Lentils are a highly nutritious and versatile food that can greatly enhance the nutritional value of a diet.
They are a rich source of plant-based protein, making them an excellent choice for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking to reduce their meat consumption. Lentils are also packed with dietary fibre, both soluble and insoluble, which aids in digestion and helps in maintaining a healthy gut.
Additionally, they are a good source of essential nutrients such as iron, folate, manganese, and potassium.
A study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” highlights the role of lentils in improving overall diet quality due to their high nutrient content.
Adding cooked tomatoes to lentils enhances the flavour and increases the dish’s nutritional value.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamins C and K and potassium but are particularly noted for their high lycopene content. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant known for its health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
Cooking tomatoes increases the bioavailability of lycopene, making it easier for the body to absorb.
Research in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” found that the body more readily absorbs the lycopene in cooked tomatoes than in raw tomatoes.
The combination of lentils and cooked tomatoes creates a synergistic effect regarding nutrition.
The high fibre content in lentils helps slow digestion of the meal, aiding blood sugar control. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those trying to manage their blood sugar levels. Meanwhile, tomatoes’ antioxidants help combat oxidative stress in the body.
A study in the “British Journal of Nutrition” reported that diets rich in legumes like lentils and antioxidant-rich vegetables like tomatoes can reduce risks of several chronic diseases.
Moreover, this combination is ideal for weight management.
Lentils are low in calories yet high in protein and fibre, promoting feelings of fullness and reducing overall calorie intake. This makes them an excellent food choice for those looking to lose or maintain weight. Adding tomatoes adds flavour and nutrition without significantly increasing the calorie count.
In conclusion, incorporating lentils and cooked tomatoes into the diet offers many health benefits.
This combination provides a rich source of plant-based protein, fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants and supports heart health, diabetes management, and weight control.
The enhanced bioavailability of nutrients like lycopene from cooked tomatoes further elevates the nutritional profile of this dish. Including lentils and cooked tomatoes in meals is an effective way to boost overall health and dietary quality.
Spanish lentil stew
- 2 tbsp Coconut oil
- 1 Large onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 Large potato, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 Carrots, chopped
- 100 g Green beans, chopped
- 2-3 Bay leaves
- 150 g Brown lentils
- 700 ml Vegetable stock
- 475 ml Tomato passata
- Chilli powder, to taste
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, and sauté the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes.
- Then add in the potato, carrots, green beans and bay leaves.
- Cook for another 2-3 mins.
- Next, add in the passata and continue cooking for 2 mins.
- Finally, add the lentils and the vegetable stock.
- Bring to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are cooked.
- Season with salt and pepper, and hot paprika to taste.
- If necessary, add more stock, depending on the consistency you want to achieve (more think for stew, more liquid for soup).
- Remove the bay leaves and garlic before serving.
- Gluten free
- Vegan• Diary free
- Plant power
- Meal prep friendly