appreciated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women of childbearing age should consume 400mg of folate per day.
Folate in lentils not only helps pregnant women reduce the risk of diabetes during pregnancy. It also prevents congenital neural tube defects in the fetus.
Regular consumption of lentils at least a year before pregnancy reduces the rate of preterm birth by more than 50% in pregnant women.

See more: Discover how to make 6 delicious dishes made from lentils

Pros and cons of the antinutrients found in lentils

Lentils contain several antinutrients that affect the body’s ability to absorb other nutrients.

Trypsin inhibitors

Lentils contain trypsin inhibitors. Trypsin is a substance that interferes with the production of enzymes that help absorb protein from your food. However, their content is very low, so it will not affect the body’s absorption of protein much.


Lectin is a protein that has the ability to reversibly, non-covalently bind carbohydrates without changing the structure of the bound carbohydrates. They are found in many foods, typically grains and legumes, including lentils.

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Pros and cons of lentils
The advantage of lectins is to help synthesize glycoproteins, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and prevent cancer cells. But the disadvantage of lectins is that they cause digestive disorders, indigestion and increase the permeability of the small intestinal mucosa. This condition is called leaky gut syndrome (LGS).
To minimize the amount of lectins in lentils. You can soak the beans overnight and wash them thoroughly before cooking.

Phytic Acid

Lentils contain phytic. Phytic acid is a naturally occurring compound also known as phytate. Commonly found in nuts.
Phytic acid has antioxidant properties, prevents kidney stones and prevents cancer. However, consuming too much phytic acid can reduce the absorption of substances such as iron, zinc and calcium in food.


Tannin is a polyphenol compound found in plants with acrid taste. They have the ability to form strong bonds with proteins and other organic macromolecular compounds such as amino acids and alkaloids.
Tannin has the effect of eliminating diarrhea very quickly. They react to precipitate proteins in the gastrointestinal mucosa into a membrane that encloses the mucosa. Thereby, reducing the irritation of the gastrointestinal mucosa and excreting fluid and water.
In addition, tannins have mild antiseptic properties. They inhibit bacterial fermentation in the digestive tract. Therefore, tannins are also used to detoxify heavy metals.
Some sources suggest that tannins may decrease iron absorption. However, studies show that iron absorption by the body is not affected by the amount of tannin in lentils.

Lentils contain many nutrients that are very beneficial for heart health and prevent cancer. But lentils also contain some antinutrients like trypsin and phytic acid. To reduce the possibility of inhibiting nutrient absorption from these materials. You can soak the beans overnight, wash them, and cook them. Moreover, you should also balance your daily diet so that your body can absorb the necessary nutrients.

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