Lentils are legumes that are widespread all over the world and for centuries have been a precious food in the kitchen and for us it is a dish that cannot be missed on the table.The lentils are grown commercially in over 50 countries, but production is concentrated in only three: India, Canada and Turkey, representing approximately 2/3 of the world production of lentils. In 2005 Canada is the world’s largest producer and currently produces 37% of all lentils.
There are many varieties and they are mainly differentiated by their color, they are all excellent and rich in nutritional values.
The properties of lentils, they represent a mine of:
- iron ,
Lentils variety and which to choose:
- Lentils from Castelluccio di Norcia, are one of the most prized varieties in Italy.
- Lentils from Villalba (Caltanissetta), are remembered for their organoleptic characteristics and for their very high protein intake.
- Lentils from Ustica are very small and dark brown in color.
- Pantelleria lentils are very appreciated for their quality, being very tasty and digestible.
- Altamura lentils are dark green and large, they are a typical Apulian product.
- Lentils of Onano (Viterbo) with a very delicate gray-blackish flavor.
- Beluga black lentils, they are of Asian origin, they have very small and spherical dimensions.
- Lentils from Colfiorito, are a typical Italian product, widespread and known throughout the world, they are small in size and light brown in color.
- Lentils of Rascino, are grown in the province of Rieti, a typical Lazio product, they are small of reddish brown color.
- Red lentils, the ones we find for sale are generally peeled, they are more practical, because they do not need soaking and cooking is faster. However, there are also those that are not peeled and their color is on yellow orange.
- Pusha lentils produced in Ecuador, arrives in Italy, thanks to fair trade. It is a food of support for the local populations.
There are other varieties of lentils, we have listed a few and they are generally grown in warm and sunny places.
Lentils are very nutritious and energetic:
- 100 grams of product belong to about 291 kcal.
- 51% of carbohydrates
- 23% protein
- 1% fat
- 11% of water.
The most important lentils and its chemical components:
- Isoflavones that are powerful antioxidants.
- Thiamine, useful for promoting memory and concentration.
- Vitamin PP (vitamin B3) very important for balancing energy metabolism and reducing triglycerides in the blood, niacin is a powerful antioxidant.
We also recommend consumption during the year and not only on holidays, as our traditions advise us, indeed we recommend consumption at least once a week.These legumes are used in the kitchen lending themselves very well to soups.
Contraindications and warnings before consumption
The consumption of lentils for gout and uremia patients is not recommended, because it is a source of purines. Furthermore, the consumption of raw lentils is not recommended, as it is the cooking that makes them digestible.