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The great benefits of lentils |10 June 2022

The great benefits of lentils

We trust that these last few weeks you've enjoyed our deep dive into the pleasures and benefits of a varied plant-based  diet.
More importantly we hope that you've started to include some of our suggestions into your daily routine.
Although we've circled the world, we remain deep down Creole islanders in our food tastes.
And few things say more ‘Creole islanders’ than lentils, especially the small orange ones we grew up on.

Healthy and easy

Lentils belong to the legume family, and fortunately for us they are very healthy and contain high levels of protein and fibre.
Lentils are also quick and easy to prepare, and their low cost makes them an accessible form of high quality protein for us.
In this article, we look at how lentils can boost health, investigate their nutritional content, and look at ways to incorporate them into a balanced diet.
Remember that consuming all types of plant-based foods has associations with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
Plant-based foods provide a wide range of fibre, vitamins, and minerals, and may contain antioxidant properties (antioxidants work against free radicals, which are harmful compounds in the body that may contribute to inflammation and chronic diseases like cancer).

Health benefits of lentils

Heart health

Lentils are a plentiful source of fibre, folic acid, and potassium, all of which support heart health.
The protein content, essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre in lentils also make them an excellent replacement for meat in meals.
When a person replaces meat in the diet with a high fibre food, such as lentils, they decrease their risk of heart disease or slow the progression of the disease in high risk individuals. Aside from fibre, lentils are low in fat and does not contain any cholesterol reducing heart disease risk further.
Studies have also found that the potassium, calcium, and magnesium in lentils can decrease blood pressure naturally.

Reduce cancer risk

Lentils contain many phytochemicals such as phytoestrogens, phytosterols and phytic acid as well as vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, selenium, copper and zinc which act as antioxidants and may have a protective effect in preventing or lowering your risks for certain forms of cancer.

Fighting anaemia

Iron deficiency anaemia is a common cause of fatigue. Not getting enough iron in the diet can affect how efficiently the body uses energy.
Lentils are a particularly good source of non-haem iron. However, the body cannot efficiently absorb non-haem iron so it should be combined with a rich source of vitamin C such as citrus, papaya or capsicum, which will help improve absorption.

Digestive health

Lentils are a rich source of dietary fibre, containing both soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre in the diet helps to increase the feeling of fullness and thus reduce appetite. This can reduce a person’s overall calorie (energy) intake.

The soluble fibre in lentils can help stabilise blood sugar and help reduce blood cholesterol level. This in turn reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The insoluble fibre content keeps the digestive tract healthy, which in turn, prevents constipation and promotes regular bowel movements.

Types of lentils

Two types of lentils have been traditionally popular in our local cuisine – the small orange lentils, and the green lentils ‘zanberik’, which can also produce bean sprouts. 
Some larger varieties have recently been brought in by some Indian importers. This includes the larger pale yellow Moong variety as well as Brown lentils.

Cooking lentils

Unlike dried beans, lentils do not require soaking. You should however rinse away any dirt from the lentils and discard any damaged lentils or foreign material.
Our traditional creole cuisine includes dishes in which they are cooked with various salted meats, but instead why not try and make a curry which works well with all manner of vegetables.

Quick tips:

People can include lentils in their diet in the following simple and tasty ways:


  • Add lentils to any soup or stew recipe for extra nutrients and fibre
  • Precook lentils, and keep them in the refrigerator for a quick protein source
  • Use lentils instead of beans in any recipe
  • Replace half the meat in a Bolognese sauce or lasagna with red lentils
  • Make a lentil dip by smashing cooked lentils with a fork and adding garlic, onion, chili powder, and chopped tomatoes
  • Use lentils as the protein source in a meat-free patty alongside your vegetables of choice
  • Look out also for new snacks and foods, such as lentil based crackers or lentil pasta


Join us here every week on our Eat for Our Health page and look for our pages on Social Media - Eat for our health Seychelles on Facebook, and @eat4ourhealth on Instagram.

And don't forget to drop us a little email on and let us know how you're doing with these ideas, or better still, share your favourite dishes or tips.


Yours in health
The E4OH Team


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