Lentils are plentiful source of fibre, folic acid and potassium, theses nutrients all support heart health. According to the American heart association (AHA), increase fibre intake can reduce levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), Cholesterol, or bad cholesterol.
Not only does fibre have links to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, but it might slow the progression of the disease in high risk individuals.
Lentils add essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre to the diet. They also provide protein and are excellent replacement for meat in meals. When a person replaces a meat in the diet with a high fibre food, such as lentils, they decreases their risk of heart disease. Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommend this diet for bringing down blood pressure.
Lentils also provide Selenium. Selenium may decrease the rates that Tumours grow. It may also improves a person’s immune response to infections by stimulating the production of T cells. T Cells kill disease. The NIH note that selenium may help reduce rates of Colorectal, Prostate, Lung, bladder, skin, oesophageal, and gastric cancers.
Spiced Brown Lentils with Red Onion
200g brown lentils soaked for 12 hours in boiling water then washed and drained
1 large red onion, finely sliced
2 fresh green chillis, finely chopped (seeds and all)
1 teaspoon garam masala
165ml can coconut milk/ or soy single cream
2 tablespoons freshly, chopped coriander leaves, to garnish
Put the lentils into a large saucepan and add double the quantity of boiling water. Bring back to the boil, then over a medium heat for about 45 minutes until they are mushy. Keep topping up the boiling water if the lentils become too dry; they must be submerged in water at all times. When done , the lentils will have broken down and thickens the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a separate, heavy-based saucepan and fry the onion over a high heat until it begins to turn golden. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until very soft.
Stir in 2 teaspoons of ginger-garlic paste and the chillies and cook for a few seconds. Tip in the ground spices and cook until sizzling. Add a couple of tablespoons of cold water and cook over a high heat until the water has evaporated.
Stir in the cooked lentils and the coconut milk, or soy single cream then season with salt and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and sprinkle over the coriander to garnish.
Serve hot with plain boiled rice or couscous and some a shaved cucumber salad, if wish.