Lentils are among the richest beans in fiber. They have 7.9 grams of fiber per 100g. A serving provides 55% of the recommended daily intake!
How much dietary fiber do we need a day?
The daily recommended intake of fiber is 28 grams per 2,000 calories. However, most people fail to consume adequate amounts of fiber. Average fiber intake for people who follow the standard Western diet is less than half of the recommended dose!
Actually, only plants contain fiber. Animal products and highly processed foods contain no fiber.
There hasn’t been established a maximum safe dose of fiber.
Fiber is essential for good health. High fiber intake may reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Also, high fiber intake may lower elevated blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity and enhance immune function!
Moreover, fiber is beneficial for gut microbiota, which protects the body from chronic inflammations, improves metabolic processes, and supports weight loss.
Are lentils high in dietary fiber?
Lentils are particularly high in fiber. Cooked lentils contain 7.9 grams of fiber per 100g. A cup contains 15.6 grams of fiber. Thus, a serving of lentils provides about 55% of the recommended daily intake.
All lentil varieties (red, green, yellow, orange, brown or black) have a similar fiber content. The exact fiber content may vary depending on many factors such as growing conditions, processing, and cooking methods.
Moreover, lentils are rich in insoluble fiber. Lentils have about 93 mg of insoluble fiber per gram. Less than 7 mg per gram is soluble fiber.
In addition, lentils are a good source of prebiotics. They have up to 14.1 grams of prebiotics per 100g of dry weight. Hence, they are beneficial for gut microbiota.
Do lentils have more fiber than other beans?
Beans are the richest foods in fiber. They can help us meet our daily needs. In fact, lentils are among the richest beans in fiber. Only navy, pinto, and black beans have a higher fiber content than lentils.
But, lentils have the highest insoluble fiber and prebiotic content that maintain the gut microbiota than other common beans!
Insoluble fiber is a type of fiber that does not dissolve in water. It adds bulk to stool and helps promote regular bowel movements.
Moreover, all beans support weight loss.
Other foods high in fiber
Following a well-balanced, whole-food, plant-based diet is the easiest way to boost the daily fiber intake.
Besides beans, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, and nuts are particularly high in fiber.
You could combine lentils with whole grain bread, quinoa, or chia seeds. All these foods are particularly high in fiber.
Moreover, eating a big salad every day could significantly increase your fiber intake. For instance, spinach, kale, arugula, dandelion greens, and lettuce are good sources of fiber.
You should eat only whole fruits, though. Fruit juices contain negligible amounts of fiber.
Why should we eat lentils regularly?
Although lentils have few calories, they’re packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidant, and many other bioactive compounds. They’re particularly high in iron.
Due to their unique nutritional value, lentils may reduce the risk of many diseases, such as diabetes.
Moreover, we can eat lentils at dinner. They reduce cravings for fattening food and help sleep better at night