Hi Green Team!
Red lentils have become a staple in my diet from 2010 when I was a student at Oxford Brookes University. Lentils are low in calories and high in plant protein which suited my phase when I was trying out a vegetarian diet after reading Skinny Bitch by Kim Barnouin on the plane on my way to England.
I remember clearly trying to find foods that I could make that would nourish me without causing an allergic reaction or making me sick when I spotted these little bad boys during the course of one of my very long super market trips. Long because, as you could imagine, this Caribbean girl finally had access to England’s amazing grocery and specialty stores, so it was a super exciting adventure for me!
As you some of you may know, while my childhood was full of sports and activities, I was silently suffering with allergies and a compromised immune system due to my highly sensitive digestive system. Throughout university, I tried several diets for time frames of no less than 6 months inclusive of vegan, blood type, paleo, vegetarian, glutenfree vegetarian, and low carb. As a nutrition student it seemed like a good idea to learn more about the different theories and about my body while studying the science behind the diets.
When I found red lentils and learnt how great they were for heart health, plant protein, circulation and digestion while being low in calories I knew I had to incorporate into my weekly meal plan.
A study from the Archives of Internal Medicine confirm how eating high fibre foods, such as lentils help prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years. People eating 21g fibre per day which was the highest intake had 12% less coronary heart disease (CHD) and 11% less cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily.
In addition to benefits with the heart and digestion, the soluble fibre found in red lentils helps to stabilise diabetes and hypoglycaemia in addition to insulin resistance.
Research has shown the benefits of high fibre edits help to stabilise blood sugar levels. In one study of the standard American Diabetic diet, one group ate 24g fibre per day while the other group ate a diet containing 50g fire per day. Those who ate a diet higher in fibre had lower level of both plasma glucose and insulin. The high fibre group also reduced their total cholesterol by nearly 7%.
There you have it, if that wasn’t enough to get you excited about adding lentils to your life then you have got to try my new recipe!
This plant powered secret ingredient is a close pal of mine, especially in times of needing a quick meal. This soup recipe has been a great comfort for me during a time of loss of a dear friend in a tragic accident, so I wish for it to bring comfort and cozy vibes right back to you.
It’s a healthy treasure not a guilty pleasure, so enjoy!
RECIPE Makes 6 servings
1.5 cup red lentils
2 natural stock cubes
3 Tbs oil of choice/ butter (I used olive oil)
3/4 cup diced sweet potato
2 tbs chopped ginger
4 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper
1 large onion
1 dash cumin
1 dash black pepper
1 dash Italian garlic and herb
1 tsp garlic salt
2 small bundles of chives
2 chadon beni leaves
1 L water
1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat.
2. Add chopped onions and peppers and allow ingredients to soften for approximately 6 minutes or until they appear translucent.
3. Add 1.5 cup dry red lentils and stir. Add water to just cover the lentils and bring to a boil.
4. Add stock cubes along with 2 cups of water then stir to combine. Next step is to add spices and seasonings, herbs and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve with love and a 1/2 cup chopped lettuce as a base in a bowl.
As always Green Team, I aim to give you real and practical tips so you live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
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Until the next issue Green Team!
Annick G. Lewis Nutritionist (BSc) & Qualified Personal Trainer
CEO & Founder Green Balance TT