Lentils….Mediterranean Healthy. Beware: do not eat them raw.


As a young girl, I remember visiting my maternal grandmother who often made me soup for lunch or dinner. It was ALWAYS lentil soup. I cannot recall a time that I went to my grandmother’s house and did not eat lentil soup. I have to say that her lentil soup was amazing!!! But, at the time I never realized that my grandmother was not only a great lentil soup “cooker” but she was also providing me with one of the most nutritious meals a child could eat.

There are various types of lentils as I mentioned in the last blog. Some of the most common are red, green and yellow. My favorite is probably green, but I definitely like all of them.

One key piece of information about lentils is that they should not be eaten raw. This is because raw lentils have “anti-nutrients” which interefere with the absorption of nutrients. Soaking lentils overnight removes the anti-nutrients. Some lentils need to be soaked before cooking, while others do not have to be soaked and should be boiled immediately upon opening the package. Email me if you have questions about this or please comment below.

Lentils contain very high levels of protein and are an excellent source of protein for not only vegetarians but for everyone since we all need protein. They can help provide protein to those on a low-carb diet or even those of us who are trying to maintain our figure and work out. Athletes often eat lentils the night before their big match. They also contain high amounts of iron which is important in pregnant women, children or in people who are anemic.

In addition, lentils have folate (also good in pregnancy) and vitamin B.

Finally, lentils contain a high amount of fiber, and they are important in preventing colon cancer. Green lentils contain about 20% more fiber than non-green lentils so if you are trying to increase your fiber, I would recommend using green lentils.

Who is going to make lentils for dinner tonight? :-)


8 Responses to “Lentils….Mediterranean Healthy. Beware: do not eat them raw.”

  1. ZNo Gravatar Says:

    Squirrels, I like to eat them. Any suggestions on how to bake them?

    I usually fry them with a dash of salt.


  2. suzyrabiNo Gravatar Says:

    Squirrels….great bean. I will look into it. Thanks for bringing that up Z.


  3. camgirlsNo Gravatar Says:

    You’re right about this


  4. stou93No Gravatar Says:

    So about the soaking and cooking:

    I have these GOYA brand lentils sitting here and I can’t figure out what kind they are. But assuming they are the kind that doesn’t need to be soaked: the boiling for cooking is sufficient for removing the anti-nutrients?

    I was just a little confused by what you were saying. I need to soak all lentils? Or I need to soak only certain types of lentils to remove the anti-nutrients?


  5. Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Stou,
    In general, it is important to soak all lentils prior to eating them in order to improve digestion and remove the anti-nutrients so that you can get all of the nutritious value.

    I would soak the GOYA lentils for at least a couple hours and if possible for ~8 hours before cooking.

    The boiling for cooking is not sufficient for removing the anti-nutrients. If you are in a hurry rinsing the lentils or a quick 20 minute soak is even okay.

    Hope that helps and thanks for stopping by!!!
    Suzy :-)


  6. AshleyNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi!I’ve been reading alot of information about soaking lentils to remove the anti-nutrients. So if soaking removes the anti-nutrients, they shouldn’t still be toxic after soaking,…right?
    Or do they still need to be cooked.
    I guess I want to know if I can get away with eating them raw after soaking, and not cooking.
    Thank you!


    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    Great question Ashley. As long as you soak the lentils (preferably overnight), the antinutrients will be removed. You will be fine eating them raw, just don’t forget to soak them.


  7. CoryNo Gravatar Says:

    Hello: can you help me? I am becoming a raw foodie and
    Soaked green lentils overnight for about 14-15 hours. I rinsed them well
    And b
    Put them in my vitamix blender with a carrot, tomatoes,currry, cayenne

    Pepper and a dash of sea salt. Did I just eat a toxic meal as I should have sprouted
    Longer? Can someone help or share feedback?
    Thank you


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